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Freight Forwarders/Declaring Agents
Transacting with Customs for the First Time
Valuation, Duties & GST
Customs Schemes & Licences
Import, Export & Transshipment Procedures
Clearance of Goods
Voluntary Disclosure Programme
Directories of Service Providers
Temporary Import Scheme
Mobile Services
Certificates of Origin / Rules of Origin
Permits and Documentation
Advance Export Declaration (AED)
Declaring Agent Governance Framework
Secure Trade Partnership (STP)
Travel Advisory
Customs Clearance Procedure
Duty-free Concession and GST Relief
GST Exemption for Investment Precious Metals
Controlled and Prohibited Goods
Tourist Refund Scheme
Three-quarter Tank Rule
Crew Members
Transferring of Residence to Singapore (PRs and Returning Singaporeans and Foreigners)
Customs Guide for Travellers
Customs Offences

Traders  & Businesses Masthead

Permits and Documentation

Supporting Documents
Validity of Permits
Rejection of Permits
Amendments of Permits
Cancellation of Permits
Situations When No Permits are Required


You can submit your Import, Export and Transhipment permit applications electronically through the TradeNet® to the Singapore Customs and other Competent Authorities for processing and approval.

Supporting Documents

Please retain for a minimum period of 5 years, your supporting documents which generally include commercial invoice, packing list and Bill of Lading or Airway Bill from the date of your permit approval. You are required to produce to Singapore Customs these supporting documents only upon request or as part of the requirements stated in the permit conditions for certain permits (e.g. export of goods from Customs licensed premises).

Validity of Permits 

Validity period of permits depend are assigned based on a variety of factors, for e.g. the type of goods involved, the place of release and/or receipt, etc. Generally, the validity period for the different message and declaration types are:

  • In-Non-Payment
    • Approval date + 9 working days
    • For declaration type (BKT): approval date declared blanket start date to until the end of the calendar month

  • In-Payment
    • Approval date + 9 working days
    • Approval date + 2 working days if items are dutiable and released from Customs licensed premises

  • OUT
    • Approval date + 9 working days
    • For dutiable items released from licensed premises: approval date + 2 working days

  • Transshipment/Removal
    • Approval date + 9 working days
    • For declaration type REM: approval date + 2 working day
    • For declaration type TTI/TTF: approval date + 21 working days


OUT permits covering the movement of dutiable seastores are valid from approval date + 1 working day

If the goods are not removed within the stipulated period, the validity of the permit may be extended. The application for the extension of validity period should be submitted electronically before the expiry of the permit.

Rejection of Permits

If a declaration is incomplete or erroneous, a rejection message with the code "DCS Error" will be sent to the trader through TradeNet®. For declarations that do not meet Customs or Competent Authority requirements, a rejection message with the code "CA/SC Reject" will be sent to the trader through TradeNet®. In such a case, the trader must re-submit the declaration after rectifying the errors or omissions. The re-submission is considered a fresh declaration with a new unique reference number.

Amendment of Permits

Amendment of Customs permits is done electronically through TradeNet®. Though there is no limit to the number of times the permit can be amended, not all fields are amendable. Please refer to Annex B (click) of the TradeNet®
Procedures section  for more details.

Please note that the latest approved copy of Customs permit must be used and produced at the time of cargo clearance.

Cancellation of Permits

Customs permits may be submitted for cancellation electronically through TradeNet®.  However there are conditions under which permits are not allowed to be cancelled:

It has been utilised to clear cargo;

It has expired for more than 1 day;

It is an In-Payment permit with duty/tax amount being paid;

It has been returned to Customs Manifests Unit;

It is an OUT permit declared together with a Certificate of Origin (CO).

Situations Where No Permit Is Required

Customs permits are not required for the following types of importation:

Intoxicating liquors not exceeding ten litres and tobacco not exceeding 0.4 kilogrammes in the possession or baggage of any person arriving in Singapore.
Petroleum carried in the supply tank or in a spare container of not more than ten litres capacity motor of a vehicle or in the fuel supply tanks of an aircraft for its propulsion.     

Dutiable goods imported by post unless so required by Customs.

Dutiable goods removed from a vessel into a Free Trade Zone by an authority administering the Free Trade Zone.

Self-propelled boats for pleasure, creation, sports or other similar events e.g. sailing yachts.

Investment precious metals imported by parcel post.

Investment precious metals not exceeding 0.5 kilogrammes for personal use, in the possession of baggage of any person arriving in Singapore.

More Information:

Types of Declaration

Manifest Reconciliation Statement   

Classification of Goods   

Certificates of Origin

Rules of Origin
Documentation in a Free Trade Zone     

Keeping and Maintaining Records in an Image System


Frequently Asked Questions

For FAQs on customs matters, click here.

Customs Circulars

For Circulars on customs matters, click here.

E-Learning Courseware

For e-learning to the ‘Guide to Customs Procedures’, click here.

    Last reviewed on 15 April 2014
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