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Traders  & Businesses Masthead

Assessment Process

New Application

There is no specific application process for TradeFIRST as TradeFIRST is not a scheme per se. Companies who apply for any of the schemes or facilitation from the Standard to Premium bands will automatically be assessed under TradeFIRST.

Upon receipt of the application, the company would be assigned an Account Manager (AM) who will be the company’s main contact point in SC for the assessment as well as other Customs matters.

The AM will provide the company a self-assessment checklist that explains the criteria and which the company can use to self-assess how well it meets the criteria.  The company could use this checklist to identify its areas of improvement before the on-site assessment.

The assessment process is as shown in the following diagram:

Step 1

Self-assessment checklist* will be sent to company

Step 2

Company fills up and sends to Account Manager (AM) with supporting documents

Step 3

AM will conduct preliminary assessment on suitability of company, advise company on its weak areas and give company sufficient time to improve weak areas if necessary

Step 4

AM conducts on-site assessment and records observations

Step 5

After assessment, AM submits evaluation and recommendations for approval and inform company on their application outcome, the band they are placed in and their areas for improvement

*Please click here for the guidelines on filling up the self-assessment checklist.

The AM will also be able to advise the company on the facilitation and schemes that it could qualify for and identify those that could meet their business needs.  The AM would follow up with the company subsequently for any periodic reviews and renewal assessments.


Companies enjoying schemes and facilitation would be subjected to reviews and renewals, depending on the band they are in:


Renewal & Assessment Timeline

Premium, Enhanced

Once in 3 years

Intermediate, Standard

Once in 2 years

During the renewal, the company should provide an updated financial statement/report and highlight any changes to its procedures and processes since the last assessment.


If the company has multiple schemes, the renewal of the schemes would be conducted together. This is to prevent multiple assessments on the same company.


Reviews may also be conducted at shorter intervals under special circumstances e.g. companies granted conditional approval with identified areas to be improved within an agreed time frame.



For companies that are assessed to be in the Premium band, SC would waiver the requirement to lodge any security e.g. banker’s guarantee (BG) for three years, provided the company remains compliant in these three years.  For companies in the Basic, Standard, Intermediate and Enhanced bands, the security required is reduced progressively and would continue to be lodged annually. Your AM will inform your company on the amount of security that needs to be lodged, if applicable.     


Licence Fees

Licence fee will still be payable yearly for schemes that require payment of licence fees.  The payment of licence fee will not be affected by the renewal and assessment timeline.  For instance, a Licensed Warehouse operator in the Premium band would continue to pay its
licence fee yearly but would only need to undergo its renewal assessment once every three years. In addition, you may also enjoy savings in licence fees if your company holds multiple licences and qualifies for the APEX Licence.


>  About TradeFIRST

> Benefits

How it will impact me - The Five Bands

Assessment Process
Assessment Criteria
Self-Assessment Guidelines


Our Premium Partners
FAQs on TradeFIRST

> Online Survey Results 

Last reviewed on 15 April 2014
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