Bonded Truck Scheme
What is it?
The Bonded Truck Scheme (BTS) allows qualified companies to handle time-sensitive goods* between the land checkpoints and Free Trade Zones (FTZs), under a simplified customs permit, for subsequent re-export or release into customs territory.
*The term “goods” under BTS refers to all goods (including parcels).
How to Qualify?
To qualify for the BTS, the company must-
- handle non-homogenous goods (involving multiple consignees) with movements between land checkpoints and FTZs;
- have full custody of all goods during all movements;
- have a system to track-and-trace all goods enabling end-to-end oversight of all goods;
- have a fleet management system to manage and monitor all vehicles used under the BTS;
- be Goods and Services Tax (GST)-registered with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore;
- have a valid Customs Account;
- have good compliance records with Singapore Customs;
- Undergo TradeFIRST assessment and meet all the mandatory criteria while attaining the “Premium” Band; and
- engage an external auditor, if required by Customs, to assess the company’s need for the BTS upon renewal (e.g. to establish if cargo volumes qualify for BTS).
Accountability to Singapore Customs
- Comply with the Customs Act and Customs Regulations, licensing conditions, and any other conditions imposed.
- Declare relevant customs permits, as required by Singapore Customs, for movement of all goods in and out of FTZs, and abide by the stipulated permit conditions.
Accountability to Other Competent Authorities
- Produce the goods to Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at the checkpoints for sealing and clearance. To also provide the relevant transhipment declarations, submitted via TradeNet, and supporting documents such as bills of lading, cargo manifests and delivery notes, for verification by ICA officers.
Physical Security Control
- Ensure there is no movement of dutiable or controlled goods under the BTS.
- Ensure all goods compartment doors of the vehicle can be sealed by Singapore Customs red seals.
How to Apply?
Step 1: Complete the TradeFIRST Self-Assessment Checklist.
Step 2: Prepare these supporting documents:
- Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority BizFile Report
- Audited financial statements for the past 3 years
- Other relevant documents
Step 3: Write to firstname.lastname@example.org, and attach the checklist and supporting documents.
Singapore Customs reserves the right to impose a Banker’s Guarantee or insurance bond, if required.
Once your application is received, we will contact you to follow up with your application.
For further assistance, please email email@example.com.
Application for Changes to Schemes for Existing Licensees
You may complete your applications for changes to schemes for existing licensees or to update records online.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1) Do I need to pay GST for goods moved under the BTS?
If the goods are transhipped from the land checkpoints to FTZs and subsequently released into customs territory, you are required to take up an Inward GST Payment permit.
2) What goods can be transported under the BTS?
Only non-controlled and non-dutiable goods that are non-homogenous in nature are allowed to be moved under the Bonded Truck Scheme.
3) How do I check if the goods are controlled or dutiable?
For dutiable goods, please refer to the List of Dutiable Goods.
For controlled goods, you may check using this search engine. If a product is controlled, the “Import”, “Export” and “Transhipment” columns of the search results will indicate the Competent Authorities controlling the product.
Find out more about Competent Authorities’ Requirements for Controlled Items to handle controlled goods.
4) What types of vehicles can I use to transport goods under the Bonded Truck Scheme?
Proper bonded vehicles (trucks/containers) that are managed under the fleet management system of a qualified company can be used to transport goods under the BTS. The bonded vehicles’ compartments must meet the following specifications:
- separate compartments for mails and goods (if the vehicle is meant for mails and goods);
- no other compartments in the vehicle other than those described above for movement of mails and goods; and
- the relevant compartment is equipped with doors (with ledges) for ICA officers to affix the Singaore Customs red seals.
5) How do I declare Customs permits?
Customs permits can be declared electronically via TradeNet.
Find out more about Permit Declaration.
6) What is definition of the term “non-homogenous goods” in the qualifying criteria?
As a guide, the term “non-homogenous goods” is defined as “more than 10 different types of goods of different Harmonised System (HS) Codes”, where declaring all details in individual transhipment permit for each good would pose a challenge to a company.
7) Why must a company with no established cargo volume submit an External Auditor’s (EA) report to Customs before its TradeFIRST renewal?
An EA’s report is to be submitted before the TradeFIRST renewal of the BTS licence in the third year for a company with no established cargo volume. This is to ascertain that the goods values and volumes provided by the company when it applied to Customs to qualify for the BTS initially have been realised by the third year. Failure to meet the provided goods values and volumes may result in the non-renewal of the licence.
8) Why do I need to have a robust system to track-and-trace goods, enabling an end-to-end oversight of mails and goods?
BTS is a facilitation that allows the qualified company to declare minimal details in their TradeNet (TN) transhipment declarations. Otherwise, a company would need to declare separate permits for each importer, with the full details such as full HS codes and Cost, Insurance and Freight(CIF) values of goods, in TN transhipment declarations. To enjoy such a facilitation, we would require the company to have a robust system to track-and-trace all goods, so as to enable an end-to-end oversight on all its mails and goods handled. The qualified company should be able to assist Customs or other government agencies to intercept any mail and good using its robust track-and-trace system, when required.
9) What are the detailed requirements of a robust BTS fleet management?
Qualified BTS companies’ fleet management should have the following aspects:
- Trucks Fleet Management System/Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
- Qualified companies must be able to manage their bonded trucks and containers in a systematic manner with proper SOPs. Two examples of SOPs are as follows: i) Accident and emergency response SOP (e.g. for replacement of truck); ii) Drivers management SOP (e.g. for the assignment of drivers, random assignment of drivers so as to prevent any internal collusion).
- 2-way communication system/SOP
- Qualified companies must be able to maintain constant contact with its trucks drivers during movement of goods under the BTS.
- GPS-tracking capability
- Qualified companies must have full visibility over their fleet of bonded trucks/containers and mails and goods round-the-clock via GPS-tracking.
- Third Party Provider
- If a qualified company’s bonded trucks and containers are out-sourced, the qualified company would be required to maintain oversight on its third party-provider. There must be established SOPs between the qualified company and its third party provider; daily/adhoc incident reports and emergency/accident response management, etc.