Container Freight Warehouse Licence

What is it?

A Container Freight Warehouse Licence allows approved logistics operators to conduct bulk breaking and consolidation operations on cargoes with Less Than Full Container Load outside a Free Trade Zone. Only non-dutiable, non-controlled and non-strategic goods can be brought into a container freight warehouse.

How to Qualify?

To qualify for the licence, the company must:

  • Be Goods and Services Tax (GST)-registered with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)
  • Have a valid Customs Account
  • Have good compliance records with Singapore Customs and IRAS
  • Ensure the premises to be licensed is a storage-based facility with security measures in place
  • Operate a robust computerised inventory system which is able to track and account for the inventory status and movement of all goods stored in the container freight warehouse
  • Be responsible for the security, accountability and control of the goods
  • Undergo TradeFIRST assessment and attain the minimum Enhanced Band

Licence Fee

An annual licence fee of $4,000 is payable when the licence is issued.

Key Responsibilities

  • Accountability to Singapore Customs
    • Accountable for all goods held in the licensed premises and for the payment of GST on goods not accounted for
    • Ensure timely and accurate reconciliation of all goods and submission of monthly reconciled report to Singapore Customs within the prescribed period
    • Declare relevant Customs permits through TradeNet for movement of all goods in and out of the licensed premises, and abide by the stipulated permit conditions
    • Report to Singapore Customs if there is any discrepancy in the licensed premises by the next working day
    • Provide assistance to Singapore Customs, including but not limited to manpower and system access for the purpose of any investigation, periodic audit, stock check and supervision operation conducted by Singapore Customs
    • Comply with the GST Act, GST (General) Regulations and the licensing Terms & Conditions
  • Accountability to Other Competent Authorities
    • Obtain the necessary approvals from the relevant competent authorities
  • Inventory Control
    • Ensure inventory records and supporting documents are properly maintained and updated 
    • Ensure all goods residing in the container freight warehouse are kept not longer than 14 days from the date of unstuffing
  • Physical Security Control
    • Ensure adequate security measures in the licensed premises
    • Ensure all entrances and exits are secured when there is no movement of goods in the licensed premises
    • Obtain prior approval from Singapore Customs for any structural alteration to the licensed premises

Customs Supervision

The licensee should e-file for Customs' supervision 1 working day before the intended supervision for:

  • Unstuffing of Less Than Full Container Load (LCL) containers imported into the container freight warehouse
  • Direct releases of consignments
  • Partial releases of consignments

Find out more about Fees for Supervision of Unstuffing

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
  • One copy of the layout plan. Please indicate the intended licensed premises, entry / exit points and security features such as closed-circuit televisions and alarm systems in the layout plan
  • The plans must show the address affixed with the company stamp.
  • Title deed or tenancy agreement
  • Other relevant documents

Step 3: Apply online.

Singapore Customs reserves the right to impose a Banker’s Guarantee or insurance bond, if required.

Once the application is successful, we will contact your company to follow up with the application.

For further assistance, please call 6251 3027 or email

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between a container freight warehouse, a zero-GST warehouse and a licensed warehouse?

Zero-GST and licensed warehouses are meant for long-term storage of non-dutiable and dutiable goods respectively, with the duty and/or GST suspended.

Container freight warehouses are for the purposes of bulk breaking and consolidation activities, and not meant for the long-term storage of goods. Only non-dutiable, non-controlled and non-strategic goods can be brought into a container freight warehouse.