Duty Free Shop Scheme

What is it?

The Duty Free Shop (DFS) Scheme is designed for companies who wish to sell dutiable goods, such as liquor, at prices free of duty to travellers departing from or returning to Singapore.

The areas where duty free goods are sold must be designated and licensed by Singapore Customs as licensed premises.

How to Qualify?

To qualify for the DFS Scheme, the company must:

  • Have a valid Customs Account
  • Have good compliance records with Singapore Customs
  • Be responsible for the security, accountability and control of the dutiable goods
  • Seek prior approval from the landlord, such as Changi Airport  Group (CAG) and Singapore Cruise Centre (SCC), to operate a duty free shop
  • Obtain necessary approval from the relevant competent authorities, such as Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Health Sciences Authority (HSA)
  • Undergo TradeFIRST assessment and attain minimally the Enhanced band

Licence Fee

An annual licence fee of $70,000 is payable when the licence is issued.

Key Responsibilities

  • Accountability to Singapore Customs
    • Accountable for the dutiable goods stored in the licensed premises and for the payment of duty and Goods and Services Tax on goods not accounted for
    • 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 Customs Act, Customs Regulations and the licensing Terms and 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
  • Physical Security Control
    • Ensure adequate security measures in the licensed premises
    • Ensure all entrances and exits are secured when there is no movement of dutiable goods in the licensed premises
    • Obtain approval from Singapore Customs for any structural alteration to the licensed premises

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. The quantum is based on the average past monthly duty of the dutiable goods stored at the Duty Free Shop.

*Average past monthly duty means the average of the total customs and excise duties of all goods stored in the intended licensed premises on the 1st of each month during the period of 12 months (or, if the intended licensed premises has been used to store goods for a shorter period, that shorter period) before the date of the application.

Once the application is successful, we will contact you to follow up on your application.

If you require further assistance, please call 6251 3027 or email us at customs_schemes@customs.gov.sg.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1)      Is the DFS licence transferrable?

The licence is strictly non-transferrable. The duty free shop licensee must take full ownership and accountability of the goods stored in the duty free shop premises.

2)      How do I declare Customs permits?

Customs permits can be declared through TradeNet.

Find out more about Permit Declaration