TradeFIRST stands for Trade Facilitation & Integrated Risk-based System. It is an integrated assessment framework that provides a holistic assessment of a company and determines the level of facilitation accorded.
The assessment is free and it is mandatory for all companies who wish to apply for a Singapore Customs scheme or licence.
Benefits of TradeFIRST
We adopt a risk management approach to classify the level of facilitation into 5 bands - Basic, Standard, Intermediate, Enhanced and Premium.
The higher your TradeFIRST band, the greater the facilitation accorded to you.
For example, a company that obtains a Premium band can enjoy the facilitation and schemes accorded to the Premium band and the ones below it (in this case, Basic to Premium).
This list shows the various Customs facilitation and schemes under each TradeFIRST band.
There are 6 sections under the TradeFIRST assessment framework:
2)Procedures and Processes
Management of information and records
Management of personnel, including training
Business partnering and customer screening
Security risk assessment and incident management
Security of cargo, containers and conveyance
Premises security and access control
Capability of inventory system to track and trace movement of goods, and to flag out discrepancies
5)Other Scheme-Specific Requirements
Specific requirements applicable to applicants of certain Customs schemes, such as the Strategic Trade Scheme Bulk Permit
Company’s compliance records
To view the entire TradeFIRST assessment criteria, you may download the checklist here.
The TradeFIRST assessment process is shown in the following table:
The company receives the TradeFIRST Self-Assessment Checklist from Customs, with detailed information on the assessment framework, for the company’s self-assessment.
Company fills up the TradeFIRST Self-Assessment Checklist and sends it to Customs with the relevant supporting documents. With effect from 2 June 2015, instead of submitting all the supporting documents to the Account Manager before the on-site assessment, companies are now allowed to submit only supporting documents relating to the scheme specific mandatory criteria. The remaining documents relating to the non-mandatory criteria can be provided to Customs during the on-site assessment.
On-site assessment will be scheduled and conducted, upon receipt of relevant supporting documents.
The company receives its application outcome, the band it is placed in that determines the facilitation and schemes the company can enjoy, and the areas for improvement (if any).
Note: The entire assessment would generally take about 3 to 4 months to process, upon complete submission of relevant documents.
For any Customs scheme applied successfully, your company will be subject to reviews and renewals, depending on the band accorded:
Once in 3 Years
Once in 3 Years
Once in 2 Years
Once in 2 Years
During the renewal process, your company is required to submit the TradeFIRST Self-Assessment Checklist and all relevant supporting documents, and undergo the on-site assessment again.
Reviews may also be conducted at shorter intervals under special circumstances, such as for companies granted conditional approval with areas identified for improvement within a stipulated time period.
This section guides companies who wish to perform a TradeFIRST self-assessment under specific business operations mentioned below.
Companies with Multiple Sites and/or Multiple Schemes
There will only be one assessment for the company regardless of the number of schemes it applies for. Therefore, the self-assessment checklist should be filled in relation to all of the company’s operating sites.
All of its operating sites must be declared in the checklist:
Indicate “Yes” if the company meets the criteria for all sites.
Indicate “No” if none or only some of the sites meet the criteria. Indicate the name of the site(s) which meet the criteria in the “Comments” column.
Indicate “N.A.” when the criterion is not applicable.
The company should not indicate “N.A.” on outsourced functions, for example using third party logistics providers. It should indicate if its business partners’ procedures meet the criteria based on its service level agreements and contractual obligations.
Company is a Tenant
The company should abide by these guidelines if it is a tenant.
Companies with Global or Regional Offices
TradeFIRST assessment us only applicable to the company’s procedures conducted on its operating sites in Singapore. For example, comments on pre-employment verification criteria must pertain to Singapore’s procedures and not the company’s regional or global practices.