Zero-GST Warehouse Scheme
What is it?
The Zero-GST Warehouse Scheme (ZGS) allows approved companies to store imported non-dutiable goods for an indefinite period of time in a designated area licensed by Singapore Customs, with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) suspended. This designated area is termed as licensed premises.
GST is payable when these goods are removed from the zero-GST warehouse for local use or consumption. GST is not payable when these goods are removed for export, or when supply or sale of these goods takes place while they are in the warehouse.
You may refer to an overview of the procedures for storing non-dutiable imports in zero-GST warehouses.
Types of Licences under ZGS
There are 3 licence types to cater to the different needs of companies:
- Zero-GST Warehouse Type I
- Zero-GST Warehouse Type II
- Zero-GST Warehouse Type III
The level of facilitation accorded, as well as the criteria on the company’s record-keeping and internal controls standard, increase from Type I to Type III.
Type I and II licensees need to qualify for the “Standard” and “Intermediate” bands under the TradeFIRST framework respectively, while Type III licensees need to qualify for the “Enhanced” or the “Premium” bands.
A summary of the benefits for the 3 zero-GST warehouse licence types can be found in the Zero-GST Warehouse Scheme Handbook (Chapter 2.10).
How to Qualify?
To qualify for the Zero-GST Warehouse Scheme, the company must:
- Be 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 whereby:
- The location is primarily used for warehousing of goods; and
- Tenant/leaseholder has the legal authority and control over the premises, including the possession of tenancy agreement with the landlord, and the right to install or alter any security features or plans at the location as required by Singapore Customs
- Have good stock record-keeping and warehouse procedures
- Be responsible for the security, accountability and control of the goods
- Undergo TradeFIRST assessment and meet all the mandatory criteria while attaining the minimum band to qualify for the respective Zero-GST warehouse licence types
Storage of Listed Goods
With effect from 1 Jan 2018, to mitigate money laundering and terrorism financing risks, Zero-GST warehouse licensees storing listed goods must:
- Seek Singapore Customs’ approval in writing to store the listed goods
- Obtain “Intermediate” band and ZGS Type II licence under the TradeFIRST framework
- Obtain, maintain and update information on identity of the person(s) with control over the listed goods and the person(s) with beneficial ownership over the listed goods. The information maintained must be produced to Singapore Customs upon request
- Conduct screening, maintain and update the screening records of customers who deposit the goods, person(s) with control over the listed goods and person(s) with beneficial ownership over the listed goods. The information maintained must be produced to Singapore Customs upon request
You may refer to the HS Codes and HS descriptions for listed goods here.
Filing of Suspicious Transaction Report
Under Section 39 of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, Cap 65A, you have the legal obligation to file a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) to the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office (STRO) if you know or have reasonable grounds to suspect that any property is connected to criminal activity, in the course of your trade, profession, businesss or employment.
You also have the duty to provide information on property and financial transactions belonging to terrorist and acts of terrorism financing under Sections 8 and 10 of the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act to the Police or to do so via a STR. Failure to do so may constitute a criminal offence.
You may refer to the red flag indicators for Zero-GST warehouse licensees here to detect and file a STR with the STRO.
An annual licence fee is payable when the licence is issued. It is based on the average stock value of the goods stored in the licensed premises.
|Average Stock Value
|S$1 million or less
|More than S$1 million but less than S$5 million
|S$5 million or more
Accountability to Singapore Customs
- Accountable for goods stored in the licensed premises and for the payment of GST 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 GST Act, GST (General) Regulations and the licensing Terms & Conditions
Accountability to Other Competent Authorities
- Obtain the necessary approvals from the relevant Competent Authorities (for example, the storage of controlled goods, including Dangerous Goods)
- 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 goods in the licensed premises
- Obtain prior approval from Singapore Customs for any structural alteration to the licensed premises
For containers sealed with a red customs seal, the application to unstuff GST-unpaid goods at a zero-GST warehouse should be e-filed to the Company Compliance Branch 1 working day before the intended unstuffing.
Goods that are not fit for use may be destroyed under Customs’ supervision. Fees for supervision of unstuffing, survey and destruction are applicable accordingly.
How to Apply?
Step 1: Complete the TradeFIRST Self-Assessment Checklist as follows:
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 you to follow up with your application.
For further assistance on the application or if you have any feedback relating to the additional requirements for storing listed goods, 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.
Authorisation of Declaring Agent (DA) for Licensed Premises
DAs can only apply for permits involving movements of goods into, between and out of licensed premises after the licensed premises operator has authorised the DAs.
In order to authorise a DA, the licensed premises operator is required to complete the [Application for the Authorisation of DAs for Licensed Premises] (https://www.customs.gov.sg/eservices/customs-forms-and-service-links) form and submit it via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The processing time of the application is 2 working days.