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 attain the minimum band to qualify for the respective Zero-GST warehouse licence types

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 this document on the HS Codes and HS descriptions for listed goods.

Licence Fee

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 Fee
S$1 million or less S$1,000
More than S$1 million but less than S$5 million S$2,500
S$5 million or more S$4,000

Key Responsibilities

  • 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
  • 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 goods in the licensed premises
    • Obtain prior approval from Singapore Customs for any structural alteration to the licensed premises

Customs Supervision

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.

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 call 6251 3027 or email customs_schemes@customs.gov.sg.