Importing by Postal or Courier Service
Goods (e.g. new or used articles, online purchases, gifts) imported by post or courier services are subject to payment of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and/or duty.
GST relief is granted on goods imported by post or air, excluding intoxicating liquors and tobacco, with a total Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value not exceeding S$400. Please note that GST relief is not granted for goods imported by other transport modes, e.g. sea freight and land, unless specified. Please see Quick Guide for Importers / How to Import Your Goods? for more information.
From 1 July 2020. all tobacco products imported into Singapore by Singapore Post must comply with Singapore’s Standardised Packaging (SP) specifications. Non-SP-compliant tobacco products cannot be imported into Singapore and will be returned to country of origin. For more information, you may refer to Health Sciences Authority (HSA)’s website.
From 1 Jan 2023, GST will be extended to goods imported via air or post that are valued up to and including the current GST import relief threshold of S$400, through the Overseas Vendor Registration regime. The change will ensure a level playing field for our local businesses to compete effectively. The change also ensures that our GST system remains fair and resilient as the digital economy grows. Please see Overseas Vendor Registration Regime for more information.
You may refer to the following IRAS’ webpage for more information:
1) Five questions you may have when shopping online
2) GST on Imported Low-Value Goods
3) Consumers Importing Goods into Singapore
Things to Note for International Parcels Delivered by Post or Courier Service
Determining the total CIF value
To determine the total CIF value, all goods with the same consignor, consigned to the same importer and arriving in Singapore on the same flight are treated as a whole, even if the goods are covered by different freight documents. The importer is the party indicated as the consignee in the freight documents such as the House Airway Bill (HAWB) or consignment note. In cases where end buyers are named as the consignees in different consignment notes and the courier service company or freight forwarder is named as the consignee in the HAWB, each of the end buyers may be considered as an importer.
Where the insurance and freight charges are excluded from the value of the goods, importers may use the flat rates for freight and insurance provided by Singapore Customs to compute the customs value of the goods and determine the GST and/or duty payable. For goods imported by post, if the insurance and freight charges are excluded from the value of the goods, the postage charge paid shall be taken as the insurance and freight charges to be included in the CIF value of the goods and determination of the GST and/or duty payable.
If the importer did not pay for the freight/postage, e.g. seller provided free shipping, there is no need to add freight to the CIF value. During the permit application, the importer or Declaring Agent has to ensure that the value of goods declared is verifiable against the supporting documents submitted.
Check for Controlled Goods
Please also check if your goods are controlled goods or goods subject to restrictions by Competent Authorities (CAs) in Singapore, and obtain the relevant Import permits and authorisation from the relevant CAs if necessary.