Importing Empty Freight Containers, Pallets and Packing

This page provides information on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and permit requirements (where applicable) to import empty freight containers, pallets and packings.

Import of Empty Freight Containers

In general, the import of empty freight containers is subject to GST payment. Freight containers include 20/40 ft general container, flat rack, open top (with detachable tarpaulin), reefer and ISO tank containers, unit load devices (ULDs) and lower deck containers. The importer is required to apply for an In-Payment (GST) permit to account for the GST payment and import of such empty freight containers.

The import of empty freight containers is granted GST relief, if they are for use in the international conveyance of goods and are intended to be re-exported as soon as possible. No Customs permit is required for the importation of these empty freight containers. GST is payable if the freight containers are sold, disposed of or transferred locally.

Import of Freight Pallets and Packing

In general, the import of freight pallets and packings for goods is subject to GST payment. Packings include carton boxes, wooden crates or metal cylinders for compressed gas. The importer is required to apply for an In-Payment (GST) permit to account for the GST payment of the import of such freight pallets and packings.

The import of freight pallets and packings is granted GST relief, if they are

(a) used, or to be used, as external or internal coverings for goods or as holders on which goods are, or are to be rolled, wound or attached; and

(b) intended to be re-exported as soon as possible.

The importer is required to apply for an In-Non Payment (GST Relief) permit to account for the GST Relief of the import of such freight pallets and packings. GST is payable if the freight pallets and packings are sold, disposed of or transferred locally.

The following should be declared in the In-Non-Payment (GST Relief) permit application:

  • Place of Receipt code = RECYCL
  • Claimant UEN = Importer UEN
  • Claimant Organisation Name = Importer Name
  • Claimant Name = Name of person from an entity who is authorised by the Claimant Organisation to claim GST relief on behalf of the entity
  • Claimant Code = Claimant Name’s NRIC/FIN

No claimant registration is required for the above In-Non-Payment (GST Relief) permit application. The GST relief permit must be obtained before the importation of the freight pallets and packings and presented at the checkpoint for clearance.

No Customs permit is required if the freight pallets and packings are imported as un-manifested cargoes.