Importing Ethyl Alcohol

Dutiable Ethyl Alcohol

Importing dutiable ethyl alcohol or undenatured ethyl alcohol incurs Goods and Services Tax (GST) and duty.

GST is calculated based on the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value of the goods plus all duties and other charges incidental to the sale and delivery of the goods into Singapore, whether or not shown on the invoice. The duty rates can be found here.

A Customs In-Payment (Duty and GST) permit is required to account for its import and payment of the duty and GST. 

Duty Exemption for Approved Purposes

The import of dutiable ethyl alcohol by the following organisations or persons for approved purposes are exempted from excise duty. Please note that GST is still applicable.

Application for Duty Exemption of Ethyl Alcohol

1)    Submit a completed duty exemption application form for our assessment of duty exemption eligibility.

2)     When confirmation of eligibility and the approved import quota are received, register for a claimant account with Singapore Customs.

3)     Once the claimant registration is approved, submit a Customs In-Payment (GST including duty exemption) permit with the place of receipt code declared as “ETHYL”.

If you decide to increase or decrease the quantity of ethyl alcohol to import, please provide the following information to customs_documentation@customs.gov.sg:

  • How the duty-exempted ethyl alcohol would be used.
  • How the stock of duty-exempted ethyl alcohol will be accounted (In/Out stock batch of ethyl alcohol to be linked to the permit number). Please note records should be maintained for the purpose of inspection.  
  • Security measures adopted to secure the storage (for example, lockable compartment or storage room, the people having access to such storage).

Requests for the change in ethyl alcohol quota are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Denatured Ethyl Alcohol

Denatured ethyl alcohol is non-dutiable and its import is subject to GST payment only.

A Customs In-Payment (GST) permit is required to account for its import payment of GST. 

Do retain supporting documents, such as the Certificate of Analysis issued by the supplier or an independent authority, bill of lading or air waybill and invoice, for each shipment of denatured ethyl alcohol imported. The documents are subject to inspection by Singapore Customs.

What Qualifies as Denatured Ethyl Alcohol?

Specific denaturants are added into ethyl alcohol to qualify as denatured ethyl alcohol.

The accepted denaturants and their required concentrations are:

  • 5% (v/v) methyl alcohol
  • 5% (v/v) isopropyl alcohol
  • 5% (v/v) chloroform
  • 0.125% (v/v) tert-butyl alcohol and 0.0005% (w/v) denatonium benzoate (Bitrex)
  • 5% (v/v) toluene
  • 1% (v/v) diethyl phthalate
  • 4.25% (v/v) ethyl acetate having ester content of 100% by weight
  • 50ppm (w/v) aqueous nicotine and 0.7ppm (w/v) methylene blue
  • 4% (v/v) methyl alcohol and 0.0009% (w/v) denatonium benzoate (Bitrex)
  • 4% (v/v) methyl n-butyl ketone/methyl isobutyl ketone and 1% kerosene
  • 2% (v/v) methyl ethyl ketone/acetone and 3 % (v/v) methyl isobutyl ketone

If the denaturant(s) and/or denaturant concentration do not meet the above requirements, they will be classified as undenatured ethyl alcohol which is dutiable.