Importing Trade Samples

What are Trade Samples?

Trade samples refer to goods which are imported solely:

  • For the purpose of being shown or demonstrated in Singapore to enable manufacturers in Singapore to produce these goods to fulfill orders from abroad or to solicit orders for goods to be supplied from abroad; or
  • By a manufacturer for the purposes of copying, testing or experimenting before producing these goods in Singapore

Trade samples must also not be sold, consumed, put to normal use, or used in any way for hire or reward while in Singapore.

Procedures for Importing Trade Samples

Importers of trade samples are required to pay the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and/or duty

GST is calculated based on the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value of the goods, together with all duties payable. The importer has to obtain the commercial value from the supplier if the value of the trade samples is not stated in the commercial invoice.

The commercial value should be based on the transaction value of identical or similar goods from the same country of origin that is exported at about the same time.

The commercial invoice may indicate Value for Customs Purposes Only, which means that there is no sale of goods involved. However, the importer should provide the supporting trade documents to substantiate the commercial value of the imported trade samples.

Please retain the relevant import permit (please refer to next section for permit requirements) and supporting documents (commercial invoice, packing list, Bill of Lading/Airway Bill, etc.) of the trade samples. At the time of cargo clearance, the import permit and supporting documents must be produced to the checking officer for verification.

Controlled and Non-Controlled Trade Samples

You are advised to check if your trade sample is a controlled item before importing it. Please click here for more information on controlled and prohibited goods, and how to check if your samples are subject to control.

Non-Controlled Trade Samples

Type of Non-Controlled Non-Dutiable Trade Sample             CIF Value             GST Payable Duty Payable Permit Required
Non-Dutiable
< or = S$400  No   No  
Non-Dutiable  > S$400  Yes   Yes 
 Type of Non-Controlled Dutiable Trade Sample  CIF Value  GST Payable  Duty Payable  Permit Required
Dutiable goods (excluding liquor and tobacco products), where the goods are subject to total customs duty and excise duty amounts not exceeding S$20          < or = S$400            No No            No           
Dutiable goods (excluding liquor and tobacco products), where the goods are subject to total customs duty and excise duty amounts exceeding S$20 < or = S$400  Yes Yes   Yes  
Dutiable goods (excluding liquor and tobacco products) >S$400 Yes  Yes Yes 
Liquor and tobacco products

a) Liquor products  

< or = S$400 and      < or = 10 litres

b) Tobacco products < or = S$400 and      < or = 0.4 kilogramme

Yes   Yes   No
 

Liquor and tobacco products

 

a) Liquor products    > S$400 or > 10 litres

b) Tobacco products > S$400 or > 0.4 kilogramme

 Yes  Yes  Yes

Non-dutiable trade samples (including gifts and specimens for analysis or tests)

  • Total CIF value not exceeding S$400: These samples are granted GST relief and can be imported without an import permit. Importers should inform their suppliers to indicate the goods as “trade samples” in the commercial invoice and Bill of Lading/Air Waybill.
  • Total CIF value exceeding S$400: These samples incur GST. A Customs In-Payment (GST) permit must be taken up to account for the goods.

Dutiable trade samples

  • Dutiable trade samples (excluding liquor and tobacco products) with total CIF value not exceeding S$400 and where the goods are subject to total customs and excise duty amounts not exceeding S$20, are granted GST relief and duty exemption. These dutiable trade samples can be imported without an import permit. Importers should inform their suppliers to indicate the goods as “trade samples” in the commercial invoice and the Bill of Lading/Air Waybill.
  • All intoxicating liquor and tobacco products imported as samples incur GST and duty. A Customs In-Payment (Duty and GST) permit must be taken up to account for the goods, except for the scenarios stated in the table above.
  • For all other dutiable trade samples, with total CIF value exceeding S$400, duty and GST are payable. A Customs In-Payment (Duty and GST) permit must be taken up to account for the goods.

Controlled Trade Samples

Type of Controlled Non-Dutiable Trade Sample CIF Value GST Payable Duty Payable Permit Required
Non-Dutiable
< or = S$400 No - Yes
Non-Dutiable  > S$400 Yes - Yes
 Type of Controlled Dutiable Trade Sample  CIF Value  GST Payable  Duty Payable  Permit Required
Dutiable goods (excluding liquor and tobacco products), where the goods are subject to total customs duty and excise duty amounts not exceeding S$20 < or = S$400 No No Yes 
Dutiable goods (excluding liquor and tobacco products), where the goods are subject to total customs duty and excise duty amounts exceeding S$20 < or = S$400 Yes Yes Yes
Dutiable goods (excluding liquor and tobacco products) >S$400 Yes Yes Yes
Liquor and tobacco products Any value Yes Yes Yes

Non dutiable trade samples (including gifts and specimens for analysis or tests)

  • Total CIF value not exceeding S$400: These samples are granted GST relief. A Customs In-Non Payment (GTR) permit must be taken up to account for the goods. The place of receipt code should be declared as “TRADESP”. Importers should inform their suppliers to indicate the goods as “trade samples” in the commercial invoice and Bill of Lading/Air Waybill.
  • Total CIF value exceeding S$400: These samples incur GST. A Customs In-Payment (GST) permit must be taken up to account for the goods.

Dutiable trade samples

  • Dutiable trade samples (excluding liquor and tobacco products) with total CIF value not exceeding S$400 and where the goods are subject to total customs and excise duty amounts not exceeding S$20, are granted GST relief and duty exemption. A Customs In-Non Payment (GTR) permit must be taken up to account for the controlled goods. The place of receipt code should be declared as “TRADESP”. Importers should inform their suppliers to indicate the goods as “trade samples” in the commercial invoice and the Bill of Lading/Air Waybill.
  • All intoxicating liquor and tobacco products imported as samples incur GST and duty. A Customs In-Payment (Duty and GST) must be taken up to account for the goods.
  • For all other dutiable trade samples, with total CIF value exceeding S$400, duty and GST are payable. A Customs In-Payment (Duty and GST) must be taken up to account for the goods.