Transhipment Procedures

The transhipment and transit of goods through Singapore are regulated under the Customs Act, the Regulation of Imports and Exports Act, the Strategic Goods (Control) Act, and other legislations by the relevant Competent Authorities. 

The transhipment of all goods is not subject to duty or Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Before you tranship, do note:

  • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) imposes sanctions that prohibit the transhipment and transit of certain goods to some countries. Please refer to the relevant UNSC Resolutions for more information.  
  • Please refer here for information on permit requirements for the transhipment or transit of strategic goods, and goods intended or likely to be used in connection with weapons of mass destruction.  

Through Transhipment Procedures

Goods covered by a Through Bill of Lading or Through Air Waybill refer to goods transhipping through Singapore with no local consignee or no local notifying party (except where the local notifying party is a shipping agent, air cargo agent or freight forwarder). This is also known as through transhipment. The goods may be transhipped from one Free Trade Zone (FTZ) to another FTZ or transhipped within the same FTZ.

To apply for a Customs Transhipment permit for through transhipments, you must be registered as both:

  • A shipping agent, air cargo agent or freight forwarder; and
  • A declaring agent

Goods that are covered by a Bill of Lading or Air Waybill transhipping through Singapore with a local consignee or local notifying party (except where there is no local consignee and the local notifying party is a shipping agent, air cargo agent or freight forwarder) are required to be covered by the relevant Customs Import and Export permits.

Errors and Offences

Traders may be penalised if they do not comply with the Customs requirements imposed under the Customs Act, the Regulation of Imports and Exports Act (RIEA), Strategic Goods (Control) Act (SGCA) and other related legislation.

Best Practices

You are accountable as a trader or declaring agent for the transhipment and inter-gateway movement of goods. You are encouraged to observe the following Dos and Don’ts to improve your compliance with regulatory requirements: