Refund of Duties & GST

If there is any overpayment or wrong payment of duties or Goods and Services Tax (GST), you can make a claim for refund by writing to Singapore Customs for our assessment:

  • Within 1 year from the date of payment of duty
  • Within 5 years from the date of payment of GST

Common reasons for refund include:

  • Double declaration
  • Double payment
  • Exemption/GST relief granted
  • Importer under the Major Exporter Scheme
  • Shipment cancelled
  • Shipment for re-export/tranship
  • Shipment under personal effects
  • Shipment under temporary import
  • Wrong declaration of Harmonized System code
  • Wrong declaration of value
  • Wrong importer’s name/Unique Entity Number

How to Apply for Refund

You or your declaring agent can apply for an online refund and be notified of the outcome through the Refund Module in TradeNet.

There are three possible outcomes:

  • Rejection: This could include requiring the taxable importer to claim from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).
  • Approval: All successful refunds will be credited directly into the Inter-Bank GIRO (IBG) accounts of the payers who maintained IBG accounts with Singapore Customs.
  • Pending  supporting documents: The applicant will receive a notification to submit the following supporting documents:
    1. Refund permit
    2. Replacement permit (if applicable)
    3. Commercial invoice
    4. Packing list
    5. Arrival notice/freight notification or delivery order
    6. Bill of Lading/Airway Bill
    7. GST/Duty computation 
    8. Bank slip and bank statement (for payment made at the bank)
    9. Any other documents required by Singapore Customs to verify the claim

If the GST was deducted via IBG from the taxable importer's bank account registered with Singapore Customs, (i.e. payment permits with the permit conditions "GF" & "TX"), the importer is advised to claim the GST as input tax from IRAS during the company's accounting period. The same applies if the GST was paid by the taxable importer at the bank.

However, if the claim for refund is due to stating the wrong importer's name or UEN, the importer can apply for a GST refund from Singapore Customs.