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 5 years 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 through the Refund Module in TradeNet.
When applying for refund via TradeNet, please remember to upload the following supporting documents in TradeNet Backend:
- Refund permit
- Replacement permit (if applicable)
- Commercial invoice
- Packing list
- Arrival notice/freight notification or delivery order
- Bill of Lading/Airway Bill
- GST/Duty computation
- Bank slip and bank statement (for payment made at the bank)
- 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.
You may log in to TradeNet to check the status of your refund application.
Refund of GST to low-value goods (LVG) imported through the Overseas Vendor Registration Regime (OVR)
From 1 Jan 2023, GST will be extended to LVG imported through the OVR regime. The OVR vendors will be required to collect GST at the point of sale on supplies of LVG when the sales value of the goods does not exceed $400.
(1) Double payment of GST by Non GST-registered importer
If you are a non GST-registered importer and in the event that you had paid GST twice on the same goods (i.e. GST was charged on the sale of goods by the OVR Vendor and the import GST were borne by you importation of goods was subjected to GST payment again at the border), you should seek the reimbursement of GST refund from the OVR vendor by providing evidence to substantiate that import GST was paid to Singapore Customs.
For more information on this, you may refer to IRAS webpage on GST on Imported Low-Value Goods: http://www.iras.gov.sg/taxes/goods-services-tax-(gst)/consumers/gst-on-imported-low-value-goods > FAQs > D. Others
If the OVR vendor has refused to reimburse the GST, as a last resort, you may approach your transporter (e.g Declaring agent of the TradeNet Permit, courier service company, SingPost) to submit a refund application to Singapore Customs for assessment.
(2) Transporter (e.g. air express companies, air couriers and forwarding companies) who bears the import GST on LVG
As per Customs circular no: 11/2022, Annex C “Frequently Asked Questions Q10 and A10”, you should advise the importer to pay import GST as import relief does not apply. If the importer has paid GST on goods at the point of sale, he/she should seek reimbursement of GST from the OVR vendor.
If the importer still refuses to pay the import GST despite the abovementioned advice, then you should follow your existing procedures for handling default payment for import GST (e.g. returned goods to seller).
In the event that you have borne the import GST and have resorted to all means but you are unable to recover the import GST paid to Singapore Customs, you may submit a refund application to Singapore Customs for assessment.