Declaration and Payment of Taxes
What to declare?
Under Singapore’s laws, arriving travellers are required to declare and pay the duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) to bring in dutiable and taxable goods exceeding their duty-free concession and GST relief. This is applicable whether the goods were purchased overseas or in Singapore.
GST is a tax on the taxable supply of goods and services in Singapore and on the importation of goods into Singapore (other than an exempt import). This means that GST is levied on all goods brought into Singapore or purchased locally.
The imposition of GST on goods imported into Singapore has been in force since 1 April 1994 when GST was implemented in Singapore. The practice is consistent with countries that levy GST (also known as Value-Added Tax in some countries).
Please note that GST is payable whether or not foreign sales taxes were paid.
Dutiable Goods and GST Taxable Goods
There are four categories of dutiable goods in Singapore:
- Intoxicating liquors, including spirits, wine, beer, ale, stout and porter
- Beverages and liquors consumed for health reasons and used for cooking are dutiable if the alcoholic strength by volume exceeds 0.5% (eg shandy, bottled alcoholic cocktail drinks, D.O.M., Yomeishu, samsu and rice wine)
- Tobacco products, including cigarettes and cigars
- With effect from 1 July 2020, all cigarettes and other tobacco products imported into, sold, offered for sale or distributed in Singapore must comply with the new Standardised Packaging (SP) requirements. For further information, you may refer to Health Sciences Authority (HSA)’s website or contact Ministry of Health (MOH) through email at email@example.com.
- Importation of cigarettes and / or tobacco products that do not comply with the SP requirements is not allowed, and these cigarettes and / or tobacco products will be disposed of at the checkpoints.
- Travellers have to ensure that their cigarettes and / or tobacco products comply with the SP requirements before making a declaration and payment via the Customs@SG web application. Do note that no refund will be given for duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) already prepaid via the Customs@SG web application for cigarettes and / or tobacco products that do not comply with the SP requirements.
- Motor vehicles, including motorised bicycles
- Motor fuel, including motor spirits, diesel products and compressed natural gas (CNG)
All goods imported into Singapore are subject to GST.
Payment of Taxes
Payment of Duties and GST can be made via the following payment modes:
- All major credit cards (Mastercard, Visa and American Express), mobile wallets, NETS and Cashcard at the Singapore Customs Tax Payment Office
- Visa, Mastercard or American Express on the Customs@SG Web Application
How to declare?
Major traveller entry checkpoints in Singapore operate the Red and Green Channels system. The Red and Green Channel signs are above the examination counters in the arrival hall after immigration clearance. At certain checkpoints, forward security checks are conducted before immigration clearance . If you are carrying any dutiable, taxable, controlled or prohibited goods, please declare them to the checking officer at the Red Channel or at the Customs Examination Area before immigration clearance.
When To Use The Red Channel
Proceed to the Red Channel if you are carrying:
The Red Channel and the examination counters are manned by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA). Checks on persons, baggage and vehicles entering Singapore are conducted by ICA.
What to do at the Red Channel
At the Red Channel, please:
- Inform the checking officer of any declarable goods you are carrying; and
- Produce the controlled goods, if any, together with the relevant permit or authorisation form from the relevant authorities, if any.
You need to present a valid Customs import permit for clearance if you are carrying (but not limited to):
- More than 0.4 kilogrammes of cigarettes or other tobacco products;
- More than 10 litres of liquor products;
- More than 10 litres of motor fuel in a spare container of a motor vehicle;
- More than 0.5 kilogrammes of investment precious metals for personal use;
- Goods for trade, commercial or business purposes, in which the GST payable exceeds S$300; or
- Goods clearly marked as trade samples (excluding liquor and tobacco products) the value on which exceeds S$400
- An Individual/ traveller may engage a local freight forwarding agent/ TradeNet Service Centre to appoint a TradeNet Declaring Agent to assist you with the permit application. You may refer to the list of local forwarding agents.
- The Declaring Agent may declare using the Miscellaneous Unique Entity Number (UEN), 99999990000C, in the permit application for individuals importing goods (including goods subject to control of Competent Authorities) for non-commercial purposes only. For more information on the correct usage of the generic UEN in permit applications, please refer to Customs Circular No. 11/2014.
More information on permit requirements is available here. Alternatively, you may contact us on (+65) 63552000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When to use the Green Channel
Proceed to the Green Channel if you are not carrying any declarable goods stated above. ICA officers will conduct selective checks at the Green Channel.
If in doubt, always ask the checking officers at the Red Channel/Customs Examination Area or approach the Singapore Customs Tax Payment Office.
It is the responsibility of travellers to make an accurate and complete declaration of all goods exceeding their duty-free concession and GST relief in their possession, including goods carried for or on behalf of other persons.
Those who fail to do so can be fined and prosecuted in court.
More information on customs offences is available here.