Traders Satisfaction Survey and Pro Enterprise Ranking Survey Results

As part of our drive for continual service improvement, Singapore Customs conducts surveys to measure our customers' satisfaction on their interactions with us. We have heard your feedback, and wish to thank all respondents for sharing their valuable feedback and suggestions.

We will continue to streamline our procedures and processes with the objective of making trade easy, fair and secure. If you have any further feedback and suggestions, we welcome you to email us at customs_schemes@customs.gov.sg

Traders' Satisfaction Survey (TSS) 2015 Results

The 2015 Traders' Satisfaction Survey (TSS) was conducted from September 2015 to October 2015. It measures the level of our customers' satisfaction of the services, processes and schemes provided by Singapore Customs as well as their overall impression of Singapore Customs.

96.7% of you have given us a reassuring ‘Satisfied’ rating while 80.1% of you have given a “Very Satisfied’ rating. 

Year

Percentage of respondents

Satisfied

Very Satisfied

2015

96.7%

80.1%

2014

97.8%

90.7%

2012/2013

97.7%

78.5%

2011

93.4%

67.6%

 

Pro-Enterprise Ranking (PER) Survey 2015 Results

The PER Survey aims to measure and improve the effectiveness of current government initiatives to build a pro-enterprise regulatory environment in Singapore. It is commissioned by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and involved a total of 28 agencies.

Singapore Customs was ranked seventh out of the 28 government agencies in the 2015 PER Survey. The PER Survey measures five components and the scores for all five components are as follows:

Components

2012

2014

2015

Compliance Cost

84.16

92.16

87.6

Review of Rules

84.3

92.8

89.9

Transparency

87.5

94.1

87.9

Customer Responsiveness

84.3

93.5

87.7

Pro-enterprise Orientation

82.6

88.5

84.0

 

Your Compliments

We are delighted to know that you are happy with our service and facilitation from the many compliments we have received from you. Thank you for the compliments, which spur us on to further improve our service to you.

“Customs is professional in projecting themselves, know their role, able to answer questions and have good product knowledge.”

“Good dialogue sessions. Gathers feedback from companies to improve.”

“Our submission is attended to and whenever we call officers are there to help us.”

“Response time is fast with regard to the application of document and feedback.”

“Officers are nice and very helpful. Service level improved. Pro-enterprise.”

“Account Manager is well informed, updated and tailored to our needs.”

We Heard You

We would like to thank all our survey respondents for your valuable feedback and suggestions. We have considered all the feedback submitted through the surveys and instituted changes after studying the results and feedback from the Traders' Satisfaction Survey and Pro-Enterprise Ranking Survey. A summary of our responses to some common feedback and suggestions we received is appended.

Issues

Feedback

We Heard You

Call Centre

“For the hotline, get someone to help man the lines as currently no one is picking up.”

We encourage you to search for the information you require on Singapore Customs website first. If the information required is unavailable on our website, we welcome your feedback on how we can improve the website contents to make it more comprehensive.

 

Singapore Customs regularly reviews our call centre resources and staffing to ensure optimal operations. However, due to the high call volume from 10am to 12pm, and from 3pm to 5pm, from Mondays to Fridays, it may be more difficult to reach us during these periods.

 

If we are unable to answer your calls, you are advised to call us again outside these peak periods or to leave us a voicemail and we will return the call by the next working day.

“Whenever we call the Singapore customs' call centre, it always takes very long, or we have to make a few calls before an officer answers. I would be glad if calls at the call centre can be picked up promptly.”

“Hotline is difficult to call through at times.”

Certificate of Origin (CO)

“FTA application required to key each line item description and is a daily affair, very time consuming”

Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is a legal agreement between countries to reduce or eliminate barriers to trade, and facilitate the cross border movement of goods and services between the territories of the Parties. As such, the procedure and information related to the CO application is subject to agreement between countries. Detailed information may be required by our FTA partner for the CO application as the CO pertains to granting of tariff concessions by the importing country under the specific FTA.

 

It is advisable for applicants to adhere to the declaration requirements of the specific agreement to avoid cases of rejection by the importing countries. Applicants are encouraged to refer to the overleaf notes of a Certificate of Origin (CO) and the Operational Certification Procedure (OCP) of the agreement for information on the declaration requirements.

“Customs should provide clarity on Certificate of Origin. Simplify the Back-to-back FTA Form process. Current process takes about 3 to 5 working days.”

The eligibility criteria for Back-to-back Certificate of Origin application can be found in the Operational Certification Procedure of the FTA or related circulars issued by Customs.

 

Back-to-back CO applications are typically processed within 2 working days upon receipt of the complete submission. More information about the service standard for processing back-to-back CO can be found on our Customs website.

Dialogue Sessions

“Have more regular seminars, dialogue sessions and meeting with the industry. Stay updated on the changes and listen to feedback.”

Dialogue sessions are key engagement platforms to Singapore Customs. We note the feedback and will calibrate the frequency, as per current practice, based on various factors such as the subject matter, the industry’s needs.

 

Singapore Customs currently holds dialogue sessions with licensees from the same or similar industries. We will continue to hold dialogue sessions in this manner so that the agenda for each session can be customised to companies' and industries' needs. Only for general topics are the dialogues organised with companies from different sectors.

 

We welcome industry feedback and suggestions on the topics for dialogue sessions.

“On suggestion for dialogue sessions: More regular sessions, especially if hosted by Singapore Customs, involving similar industries so that common issues pertaining to import and export can be discussed and addressed with Singapore Customs in attendance.”

“Visit forums to understand and improve the market. Have a discussion seminar according to the different market segments.”

Email Replies

“On suggestion for e-mail: Any queries should be replied within 24 hours instead of 3 working days.”

Singapore Customs seeks to continuously improve our service to our customers in accordance with our quality policy. We have earlier revised our service standard for replying emails from four to three working days. We seek your understanding that we are unable to respond immediately to all enquiries, in view of the availability of current staffing resources and the complexity of certain enquiries.

 

For simple queries, we generally reply within the same or by the next working day. For enquiries which are more complex, we may take a slightly longer time to respond to them. If we cannot fully answer your enquiry on time, we will give you an interim response to acknowledge your feedback to us.

“It will be very helpful if Customs could reply to the emails within 1 hr.”

“Response time to email is not as prompt as we expected.”

“Currently, some of the email queries are send out, but the reply is slow. I hope this can be improved.”

Information on Compliance Issues / Guidelines

“Give us more information on how to clear non-compliance.”

We strive for a high level of compliance by the trading community with Singapore’s trade and customs laws, through a multi-pronged approach of strengthening self-compliance, timely detection of violations, deterrence through effective enforcement and penalties, regular monitoring of compliance status, and risk reviews.

There are various avenues to know more about Customs compliance-related information.

Outreach is conducted to companies with high non-compliance records to share on compliance issues.

 

In addition, traders could also write-in to Customs for information/ further clarifications as required.

“Explain to businesses on compliance.”

“Provide businesses with clear and detailed descriptions for the various rules without any grey areas.”

Permit Processing Time for Controlled Items

“Controlled items to be able to get approval on public holidays and weekends.”

Singapore Customs has been working with the Competent Authorities (CAs) to streamline the permit applications containing controlled items. As certain transactions may require closer scrutiny, more time will be required by CAs to process the applications.

 

Traders are therefore advised to submit their permit application (and the supporting documents, where necessary) early so as to facilitate the processing of the application and avoid any delay in the approval process.

 

“To have someone on alternate Saturdays or all Saturday to process the permit. As we are a medicine company, it is very important and urgent to have the medicine reach us on time. Have a system in place and consider case by case basis”

“Certain cargo requires a few agencies to approve. For example, AVA, SCDF. When it comes to these cargoes, approval time can be very long and some agencies operate strictly during office hours. These cargos need manual and not system approval. If we miss the office hours, we will have to wait for the next working day, making the process long.”

Strategic Goods Control Act

“Align the acts in line with EU and US regulation requirements.”

Singapore Customs continuously reviews and enhances our strategic goods control system to prevent the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction or their delivery systems. As there is currently no international standards on strategic goods control, the export control requirements of countries and the manner in which each export control system is administered may differ. Singapore will continue to study best practices of other countries’ systems when refining our systems.

 

Singapore’s strategic goods control list is based on the Wassenaar Arrangement’s Munitions List and the European Union’s Dual-Use List, which is an amalgamation of the lists of the 4 multilateral export control regimes, namely, the Australia Group, Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime and Wassenaar Arrangement. Singapore Customs will continue to work with our stakeholders to ensure timely updates to our strategic goods control list.

 

We welcome industry feedback and suggestions on ways to improve Singapore’s strategic goods control system, including details such as current industry practices, impact of existing measures on your businesses, and how the suggested improvements to Singapore’s system would help in your businesses.

“Only certain regulation updates follow US and EU laws, update more regularly with accordance to the respective laws."

“Improve on Strategic Goods Control Act.”

“The export regulation for strategic control goods needs to be endorsed quicker. The current EU list.”

Website

“There is a vast amount of information on the customs website and we are frustrated to find the information needed at times."

We are committed to providing excellent service and have recently revamped our website. The new website was launched in Dec 2015 to make it more user-friendly and informative for traders and travellers.

 

Feedback for the new website was solicited from members of public, as well as selected traders and travellers [through Focus Group Discussions (FGDs)]. FGD participants also participated in a series of usability tests, during which they were given a chance to navigate around a new prototype website developed based on feedback and suggestions we received on how the website can be improved.

 

We hope that members of public will find it easier to navigate the new website and search for information.

“Not really a suggestion, but to search the particular information or procedure in Customs' website is somewhat difficult. The information needed may need a lot of clicks on the links to locate.”

“Provide proper segregation of the information for businesses and travellers. Currently, the site is so difficult to navigate and search for relevant information.”