The process of exporting goods from China to Singapore can be a rather perplexing endeavor. To begin with, if you want to import goods into Singapore, you must make a declaration to Singapore Customs.
This declaration is regulated under the Customs Act, the Goods and Services Tax known as the GST and the Regulation of Imports and Exports Acts. The customs value equals the CIF cost (Cost, Insurance and Freight), which includes the product cost, transportation insurance, and transportation cost. Imported goods are subject to both GST and/or duty payment. There are two categories of goods: dutiable and non-dutiable.
Dutiable goods include intoxicating liquors, tobacco products, motor vehicles, and petroleum products. They are subject to both GST and duty, with specific duty rates applied for these goods. Many products imported from China to Singapore are subject to Import duties, calculated based on the customs value.
Non-dutiable goods are only subject to a GST that equals 7% of the CIF cost. A customs permit is needed to justify the import and tax payment of the goods. If the goods you want to import are rather restricted or prohibited, you will have to follow the steps below to obtain the relevant import permits and authorisation from the competent authorities.
Firstly, you will need to register for a Unique Entity Number (UEN) with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority and activate your customs account. Secondly, you must ensure that the products are importable into Singapore, which can be checked through Singapore’s list of prohibited and restricted items. Thirdly, if the item you want to import is subject to control, the name of the competent authority will be indicated on the second column of the table of the aforesaid link. This will help you determine whether an import permit is needed or not for the importation of your goods.
After having ensured that your goods can effectively be imported, you will have to classify the goods you want to import into Singapore. This involves determining the 10-digit tariff classification number based on the Harmonized System Code of each item you import. The tariff clarification number and the certificate of origin are both used to determine the rate of duty you would have to pay when importing. Please note that you or your declaring agent has to pay the duties, taxes and fees with an Inter-Bank GIRO.
For this, you shall permit your declaring agent to use your IBG for the payment of duties and GST for your customs permit right after the approval of your IBG application. If you do not hold an IBG with Singapore Customs, the duties and GST will be deducted from your Declaring Agent’s IBG. Lastly, you or the agent that you have declared for helping you in this process can apply for an import permit. If you decide to do it by yourself, you will have to register as a declaring agent and apply for a TradeNet used ID. It usually costs S$2.88 if you are the applicant. For more information on to register as a declarant agent, please check here: Register as Decl
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