Importing Simplified: Singapore

cargo containers organized in line at port

For multinational companies shipping to a range of country partners, there is a multitude of regulations and laws to juggle to ensure full compliance and a seamless import process. I am pleased to introduce the first in an ongoing series of blogs that will focus on a particular country and the intricacies of importing to such.  

Our inaugural post spotlights Singapore. Globally, Singapore is a major leader in several economic sectors in the world and is one of the most competitive and dynamic economies. It’s no surprise that many major companies utilize the ports and the trading system of Singapore to supply their products to end customers.  Additionally, Singapore’s business-friendly approach makes this major player in the ports of the world a top logistics hub. 

To ensure the swift movement of your goods into Singapore and the surrounding nations, your business must take a few steps prior to coordinating any processes. It is critical that companies understand the rules and regulations that are in place. From there, you can develop stringent business practices for submission of all relevant and accurate data/documents that pertain to your imports.  

The Government of Singapore has released a new circular to remind companies about many of the important issues when moving goods, as well the proper record-keeping that should be in place to ensure seamless processing.  Some points of note:

  • All goods imported into Singapore are subject to the payment of GST.
  • The computation of GST payment is based on the cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) value.
  • If a customs permit is required for the importation of goods, it is the responsibility of the importer and his/her agent to ensure that all information in the permit application is true and correct.  

The circular also highlights possible 'red flag warnings' that should be front of mind for importers:

  • Items with compartments of cavities which can be used to conceal contrabands.
  • Non-existent delivery address, last-minute changes to the delivery address, etc.
  • Highly-insured shipments with low values.
  • Heavy and bulky shipments declared with low values, especially when the CIF value declared is even lower than the freight charges.
  • Luxury or high-value items declared with low values.

 

We recommend that you take a moment to review these best practices to confirm your business and customers are educated on the importing requirements.

Cargo Inspection customs

As always, should you have any questions regarding the stated practices/warnings or if you are in need of any assistance with the movement of goods in and out of Singapore, BDP International is here to help.