Shipping & Mail Forwarding to Singapore

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GENERAL IMPORT CLEARANCE INFORMATION

Clearance Process
For specific approved ports of clearance please contact Customs & Excise Department (CED) #10-01, 55 Newhon Road, Revenue House , 5 Maxwell Road, Singapore 307897, Fax : 250 8663.

Working with Customs officials throughout the world, FedEx has developed innovative technology to eliminate many paperwork-handling steps and expedite the movement of international shipments. This is the FedEx Expressclear Electronic Customs Clearance System. Starting at the origin, state-of-the-art technology allows the processing of shipment paperwork and electronic transmission of documents to the designated FedEx hub and destination clearance location. The Expressclear system also keeps a database of regulatory information which includes importers numbers, broker designation, corporate contact names and telephone numbers. At a FedEx hub, international shipments are sorted, scanned and loaded onto an international flight. Vital shipment information is keyed into a worldwide manifest database, which is linked to computer systems operated by brokers and Customs officials in many countries. Even before the plane has taken off, or while it is in the air, Customs agents and brokers at the destination airport of entry can begin examining shipping manifests, querying air waybill data if they need more details, assessing duties and taxes and selecting which shipments they wish to examine. By the time the plane arrives at his destination, many packages have already been cleared by Customs. As the plane is unloaded, the Expressclear system identifies packages to be examined and prints "cleared" Customs labels for all others. Cleared shipments can be transferred to trucks for immediate delivery. International shipments are scanned at all key points throughout the process and allows for up-to-date status reports including when Customs clearance is obtained.


 



Document Requirements
Bill of Lading/Airway Bill

A bill of lading/ airway bill serves as the transportation authorization that allows the exporter to designate a carrier or agent to transport goods. The bill of lading/airway bill usually indicates the following information: name and address of the shipper, name and address of the consignee, port of destination, description of goods, listing of freight and other charges, numbers of bills of lading in full set, and date and signature of the carrier's official acknowledge receipt on board of goods for shipment. The information should correspond with that appearing on the invoices and packages. Freight charges must be states separately. The airway bill replaces the bill of lading on air cargo shipments.

Certificate of Origin


A Certificate of Origin, (COO) is sometimes requested for verification / certification of the country of origin of certain commodities. There are many types of certificate of origin in use, in most cases where trade preference is not being requested a General Certificate of Origin is used. For qualifying shipments to ASEAN countries the Form D ASEAN Certificate of Origin should be used in order to qualify for trade preference (less or zero duty based on commodity shipped.

Regardless of the type of certificate of origin used, it must be certified by a recognized chamber of commerce, which usually requires one additional notarized copy for its files.

 

Commercial Invoice

Commercial Invoices - Invoices are required for all shipments non-document commercial goods regardless of the value. Invoices should show freight, insurance and similar charges as separate items when applicable, regardless of the INCOTERM used on the transaction.

 



Customs Valuation
In Singapore, valuation for Customs purposes is based on the Brussels Definition of Value (BDV). The basic principle of the BDV is that dutiable value is the normal price or import price of goods at the port or place of importation. It pre-supposes that the sale has taken place in the open market between an independent buyer and seller. Where goods are dutiable, ad valorem or specific rates may be applied. An ad valorem rate, which is the most commonly applied, is a percentage of the assessed value of the imported goods. A specific rate is a particular amount per unit of weight or other quantity. Cost, insurance, freight, (CIF) handling charges and all other charges incidental to the sale and delivery of the goods are taken into account when duty is assessed. Exporters are required to ensure that the declared values of goods for Customs purposes are correct. If the goods have been undervalued, the Customs and Excise Department will increase the values declared. Severe penalties may be imposed on traders attempting to evade duty.

 



Import Duties
More than 98 per cent of tariff lines (commodities) are imported duty free. Where goods are dutiable, Cost, insurance, freight, (CIF) handling and all other charges incidental to the sale and delivery of the goods are taken into account when duty is assessed. Exporters are required to ensure that the declared values of goods for Customs purposes are correct. If the goods have been undervalued, the Customs and Excise Department will increase the values declared. Severe penalties may be imposed on traders attempting to evade duty and tax. Only 2% of goods imported into Singapore in accordance with the Schedule to the Singapore Customs Duties Order are subject to Customs duty. Currently dutiable products are categorized into these 4 general groupings; liquor, tobacco, petroleum products and motor vehicles. Singapore has substantial domestic taxes and fees on motor vehicles. In addition to the duties, these charges include a certificate of entitlement, registration fee and a road tax.

Where the goods are dutiable, ad valorem or specific rates may be assessed against qualifying goods. A specific rate is a specified amount per unit of weight or other quantity such as $130 per Kg applied. An ad valorem rate is a percentage of duty based on the assessed value of the shipment. In the case of dutiable goods such as liquors, tobacco, motor vehicles and petroleum products GST, normal and excise duty may be applied to the shipment.

Please note that if the goods are dutiable, the 7% GST will be collected simultaneously with the Customs duty. GST will be applied to the total CIF value of the goods, plus normal duty, effective July 1, 2007. Please be aware that an additional fee of 1% can be levied in addition to duties and taxes to cover administrative fees incurred by the clearance agent.

 



Antidumping

Anti-dumping Duty is assessed on certain commodities based on the country of manufacture. Currently this type of additional duty is only being assessed on specific steel products manufactured in Malaysia and Turkey.



Excise Duties
There is no excise duty for goods imported into Singapore. 



Additional Duties



Import Taxes

All imports into Singapore are subject to Goods & Services Tax (GST) at the current rate of 5% of the CIF value of the goods. Cost, insurance, freight, (CIF) handling charges and all other charges incidental to the sale and delivery of the goods, are taken into account when GST is assessed. Exporters are required to ensure that the declared values of goods for Customs purposes are correct. If the goods have been undervalued, the Customs and Excise Department will increase the values declared. Severe penalties may be imposed on traders attempting to evade duty and tax.



Customs Fees
There are no customs fees for goods imported into Singapore. 



Exchange Controls
There are no foreign exchange controls.

 



Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT's)
Singapore has very few trade barriers. There are restrictions in a few sectors, including legal services, banking services, some telecommunications services, professional engineering services and trade in tobacco products. However, the Government is slowly allowing more freedom for market forces in the economy, as can be seen in its plan to privatize the telecommunications and public utilities industries. It has also announced that it will relax its regulations on professional engineering services. In the area of Intellectual property rights, the Singapore Government does have laws to protect against piracy and copyright infringement, but it relies on the private sector to take the lead against transgressors. In general, Singapore maintains one of the most liberal trading regimes in  the world.



Consular Fees
There are no consular fees for Singapore.



Import Clearance Process
(For exporters shipping goods to Singapore and for residents and businesses importing goods from other countries).

Singapore offers a free and fair trade policy to the world. Other than a Goods & Services Tax (GST) currently 7%, effective July 1, 2007, for imports of goods, very few goods are dutiable or under control. You may import and export goods in and out of Singapore freely. To facilitate trade, the International Enterprise Singapore (IES) has created simplified import and export procedures under which most customs clearance is done electronically. Trade documents are speedily processed through TradeNet - an electronic data interchange (EDI) system as a result most shipments when processed electronically, are released within 1-2 hours. Those shipments that require manual clearance can usually be processed via TradeNet usually within 4 hours. There are two types of entry processes used in Singapore, Formal (dutiable) and Informal (non-dutiable or duty free) entry. The type of entry that applies is determined by the commodity, value of the merchandise does not affect the type of entry that is to be used for the shipment. Informal (non-dutiable or duty free) entry is the most common type of entry used for customs clearance.

Formal (dutiable) entry is required only when those articles that are controlled commodities and require issuance of a permit or license as a condition of entry. The dutiable products are liquor, tobacco, petroleum products and motor vehicles. Singapore has substantial domestic taxes and fees on motor vehicles. In addition to the normal duties and excise duties, these charges include a certificate of entitlement, registration fee and a road tax.

Traders have to use TradeNet to submit their permit applications electronically to government bodies such as TDB, Customs & Excise Department and other competent authorities for processing and approval. If the application is approved, the permit will be issued electronically to the applicant within the time frames noted above. Once the shipment is approved and permit is authorized it is valid for:

  • One month from the date of approval for manual permits
  • One month from the date of approval for "IG" non-GST payment permits
  • 14 days for "IG" GST payment permit (unless otherwise specified to the importer within the conditions of the permit issued).
Separate applications are required for:

  • Non-dutiable, non-controlled goods
  • Non-dutiable, controlled goods (subject to one competent authority in one application)
  • Dutiable and non-dutiable goods
  • One Ocean B/L or one Master AWB (for direct consignments)
  • One House B/L or One House AWB (for consolidated shipments)
  • Different types of trade within the same consignment
  • Different countries of origin within the same consignment
  • Used personal effects and commercial goods within the same consignment
FedEx Singapore uses TradeNet for processing of all imports and exports, regardless of value.

Companies must make an inward declaration for all goods imported into Singapore. Most goods can be imported freely without licenses.

The import of a few items is prohibited:

piezo-electric lighters for stoves and ranges
pocket lighters, gas fuelled, non-refillable lighters
lighters in the shape of pistols or revolvers
toy currency notes
toy coins
flick knives, switch-blades
firecrackers
horns of rhinoceros, powder and waste of rhinoceros
worked rhinoceros horns
Health Supplements- (a) = N-Acetylcysteine, Yohimbine, Vinpocetine Dehydroepiandrosterone, Deanol and Anabolic Steroidal Substance

Generally, the import of goods which the government says pose a threat to health, security, safety and social decency are controlled. Import licenses are required for pharmaceuticals, hazardous chemicals, films, arms and ammunition. Companies that want to import controlled items into Singapore must apply for licenses from the appropriate government agencies.

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