Singapore flag Singapore: Buying and Selling

International convention and customs procedures of Singapore

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
International Economic Cooperation
Singapore is a member of the following international economic organisations: IMF, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), ICC, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Colombo Plan, Common Wealth, G-77, WTO, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Singapore click here. International organisation membership of Singapore is also outlined here.
Non Tariff Barriers
Import procedures in Singapore are very liberal. Most goods can enter the territory without any restriction. Only a few products, such as chewing gum and weapons, are banned. There is a licence system required for about 6% of the total amount of imports, which concerns fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, meat, animals, medicines, broadcasting products (automatic licences) and also some sensitive products likely to represent a risk to health or the State (non automatic licences). These licences are generally issued by International Enterprise Singapore. Some other institutions may be involved such as the Ministry of Health.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Singapore is duty free except for such products as automobiles, gasoline, tobacco and alcohol. For more details, consult the Tariff Schedule.
Customs Classification
Singapore adopts the 8-digit HS Codes in the ASEAN Harmonised Tariff Nomenclature (AHTN), which is based on the World Customs Organisation 6-digit level Harmonised System codes.
Import Procedures
All goods imported into Singapore are regulated under the Customs Act, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act and the Regulation of Imports and Exports Act.
Imported goods are subject to GST and/or duty payment. A customs permit is required to account for the import and tax payment of the goods.

Dutiable goods, which incur both GST and duty, are:
- Intoxicating liquors
- Tobacco products
- Motor vehicles
- Petroleum products

Ad valorem or specific duty rates may be applied for dutiable goods.
All other goods are non-dutiable and incur GST only. GST is levied at 7% of the CIF (cost, insurance and freight) value, which includes duties (if it is a dutiable good) and other charges, costs and expenses incidental to the sale and delivery of the goods into Singapore, whether or not shown on the invoice.

For more information, please visit the website of Singapore Customs, which also provides an importers' guide.
Importing Samples
The Temporary Import/Export Scheme (TIS) is designed to allow traders to temporarily import goods for approved purposes up to a maximum of 6 months, with suspension of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and duty (where applicable). It applies to goods entering the country temporarily for repair, stage performance, etc. Using an ATA carnet, foreign companies/exhibitors can import products into the country. For details, visit the dedicated page on the website of Singapore Customs.

To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export Controls.

For Further Information
Singapore Customs
Ministry of Trade and Industry
Singapore Trade Portal
Asia Trade Hub

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Latest Update: April 2024