To help you import into Singapore with the necessary supporting documents for customs clearance, this article will provide the following information:
Importance of Proper Documentation
The purpose of customs clearance is to ensure that all applicable import duties and taxes are paid and that goods comply with all relevant regulations. To clear customs, you must provide detailed information about the shipment, including its value, origin, destination, and contents.
In this way, it is essential to complete customs clearance documents correctly, as improper completion of documents can result in delays at customs or, in some cases, goods being sent back to the sender. You could also be suspected of deliberately withholding vital information, leading to fines depending on the destination country.
Documents for Customs Clearance of Goods into Singapore
This section outlines the mandatory documents and other supporting documents required for importing goods into Singapore, depending on the importing mode. The following information has been lifted from Singapore Customs.
Four mandatory documents are required for importing goods into Singapore. The table below summarises the compulsory documents required as well as where you may acquire them:
|Original Airway Bill / Bill of Lading
|Import Permit / CCP
|Licensed declaring agent
Documents required for containerised cargo
For containerised cargo, the container and shipper seal numbers must be declared when applying for the customs permit.
- Importing by sea: You are not required to present the customs permit and supporting documents to the checkpoint officers at entry points.
- Importing by air or land: You must produce the printed copy of the customs permit and the other mandatory documents highlighted in the table above to the checkpoint officers at the time of cargo clearance for verification.
Documents required for conventional cargo & hand-carried goods
For conventional cargo and hand-carried goods, you should present both the goods and the mandatory documents highlighted in the table above to the checkpoint officers at the entry points for verification.
For a consignment that requires a partial clearance, the same customs permit should be presented each time for endorsement till the whole consignment is completely cleared. Note that partial clearance for goods brought in via Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints is prohibited.
Documents required for cargo clearance of air imports granted GST relief at Changi Airfreight Centre Checkpoint
GST relief and permit waiver is granted on non-controlled and non-dutiable air and post imports with a total Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value not exceeding $400.00.
To facilitate the cargo clearance of such air courier consignments at the Changi Airfreight Centre (CAC) Checkpoint, you are allowed to use a summary list, together with the commercial invoice and House Airway Bill (HAWB) for each consignment with a CIF value not exceeding $400.00 containing only non-controlled and non-dutiable items.
Note that there is no GST relief for consignments imported initially by land, sea or truck-flights and subsequently presented at CAC Checkpoint, even if the CIF value does not exceed the $400.00 threshold.
The summary list for GST relief and permit waiver is to be printed on an A4-sized paper in a minimum font size of 12 and should contain the following information in English:
- Your company’s letterhead and indicated with the page number and total number of pages of the summary list;
- All items serialised and ordered alphabetically with the following information:
- corresponding parcel tracking number/ HAWB/ reference number;
- outer packing number (i.e. mailbag no);
- consignee name;
- consignee address;
- item CIF provided in S$; and
- total CIF value of all items under the same parcel tracking number/ reference number.
- An undertaking by your company (endorsed by a staff holding a managerial position or above) that:
- the parcels/consignments imported using the summary list are non-controlled, non-dutiable and valued at S$400.00 or less;
- the parcels/consignments imported did not originally enter Singapore via land or sea;
- the staff’s name, designation, signature and email contact are clearly indicated on the Letter of Undertaking; and
- the company will pay any duty/GST not paid for the goods where GST relief is not granted, including goods which were first imported via land or sea.
- Your company is to ensure that the individual parcels imported are labelled with its invoice and HAWB/consignment note.
For clearance of dutiable and controlled goods as well as goods originally imported by land, sea or truck-flights (regardless of CIF value) and other goods with CIF exceeding S$400.00, a Customs In-Payment (GST) permit is required to account for each consignment.
The individual HAWB, commercial invoices, together with the Customs permit, are to be presented to the checkpoint officer for verification.
With these documentation regulations, relying on a reliable partner is essential. That’s where Luwjistik steps in to help your business.
Step-by-Step to Importing into Singapore
DHL has published a comprehensive guide to importing goods to Singapore that we are reproducing here:
Register for a customs account
You would require an import permit before your goods can be imported into Singapore. To obtain one, you can activate a customs account by registering with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) in Singapore or an issuance agency to obtain a Unique Entity Number.
Check the classification of your goods
Next, check if your goods are categorised as controlled or restricted goods in Singapore. To check if a good is restricted, search up the description, Harmonised Systems (HS) code or Competent Authorities (CA) product code in the Singapore Customs Database.
If any goods are subjected to control, you may refer directly to the respective CAs on their licensing requirements. With a HS or CA product code, you can also calculate the duties and taxes you would be required to pay to import that particular shipment into Singapore.
Next, check if your goods are categorised as controlled or restricted goods in Singapore. To check if a good is restricted, search for the description, Harmonised Systems (HS) code or Competent Authorities (CA) product code in the Singapore Customs Database.
If any goods are subjected to control, you may refer directly to the respective CAs on their licensing requirements. With an HS or CA product code, you can also calculate the duties and taxes required to import that particular shipment into Singapore.
You can also refer to our lists of product categories with applicable custom clearance rates guidelines and the prohibited and restricted goods in Singapore.
Apply for inter-bank GIRO
For all duties, taxes, fees, penalties and other services charged by Singapore Customs, you can make payments easily by maintaining an Inter-Bank GIRO (IBG) account. If you do not have an account, create one by submitting the IBG form and mailing it to the Singapore Customs’ address.
Bear in mind that you must furnish security for the transactions for goods that are dutiable, temporarily approved for import, and used to operate in licensed premises, including warehouses and economical factories. To find out more, visit the security lodgement for more information.
Obtain your permit
Next, you must obtain a customs import permit for certain commodities. To apply, pay a fee of approximately US$2.17 and submit your application through TradeNet.
Prepare documents for cargo clearance
When preparing your shipment, having all the necessary documents would facilitate the customs clearance process and prevent any delays.
If you are importing your goods through containerised cargo into Singapore by air or land, prepare to produce all relevant permits and documents, including commercial invoices or airway bills to the customs officers for verification. This step is not applicable if you are importing by sea.
How Luwjistik Helps
Luwjistik presents several key features as logistics platform solutions to facilitate your business’s smooth transportation of goods to Singapore. To help you with the answers, you can contact our representative at email@example.com, or you can visit our website at luwjistik.com