Ultimate Guide to Customs HS Codes in Singapore

What is the HS Code in Singapore

HS Codes, or Harmonized System Codes, are a standardised classification system for products used in international trade.

Singapore Customs uses the 8-digit ASEAN Harmonised Tariff Nomenclature (AHTN) HS Code system. This is based on the HS Code global standard developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO).

In Singapore, HS Codes serve several essential functions:

  1. Customs Declaration: Importers and exporters in Singapore use HS Codes when filing customs declarations. The code specifies the type of goods being imported or exported, which helps customs authorities apply the appropriate duties, taxes, and regulations.
  2. Tariff and Duty Calculation: HS Codes are essential for determining the applicable customs duties, taxes, and trade regulations for specific products. The Singapore Customs Department uses these codes to ensure the correct tariffs are applied.
  3. Trade Statistics: Singapore, like other countries, uses HS Codes to compile trade statistics. These statistics are valuable for tracking the volume and value of imports and exports and for analysing trade trends.
  4. Trade Policy and Regulations: The government and trade authorities in Singapore use HS Codes to establish and adjust trade policies, regulations, and trade agreements. The classification system helps ensure compliance with international trade agreements and standards.
  5. Risk Assessment and Control: Customs authorities may use HS Codes to assess the potential risks associated with imported or exported goods. This can include evaluating goods for security or safety concerns.

How to Find HS Codes in Singapore

The Singapore Customs website provides access to the Singapore Trade Classification, Customs and Excise Duties (STCCED) system, which helps importers find the correct HS code.

Importers must accurately determine the appropriate HS code for the goods they intend to import. The classification should reflect the product’s key characteristics and intended use.

Types of Goods Subject to Import Tariffs in Singapore

While many goods in Singapore are subject to low or zero tariffs, specific categories of goods may be subject to import duties.

  1. General Goods

Singapore’s standard tariff rates for most goods are relatively low. These rates can vary slightly depending on the country of origin and the type of goods.

Most consumer goods, electronics, and textiles fall under this category. For these goods, the tariff rates are typically low or non-existent.

  1. Alcohol and Tobacco

Higher tariffs are typically applied to alcoholic beverages and tobacco products to discourage excessive consumption and generate revenue.

The tariff rates for alcoholic beverages vary widely based on alcohol content and packaging. For instance, wine may have a tariff rate ranging from 70% to 150% of the customs value, while spirits may face higher rates, often exceeding 200%.

Import tariffs on tobacco products can be significant. The rates can range from 50% to 220% of the customs value, depending on the type and quantity of tobacco products.

  1. Motor Vehicles

Import tariffs on motor vehicles, including cars and motorcycles, can be relatively high, especially for luxury cars.

The tariff rates for motor vehicles can vary significantly based on engine capacity, type, and country of origin. Rates may range from 20% to 100% or more of the customs value.

  1. Petroleum Products

Singapore imposes excise duties on petroleum products, including gasoline and diesel. These excise duties are not ad valorem but are specific rates per litre of fuel. The aim is to regulate consumption and generate revenue from the sale of these products.

The excise duties for petroleum products can vary based on factors such as the type of fuel and its intended use. Rates are often adjusted in response to global oil price fluctuations.

  1. Controlled and Restricted Items

Some goods are subject to specific regulations and may require permits or face higher tariffs to control their importation.

Controlled and restricted items include chemicals, pharmaceuticals, firearms, and certain agricultural products. The tariffs and regulations for these items can vary widely depending on their nature and intended use.

Types of Goods Exempt from Import Tariffs in Singapore

Singapore promotes free trade, and many goods are typically not subject to import tariffs.

  1. Raw Materials and Industrial Inputs

Singapore recognises the importance of low production costs to maintain its competitiveness as a manufacturing and processing hub. Therefore, many raw materials and industrial inputs are exempt from import tariffs. This policy supports various industries, including electronics manufacturing, petrochemicals, and pharmaceuticals.

  1. Machinery and Equipment

Singapore generally exempts machinery and equipment used for industrial or manufacturing purposes from import tariffs to encourage investments in technology and automation. This policy helps businesses modernise their operations and stay competitive.

  1. Agricultural and Food Products

As a global trade and logistics centre, Singapore relies heavily on imports to meet its food and agricultural needs. Many agricultural and food products are exempt from import tariffs to ensure a stable food supply and competitive consumer prices.

  1. Pharmaceuticals and Medical Supplies

Pharmaceuticals and medical supplies that are essential for healthcare and public well-being are exempt from import tariffs to ensure access to a wide range of healthcare products and promote public health.

  1. Books and Educational Materials

Singapore places a high value on education and knowledge. Books and educational materials are generally exempt from import tariffs to support educational institutions and promote access to learning materials.

  1. Environmental and Renewable Energy Technologies

Singapore is increasingly focusing on sustainability and green initiatives. Many related products are exempt from import tariffs to encourage the adoption of environmentally friendly technologies and renewable energy solutions.

  1. Goods for Re-Export

Singapore’s role as a global trading hub is further enhanced by its policies regarding goods imported solely for re-export. These goods are often not subject to import tariffs, as their intended destination is outside Singapore.

  1. Goods Covered by Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)

Singapore has entered various FTAs and economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with other countries and regions. These agreements often provide preferential tariff rates or even duty-free access to Singapore’s market for goods from FTA or EPA partner countries.

  1. Personal Effects and Household Goods

Individuals moving to Singapore or returning residents can bring personal effects and household goods without paying import tariffs. This policy supports individuals relocating to the country.

  1. Art and Cultural Items

To promote cultural exchange and the arts, Singapore may exempt some art and cultural items from import tariffs for exhibition or artistic purposes.

How Luwjistik Helps

Luwjistik presents a cutting-edge logistics platform to enhance operational efficiency and foster collaboration among businesses and a network of service providers. It offers a holistic solution that streamlines your decision-making process regarding customs tariff calculations, including duties and taxes, ensuring a smooth clearance procedure.

Here’s how Luwjistik can be of assistance:

  • Marketplace Access
    • Gain entry to a network of reliable partners, which includes customs brokers spanning 22 countries who are experts in HS Codes and other customs processes. These brokers assist in deciphering customs tariffs, granting you access to their expertise for accurate product classifications and trade regulations.
  • L-Freight Tool
    • This tool simplifies customs procedures through document submission and tracking. It guarantees precise and transparent customs declarations, minimising the potential for tariff documentation errors. Additionally, it allows real-time monitoring of your shipments, including customs clearance status.
  • Node Calculator
    • A comprehensive tool that aids businesses in navigating customs tariffs and enhancing supply chain operations. With the proper HS Code identification, it breaks down costs at each stage of the supply chain, providing transparency and empowering you to make well-informed decisions.

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