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Quick Understanding of Import Procedure in Singapore

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Import Procedure

To begin the import procedure, the importer must obtain a Unique Entity Number (UEN) by registering with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Alternatively, an exporter can also get the relevant UEN issuance agency to activate their Customs Account. To pay duties, GST, and other fees, importers must have an Inter-Bank GIRO (IBG) account with Singapore Customs.

Additionally, the Customs Act, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act and the Regulation of Imports and Exports Act strictly regulates all goods imported into Singapore. A customs permit is also 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

Import Documents

Import documents required for cross-border trading into Singapore, including but not limited to:

  • CIPL – Commercial invoice/Pro forma invoice or Packing List
  • International Shipping Documents – Bill of lading or air waybill 
  • Import permit

Additional Information - Specific Import Compliance

Controlled goods require proper authorisation (advance notification, license or certificate approval) from Competent Authorities before they may be imported into Singapore. Please consult the full list of controlled and prohibited goods on the website of Customs Singapore.

Nominating a Freight Forwarder or Agency to deal with import customs clearance in Singapore is highly recommended.

For more information on import procedure, please visit the website of Singapore Customs. You should also check out our latest guide on Singapore’s import and export procedure!

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