Going for an overseas trip soon? Please be reminded that all goods brought into Singapore – including new items, souvenirs, gifts or food products – are subject to 7 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST).
A press statement released by the Singapore Customs on 26th May 2014, reminds all arriving travellers, which includes returning Singaporeans to familiarise themselves with Singapore’s customs regulations (available online at www.customs.gov.sg). The government agency states that it is the responsibility of travellers to make an accurate and complete declaration of the dutiable and taxable items in their possession.
Travellers who are away from Singapore for 48 hours or more can enjoy GST relief for goods bought overseas valued up to S$600. Those who are away from Singapore for less than 48 hours will receive GST relief for goods valued up to S$150.
Travellers are required to pay GST only on the value of goods that exceeds their GST relief. They should declare and pay the GST for their goods at the Customs Tax Payment Office or Self Service Tax Payment Kiosk at the checkpoints.
There is no GST relief for liquor, tobacco products, petroleum, and goods imported for commercial purposes. There is no duty-free concession for cigarettes and other tobacco products. All cigarettes, including those with the ‘SDPC’ mark, and tobacco products are subject to duty and GST when brought into Singapore.
Failure to make a declaration is an offence under the Customs Act and the GST Act.
The agency also warned that offenders may be prosecuted in court and fined up to S$10,000 or 20 times the amount of duty and GST, whichever is higher, and/or jailed for up to three years. Travellers are advised to consult Singapore Customs officers at the Tax Payment Office if they are unsure of the GST relief they are entitled to, or their duty-free allowance. Members of the public can obtain more information by calling the Singapore Customs hotline on 63552000, or emailing their queries to [email protected]
Example provided by Singapore Customs