Source: Singapore Customs Facebook page.

Woman arrested for failing to declare GST for branded handbags and accessories purchased overseas

Singapore Customs (SC) posted on its Facebook page on Wednesday, that a 25-year-old Singaporean lady was arrested at Changi Airport on 12 January for failing to declare the branded handbags and accessories she had purchased overseas for Goods and Services Tax (GST) payment.

It stated that the woman, who had arrived on a flight from Paris, had her luggage checked when she attempted to exit through the Customs Green Channel without declaring the handbags and accessories, worth more than $11,000, for GST payment.

SC said that investigations are ongoing.

The authority stressed that it is the responsibility of travellers to make an accurate and complete declaration of the taxable and dutiable 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. Under the Customs Act, any person found guilty of fraudulent evasion of GST will be liable to a fine up to 20 times the amount of tax evaded and/or be jailed for up to two years.