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For consumers (shoppers, travellers...)

If you are a tourist and buy goods in Singapore from retailers who operate the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS), you may claim a refund of the GST paid on your purchases.  Since the introduction of the TRS, the tourist refund is only available to tourists who are bringing their purchases out of Singapore via Changi International Airport or Seletar Airport within two months from the date of purchase, subject to your eligibility and conditions of the TRS.

Tourist refund is also extended to tourists who are departing from Singapore on an international cruise (excluding cruise-to-nowhere, round-trip cruise and regional ferry) that departs from the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (MBCCS) and the International Passenger Terminal at Harbourfront Centre. The final destination of the ship’s voyage must not be Singapore and where the voyage involves the ship returning to Singapore on one or more occasions, the tourists may only claim GST refund on the ship’s last departure from Singapore in that voyage.

On this page:
Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS)
Enforcement on fraudulent claims
Which retailers operate Tourist Refund Scheme?
How much refund can I receive?
How do I obtain my refund when departing Singapore?
Am I eligible for refund?
How can I qualify for tourist refund?
What goods are eligible for refund?


Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS)

IRAS has introduced the Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS) to replace the paper refund form system from 19 August 2012. eTRS, which connects multiple Central Refund Agencies and retailers on a single platform, offers the tourists a seamless and hassle-free experience when they shop in Singapore. Tourists who wish to seek a refund of GST for their purchases under the TRS, are no longer required to fill up the different refund forms issued by the participating retailers at each retail shop.

When making purchases from retailers who are on eTRS, you are strongly encouraged to choose one credit/debit card to be used as an eTRS Token for linking up all your purchases entitled for refund.  With a single credit/debit card as your eTRS Token, you will be able to retrieve all your purchases at one go when applying for your GST refund claims using the eTRS self-help kiosk at the airport or cruise terminal.  Payment can be made with any other credit/debit card or cash.

The retailer will issue an eTRS Ticket to you at the point of purchase.  If you do not use a credit/debit card as an eTRS Token, you can still use the Tickets to apply for your refund claims at the airport or cruise terminal.  Please collect your original receipt/invoice and eTRS Ticket before leaving the shop.

For more details on the conditions and refund procedures, please refer to Guide for Visitors on Tourist Refund Scheme (336KB)Tourist Tax Refund Guide  (3MB).  

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Enforcement on fraudulent claims

IRAS takes a serious view of foreigners who wilfully make false declarations to seek GST refunds under the tourist refund scheme or abuse the scheme.

The eTRS system allows IRAS to detect any unusual claim promptly. As a control measure, physical inspection of the goods may be carried out at the GST refund counter by Singapore Customs officers before a GST refund claim is approved.

IRAS may exercise its enforcement powers to seize the goods and arrest the foreigners who attempt to fraudulently claim GST refunds. IRAS works closely with Singapore Customs to uncover such criminal syndicates that attempt to defraud GST. Strong enforcement measures, including prosecution, will be taken against such offenders. When convicted, offenders have to pay a penalty of three times the amount of tax refunded, and may be fined of up to $10,000 or jailed up to seven years or  both.

See past prosecution cases where offenders were convicted for their offence.

 


Which retailers operate Tourist Refund Scheme?

The Tourist Refund Scheme is a voluntary scheme. Hence, not all retailers in Singapore operate the scheme. GST-registered retailers may choose to operate the scheme on their own or engage the services of Central Refund Agencies. Currently, there are 2 Central Refund Agencies in Singapore:

  1. Global Blue Singapore Pte Ltd

      Global Blue Retailers affiliated with this agency display "Global Blue" sign in their shops.
    Website: http://www.global-blue.com/
  2. Premier Tax Free & Fintrax Payments (Asia) Pte Ltd

    Premier Tax Free logo Retailers affiliated with this agency display "Premier Tax Free" sign in their shops.
    Website: http://www.premiertaxfree.com/

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How much refund can I receive?

The actual amount refunded to you may be lesser than the GST you have paid on your purchases due to the deduction of a handling fee for the refund service charged by the Retailer/Central Refund Agency/operator of Central Refund Counter.  The details of charges will be shown on the eTRS Tickets issued to you.

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How do I obtain my refund when departing Singapore?

If you have bulky goods or goods to be checked-in, please apply for your GST refund at the designated GST refund area in the Departure Check-in Hall before you check-in your purchases. For high value goods or goods that can be hand-carried, please apply for your GST refund in the Departure Transit Lounge (after Departure Immigration).  It is important for you to arrive at the airport and cruise terminal early to allow sufficient time for processing of your GST refund and inspection of goods.

Please proceed to the eTRS self-help kiosk to apply for your GST refund.  At the kiosk, you will be asked to:

  • Declare your eligibility and acceptance of the TRS conditions;
  • Swipe your passport to retrieve the necessary details;
  • Swipe your credit/debit card that you assigned as a Token to retrieve all your purchases details. Alternatively, you may scan the barcode of the eTRS Tickets individually to retrieve the purchases details
  • Verify and select your purchases which you are entitled to claim a refund on;
  • Select your refund options.  For departure via Changi International Airport, the refund will be made to you by either credit card or cash. For departure via Seletar Airport, Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore or International Passenger Terminal at Harbourfront Centre, the refund will be made to you by either credit card or bank cheque.
  • Collect the Notification Slip issued by the kiosk. Please check the status of your refund and instructions printed on the notification slip.  If physical inspection of the goods is required, please present your purchases, together with the original invoices/receipts, eTRS Tickets and your boarding pass/confirmed air ticket/confirmation slip showing the cruise itinerary to Customs Inspection counter for approval.
  • For credit card refund, the approved refund amount will be credited to the specified credit card within 10 days.  For cash refund at Changi International Airport, you may proceed to the Central Refund Counter (CRC) in the Departure Transit Lounge (after Departure Immigration) with the approved Notification Slip to collect your cash.
  • If you have chosen bank cheque refund, you have to complete your particulars such as payee name and mailing address on the approved Notification slip and drop the slip into the designated cheque refund box provided. The bank cheque will be mailed to you 14 days from the date of deposit of the approved notification slip into the designated box.

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Am I eligible for refund?

To be eligible for GST refund, you must be a tourist. You have to meet the following criteria:

  • you are not a Singapore citizen or permanent resident;
  • you spend 365 days or less in Singapore in the last 24 months before the date of purchase;
  • you have not been, at any time, employed in Singapore in the past 6 months before the date of purchase;
  • you are not a member of the crew of the aircraft or ship on which you are departing from Singapore; and
  • you are 16 years of age or above at the time of purchase.
  • if you are a student pass holder, you must have purchase the goods in the last 4 months before the expiry of your student pass. 

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How can I qualify for tourist refund?

You may qualify for tourist refund if the following conditions are satisfied:

  • Spend at least SGD100 (including GST). You may accumulate up to 3 same-day invoices/receipts from retailers bearing the same GST registration number to meet this minimum purchase amount;
  • Apply for your GST refund using the Token or eTRS Tickets at the eTRS self-help kiosk at the airport or cruise terminal;
  • Depart with the goods via Changi International Airport Departure Hall/ Seletar Airport Passenger Terminal/ Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore/ International Passenger Terminal at Harbourfront Centre within 2 months from the date of purchase;
  • If you are departing on an international cruise (excluding cruises-to-nowhere, round-trip cruise and regional ferry) from the cruise terminal, you must:
    -  declare that you are exiting Singapore and will not return via the same voyage on the same ship, using your cruise itinerary as documentary proof of your departure; and
    -  commit that you will not be returning to Singapore within 48 hours;
  • Depart with the goods within 12 hours after obtaining approval of your GST refund;
  • Claim the refund from the approved central refund counter operator within 2 months from the date of approval of the application; and
  • If you are a student pass holder, you must have fulfilled all the above criteria, purchased the goods in the last 4 months before student pass expiry date and intend to depart with the goods and remain outside Singapore for a minimum period of 12 months


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What goods are eligible for refund?

All goods on which GST is charged are eligible for refund except:

  • Goods wholly or partly consumed in Singapore
  • Goods exported for business or commercial purposes
  • Goods that will be exported by freight
  • Accommodation in a hotel, hostel, boarding house, or similar establishments

Services are not eligible for GST refund under the Tourist Refund Scheme. 
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Last Updated on 24 July 2014


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