Consumers Importing Goods into Singapore

Goods that are imported into Singapore by parcel post through ordinary mail or Speedpost (e.g. for goods that are purchased online) are subject to GST. This applies to all new articles, personal articles, souvenirs, gifts, food preparations and dutiable products.

GST on Imported Goods

The amount of GST payable is computed based on the CIF value (cost, insurance and freight) of the goods plus all duties payable. The postage paid for the goods can be taken as freight and insurance charges.

However, GST need not be paid for goods (except for dutiable products) with CIF value of not more than $400.

Where the CIF value is more than $400, the entire sum will be subject to GST.

The table below explains when GST is to be paid and when it does not need to be paid:

Total Value of GoodsDo I need to pay GST?
$200No. The CIF value is not more than $400.
$450Yes. The CIF value is more than $400. GST payable = $450 X 7% = $31.50

For more information, please visit Singapore Customs' webpage on internet purchases/postal parcels . You may also contact Singapore Customs on +65 6355 2000.

Applying for GST Refund

You can apply for a GST refund in writing if there has been an overpayment of GST (e.g. wrong value declared, items short-shipped, parcel eligible for GST relief, returned faulty goods, etc.)

  1. Parcel post imported via courier service companies (DHL, FedEx, UPS & TNT)
  2. The importer can apply for a refund directly through the courier service company.

  3. Parcel post imported with TradeNet permits
  4. The importer can apply for a refund through the declaring agent of the permit via an online submission of refund application through the TradeNet system.

  5. Parcel post imported through ordinary mail or Speedpost
    1. If the parcels are delivered by Singapore Post, the importer can apply for a refund through Singapore Post or contact Singapore Post on 1605.
    2. If the GST was paid at the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) counter at the Singapore Post Centre, the importer can apply for a refund directly from Singapore Customs.

For more information on the refund procedures and supporting documents needed, please visit Singapore Customs' webpage on refund of duty and/or GST or contact Singapore Customs' Procedures and Systems Branch (Refund Unit) on +65 6355 2103.

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