Purchasing imported low-value goods

From 1 Jan 2023, GST will apply to imported low-value goods purchased by consumers in Singapore from GST-registered suppliers.

GST on imported low-value goods

From 1 Jan 2023, if you are a consumer in Singapore, you will need to pay GST on goods valued at S$400 or below (“low-value goods”), which are imported into Singapore via air or post (“imported low-value goods”) and purchased from GST-registered suppliers.

Currently, low-value goods which are procured locally are subject to GST, while the same goods which are procured from overseas and imported via air or post are not. The change, announced in Budget 2021, is intended to achieve a level playing field in GST treatment for all goods consumed in Singapore, whether procured locally or from overseas.

There is no change to the GST treatment for goods imported via sea or land as well as goods valued above S$400 which are imported via air or post. You will need to pay GST at the point of importation of such goods.

From 1 Jan 2023, you will also need to pay GST on supplies of imported non-digital services purchased from GST-registered overseas service providers. Digital services which are currently subject to GST will remain taxable. This means that all supplies of imported services, whether digital or non-digital, which can be supplied and received remotely (i.e. known as “remote services”), will be subject to GST.

 

 

When is GST payable

With effect from 1 Jan 2023, GST is payable when you purchase imported low-value goods from GST-registered local and overseas suppliers.

Imported low-value goods are goods that are valued at S$400 or below and imported into Singapore via air or post. 

Examples of low-value goods purchases 

The following examples illustrate how the GST change may affect you as a consumer.

Example 1: 

Mr. Sim purchases a headset for S$240 (inclusive of shipping fees) from an overseas supplier, through the marketplace of Company A, a local electronic marketplace operator. The headset is shipped from the United Kingdom and imported into Singapore via air. 

Before 1 Jan 2023, no GST is payable on such purchases. However, from 1 Jan 2023, as Company A is GST-registered, GST is payable on Mr. Sim’s purchase of headset through Company A’s marketplace. Company A will be required to pay the GST collected to IRAS. 

Example 2: 

Angie orders a shirt for S$40 from an overseas fashion retailer, Company B. The shirt is shipped from Australia and imported into Singapore via post. 

As Company B is registered for GST with effect from 1 Jan 2023, Company B will charge Angie with GST on her purchase of the shirt. Company B will be required to pay the GST collected to IRAS. 

Example 3: 

Mark wishes to purchase a pair of sneakers for S$300 from a seller located in the United States (“US”). However, as the US seller does not offer shipping to Singapore, Mark uses the services of a local redeliverer, Company C.  

Company C provides Mark with a US forwarding address. When placing an order for the sneakers, Mark instructs the US seller to deliver the goods to the overseas forwarding address. When the goods arrive at the overseas forwarding address, Company C would then arrange to ship the goods to Singapore via air and deliver the goods to Mark. 

Assuming Company C is registered for GST with effect from 1 Jan 2023, Company C will charge GST to Mark on his purchase and any shipping and/or administrative fees charged by Company C, as follows: 

Sneakers (excluding GST): S$300 

Shipping and administrative fees (excluding GST): S$15 

Total GST payable: S$22.05

Company C will be required to pay the GST of S$22.05 collected to IRAS.