GST Relief for Importation of Medicinal Products and Therapeutic Products for Clinical Trials

Generally, all goods imported into Singapore are subject to GST. GST relief is however granted for medicinal products (including pharmaceutical products) imported into Singapore so long as they are for local clinical trials, re-export for overseas trials, or destruction/ disposal. Under the relief, no import GST is payable upfront on the importation of such products. This relieves affected businesses of irrecoverable import GST costs as well as to ease compliance.

New!

From 1 Nov 2016, pharmaceutical products will be known as "therapeutic products" and be regulated under the Health Products Act ("HPA"). For other types of medical products, they will continue to be regulated under the Medicines Act. Notwithstanding this change, GST relief will continue to apply to: 

a. Medicinal products and therapeutic products imported into Singapore for use in local regulated clinical trials;

b. Therapeutic products imported for re-export for overseas clinical trials; and

c. Medicinal products and therapeutic products imported for destruction/disposal in Singapore.

For more details on the GST relief, please refer to Singapore Customs' website (www.customs.gov.sg).

Enhanced Approved Contract Manufacturer and Trader (ACMT) Scheme

As a contract manufacturer, you may:

  1. Invoice your overseas client for your supply of value added services, where the goods you have treated/ processed may be exported, delivered or destroyed locally based on the overseas client's instructions; and/or
  2. Receive goods (for example, raw materials) consigned to you by your overseas client for use in the treatment/ process. These goods may be imported into Singapore or purchased locally by your overseas client.

From 1 Oct 2011, you may apply for the ACMT scheme if you are a contract manufacturer of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) in the biomedical industry to enjoy a range of benefits.

These benefits include relief on accounting for GST on the value added services supplied to your overseas client, where the goods you treat/process are delivered or destroyed locally.

You will also be able to recover GST incurred on goods consigned to you by your overseas client for use in the treatment/ process.

Contract manufacturers in other business segments in the biomedical industry will be considered for the ACMT scheme on a case-by-case basis.

Prior to 1 Oct 2011, you must charge GST on the supply of value added service to your overseas client, where the goods you treat/process are delivered or destroyed locally.

You are also not entitled to claim as your input tax, GST incurred by your overseas client on the goods consigned to you. This is regardless of whether the goods are imported or purchased locally.

For more information on how the ACMT scheme works and GST reporting requirements, please refer to GST: Approved Contract Manufacturer and Trader (ACMT) Scheme (528KB).

GST Treatment for Specific Supplies in the Biomedical Industry

The GST Guide for the Biomedical Industry (435KB) clarifies the GST treatment for common scenarios and issues in the biomedical industry (such as taxability of research grants and zero-rating of research services) based on existing GST rules.

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