Hand-Carried Exports Scheme (HCES)

Effective 1 April 2009, the Hand-Carried Exports Scheme (HCES) is applicable if you wish to zero-rate your supplies to overseas customers for goods hand-carried out of Singapore via Changi International Airport.

Scope of HCES

HCES does not apply to goods hand-carried out of Singapore by:

  1. Sea;
  2. Land; or
  3. Seletar Airport.

To zero-rate the supply of goods hand-carried out of Singapore via the above routes, you must maintain all the export evidence as required in GST: Guide on Exports (840KB).

Using HCES

  1. Obtain an export permit
  2. You must take up a valid export permit (OUT Permit or Cargo Clearance Permit) via TradeNet® for the goods that will be hand-carried out of Singapore via Changi International Airport.

    This is regardless of the value and quantity of goods. You may subscribe for TradeNet® or appoint a TradeNet® declaring agent (e.g. your freight forwarder) to declare for the export permit.

  3. Present the goods for inspection at the airport
  4. The person bringing the goods out of Singapore (the carrier) must present the goods to Singapore Customs at the airport for inspection with:

    1. the valid export permit
    2. supporting invoice; and
    3. proof of intention to leave Singapore (e.g. boarding pass or confirmed air-ticket).

    Singapore Customs will endorse on the export permit if everything is in order.

    Singapore Customs will endorse on the export permit if everything is in order.

  5. Bring the goods out of Singapore
  6. The carrier must bring the goods with him in his hand-carry or check-in luggage out of Singapore within 12 hours after getting the endorsement on the export permit.

  7. Obtain the endorsed export permit
  8. To qualify for zero-rating, you must receive the endorsed export permit within 60 days from the date of supplying the goods.

  9. Maintain required documents
  10. You must maintain the following documents to support your zero-rating of the hand-carried export under the scheme:

    1. Copy of endorsed export permit;
    2. Copy of invoice/ tax invoice issued for the goods sold;
    3. A list of invoices/ tax invoices and export permits issued under the scheme; and
    4. Evidence of payment made to overseas customer for the refund of GST that was previously charged and collected from the customer at the time of sale (if you charged GST at the time of sale and subsequently made a GST refund to your customer after receiving the endorsed export permit)

    For more information, please refer to GST: Guide on Hand-Carried Exports Scheme (616KB).

Charging of GST at the Time of the Sale

You should issue an invoice/ tax invoice. Upon receipt of the endorsed export permit within 60 days from the date of sale, you should refund the GST charged (less any administrative fee imposed by you) to your overseas customer.

  1. You have received the endorsed export permit

    Reporting of Sale in GST Return:


    You should report the sale as a zero-rated supply (Box 2).

    Conditions:

    1.  Export permit is endorsed by Singapore Customs and received within 60 days from the date of your supply;
    2. You have refunded the GST to your customer; and
    3. You maintain all documents to support zero-rating under the scheme.
  2. You have not received the endorsed export permit

    Reporting of Sale in GST Return:

    1. Report the sale as standard-rated supply (Box 1); and
    2. Account for the output tax (Box 6).

    When you receive the endorsed export permit subsequently:


    You can claim back the output tax previously accounted for to IRAS. In the GST return for period which GST was refunded, you should:

    1. Report the sale as zero-rated supply (Box 2);
    2. Reduce the value of sale from "Total value of standard-rated supplies" (Box 1); and
    3. Reduce the GST refunded from "Output tax due" (Box 6).

    Conditions:

    1. Export permit is endorsed by Singapore Customs and received within 60 days from the date of your supply;
    2. You have refunded the GST to your overseas customer; and
    3. You maintain all documents to support zero-rating under the scheme.

Not Charging GST at the Time of the Sale

  1. You have received the endorsed export permit

    Reporting of Sale in GST Return:


    Report the sale as a zero-rated supply (Box 2)

    Conditions:

    1. Export permit is endorsed by Singapore Customs and received within 60 days from the date of your supply; and
    2. You maintain all documents to support zero-rating under the scheme.
  2. You have not received the endorsed export permit

    Reporting of Sale in GST Return:

    1. Report the sale as a zero-rated supply provisionally; and
    2. To maintain all documents to support zero-rating under the scheme.

    When you have not received the endorsed export permit within 60 days from the date of your supply, you should:

    1. Report the sale as standard-rate supply (Box 1); and
    2. Account for output tax using the tax fraction of 7/107.

    In situation where you had provisionally reported it as zero-rated supply, you may need to make an adjustment by filing GST F7 .

Applying for Exemption from HCES

If you are unable to present the goods to Singapore Customs for inspection due to certain commercial reasons, you may apply to be exempted from the scheme.

To apply for exemption, you should submit the application form GST F17: Application for Exemption from Hand-Carried Exports Scheme (71KB) to the Comptroller of GST.

For details, please refer to GST: Guide on Hand-Carried Exports Scheme (616KB).

The Tourist Refund Scheme is a separate scheme from Hand-Carried Exports Scheme. For more information on operating the Tourist Refund Scheme, please refer to Tourist Refund Scheme .

Tourist Refund SchemeHand-Carried Exports Scheme

This scheme is for tourists to obtain GST refund on goods that they have purchased in Singapore and brought out of Singapore via the airports or cruise terminals.

This scheme is applicable if you wish to zero-rate (i.e. charge GST at 0%) your supply to your overseas customer for goods that are hand-carried out of Singapore via Changi International Airport.

Your customer is a bona fide tourist who satisfies all eligibility criteria under the scheme.

Your customer is an overseas person who has business establishment or whose usual place of residence is outside Singapore.

For example, you should use the Hand-Carried Exports Scheme if you are selling to an overseas company.

The person bringing the goods out of Singapore must be the tourist (i.e. your customer).

The person bringing the goods out of Singapore can either be you, your overseas customer, or someone either of you have authorised (e.g. your customer's employee).

At the time of sale, you need to charge GST to your customer.

After the tourist has completed the refund request at the self-help kiosk or at Singapore Customs Inspection counter, he will be given a Notification Slip informing him of the refund status.

Tourists receive refunds by credit card, cash or bank cheques. All refunds are processed by the Central Refund Counter (CRC).

At the time of sale, you may choose to charge GST or zero-rate your supply.

If you choose to zero-rate your supply , you must obtain the export permit (endorsed by Singapore Customs) within 60 days and all required documents to support the zero-rating of your supply.

If you choose to charge GST to your overseas customer , there is no facility to obtain GST refund at Changi International Airport.

You do not need to declare any export permit.

You need to declare a valid export permit for the goods that will be hand-carried out of Singapore.

  • Who can hand-carry the goods out of Singapore under the Hand-Carried Export Scheme?

    The person bringing the goods out of Singapore (the carrier) must be 16 years old or above at the time of presenting the goods to Singapore Customs at the airport.

    He can be the supplier, the overseas customer or a person who is authorized by the supplier or the overseas customer (e.g. employee).

  • If I sell goods to a local customer who says that he will be hand-carrying the goods out of Singapore via Changi International Airport, can I zero-rate my supply to him under the Hand-Carried Exports Scheme?

    No, the Hand-Carried Exports Scheme only applies to goods that are sold to overseas customers.

    As you are selling and delivering goods to a local customer, you must charge GST on this local sale.

RATE THIS PAGE

  • Strongly Disagree
  • Strongly Agree

Information is easy to understand.

Information is useful.

Information is easy to find.

 
Please email us if you would like us to respond to your enquiries.