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) at the point of importation 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 goods||Do I need to pay GST?|
|$200||No. The CIF value is not more than $400.|
|$450||Yes. The CIF value is more than $400. GST payable = $450 X 8% = $36|
Please visit Singapore Customs' webpage, buying over the internet, for more information.
From 1 Jan 2023, GST will apply to the purchase of imported Low-Value Goods by consumers in Singapore from GST-registered suppliers.
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.)
- Parcel post imported via courier service companies (DHL, FedEx, UPS & TNT*)
The importer can apply for a refund directly through the courier service company.
- Parcel post imported with TradeNet permits
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.
- Parcel post imported through ordinary mail or Speedpost
- If the parcels are delivered by Singapore Post, the importer can apply for a refund through Singapore Post or contact Singapore Post on 1605.
- 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
*TNT Express Worldwide (S) Pte Ltd has been amalgamated with Federal Express (S) Pte Ltd with effect from 1 Oct 2021.
Please visit Singapore Customs' webpage, refund of duties and GST, for information on the required supporting documents in respect of their refund procedures. You may contact Singapore Customs on +65 6355 2000 for clarification.