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Singapore

Your Singapore cheat sheet that covers customs clearance and import duties for your eCommerce international shipping needs, eCommerce insights, and more

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Singapore's B2C Customs Clearance Info and eCommerce Insights

Singapore Flag
ID SG
Capital Singapore
Official Language English, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil
Currency Singaporean Dollar (SGD)
Population Size 5.7 million

Singapore’s eCommerce Market

Singapore’s eCommerce market value is US$2.7 billion at present and is expected to grow to US$3.9 billion by 2024.

Consumers are much more well-off with higher disposable income. This allows consumers to spend more online as they are.

The number of mobile internet users is also growing over time, leading to a consistently increasing mobile online traffic. This makes the booming mCommerce industry in Singapore an ideal growth environment for online businesses.

 

Customs & regulations

Import Duty and Taxes

Singapore maintains a de minimis value threshold of SGD400 on inbound B2C eCommerce goods.*

Shipment value below SGD400
Tax 0%
Shipment value above SGD400
Goods & Services Tax (GST) 7%
Import Duties 0%**

*Does not apply to restricted items.
**You may check the tariff amount for your commodity here.

Restricted and Forbidden Goods

Restricted items that must meet certain conditions before going through customs clearance:

  • Therapeutic products
  • Tableware and kitchenware of porcelain or china
  • Rough diamonds
  • Gramophone records
  • Mastering equipment and replication equipment for any of the following such as CD
  • Toy guns/pistols/revolvers/walkie-talkie, and more

Prohibited items that cannot be imported into the market:

  • Chewing gum
  • Firearms and explosives
  • Endangered animal products
  • Prohibited telecommunication equipment
  • Controlled drugs, and more

This list may change depending on government regulations. Visit official customs page for the latest version.

Documentation

Documents required by Singapore’s customs clearance include:

1. Packing List

This gives product details, shipment volume in kilogram or cubic meter, and serves as a checklist to ensure shipment has been packed correctly or not.

2. Commercial Invoice

This gives total shipment value usually in US dollar. Helps to determine the import duties and taxes, and eligibility of shipment.

If you are shipping without a logistics partner that can clear customs on your behalf, you may need to include the following shipping documentation as well:

  • Certificate of origin
  • Bill of lading or airway bill
  • Insurance policy
  • Other relevant permits, licenses, and certificates

Additional information

Payment preferences:

Credit card is the most popular payment method in Singapore. As one of the top cashless societies in the world, it is important for merchants to offer this convenient payment mode for online shopping to attract more customers.

Non-working days in 2019

Saturday, Sunday and public holidays are non-working days. Please expect shipment delays on these days.

List of public holidays:

Date Holiday
Jan 1 New Year’s Day
Jan 25-26 Chinese New Year
Apr 10 Good Friday
May 1 Labour Day
May 7 Vesak Day
May 24 Hari Raya Puasa
Jul 31 Hari Raya Haji
Aug 9 National Day
Nov 14 Deepavali
Dec 25 Christmas Day

Market Opportunities

Popular eCommerce Item Categories
  1. Fashion Apparel
  2. Beauty Skin Care
  3. Home & Living such as soft furnishings
  4. Electronics & Media such as consumer electronics
  5. Hobby & Stationery
Popular Shopping Seasons

 

Event Name Event Period
New Year Nov-Dec
Chinese New Year Usually in Jan or Feb
Great Singapore Sale Jun-Jul
National Day Aug 9
9.9 Sep 9
11.11 Singles Day Nov 11
Black Friday 4th Fri of Nov
Cyber Monday Mon after Black Friday
12.12 Online Fever Dec 12
Christmas Dec 25

 

Popular Shipping Destinations
EXPORTS
Rank Market
1 China
2 Hong Kong
3 Malaysia
4 United States
5 Indonesia
IMPORTS
Rank Market
1 China
2 Malaysia
3 United States
4 Taiwan
5 Japan
Sources:

Department of Statistics Singapore (2019) | Statista (2020) | Tech in Asia (2018) | Singapore Customs (2018) | Office Holidays (2020) | RateX (2018) | Customs Duty Free (2020) | Euromonitor International “Economy, Finance and Trade: Singapore” (2018)

Updated as of 30 Jan 2020.

                               
Table of content
                                       

Table of content

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