Goods and Services Tax (GST)
According to the Government of Singapore, there is a Goods and Services Tax (GST) for most of the goods which includes goods imported to Singapore via online shopping.
7% on the total value will be charged for all goods and services. The cost, insurance and freight (CIF) plus other chargeable costs and the duty payable will be included in the calculation of GST.
What is CIF?
CIF refers to the Cost of the imported goods, the cost of Insurance (vCare), and the cost of Freight.
In general, most of the import duties and taxes payable are calculated on the sum of the CIF and the landing charges.
Shipment with a value of S$400 or less
However, there are some exceptional cases. Please be mindful that any information/ decision from Singapore Customs will always prevail.
Shipment with a value of above S$400
If your shipment’s CIF value exceeds S$400, you will be required to pay the GST of the whole shipment.
Example taken from IRAS
|Total value of goods imported by Parcel Post||Do I need to pay GST?|
No. The CIF value is not more than $400.
Yes. The CIF value is more than $400.
How do I calculate the Customs GST amount imposed on my online purchases?
For shipments to Singapore, all declared values of goods, vCare and freight charges are converted to Singapore Dollars at the latest exchange rate as provided by Singapore Customs.
The Goods and Service Tax (GST) is calculated based on the CIF of all packages in an invoice. Current GST rate is at 7% of the total CIF (Cost, vCare and Freight)
To estimate the GST applicable for your invoice, simple sum up the cost of your products with the shipping cost and vCare charges, if applicable, and multiply it by 7%.
GST Relief is granted for packages (excluding intoxicating liquors and tobacco products) imported via air freight that do not exceed S$400.
If the value exceeds S$400, the entire sum would be subjected to GST.
Please note that GST relief is not granted for goods imported by other transport modes e.g. sea freight and land
Why do I have to pay GST for the package(s) that I ship via vPost sea freight or land freight?
All goods imported via vPost sea freight or land freight is not granted GST relief. Should you need more information on GST, please visit Singapore Customs’ website.
How do I calculate the Customs GST amount imposed on my online purchases for goods imported by vPost sea freight or land freight?
The current Customs GST rate is 7%.
Total Customs GST Chargeable = 7% on [Cost + vCare + Freight]
Where Cost is the total cost of products in a package / order paid to seller / Merchant that includes the item value, domestic shipping, handling charge etc., while vCare is the cost of purchasing optional vCare from vPost and Freight is vPost shipping charge for that item.
Example taken from IRAS
Price of goods
Freight and Insurance
Add: Customs Duty
GST at 7%
= $1,092.00 ($15,600.00 X 7%)