Duty & Tax
Import duty and tax guide
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%)
Besides shipping and Custom GST charges, what are other charges that I have to be aware of?
Other possible charges are, but not limited to, Customs GST and/or duty and License fee and any other applicable taxes and fees.
Holding Fee for processed item/ package:
Once your item/package has been processed, vPost will notify you by email on the shipping charges payable for that package/item. For vPost USA, vPost UK, vPost Japan, vPost China, vPost Malaysia, vPost Thailand, vPost Taiwan and vPost Australia it will be a charge of S$1.50 per item per day for items which are held for more than 30 days from processed date
What if my item was a free gift from my merchant or I have redeemed the item via my loyalty points, what is the correct amount for me to declare?
All goods, including Free of Charge (FOC) items or replacement goods, imported into Singapore are subjected to Goods & Services Tax (GST).
For items without any value indicated in the invoices, you have to obtain the commercial value of the items from the supplier/merchant.
The declared value at the time of import should be based on:
- • The transaction value of identical or similar goods from the same country of origin that is exported at about the same time, or
- • The original price payable for the goods as if they are sold for export to Singapore
How do I pay the tax?
vPost will handle the process on your behalf and will inform you beforehand on the estimated custom tax and duty required to pay to the Singapore Customs. The final shipping invoice will include the GST tax and duty fee that is required to be paid.
Please declare your packages correctly for Customs and Claims purpose. Any improper declaration of contents or value may affect shipping and final delivery in Singapore. Claims are assessed based on declared value.
How the value of the goods is counted when I consolidate multiple shipments into an order?
The value of “the goods” is counted based on the total value of a shipment order containing multiple shipments, instead of the single shipment of the consolidated shipment order.
If you ship two goods with a total value of over S$400 and each of them costs less than S$400, the shipment order containing multiple shipments will be regarded as the goods over S$400.