Customs regulations for your trip to Singapore

Last modified: July 26, 2023
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Customs regulations

Understanding and complying with Singapore’s personal effects import regulations is crucial to ensure a smooth entry into the country. By following the guidelines provided by Customs authorities, completing the necessary paperwork accurately, and adhering to the duty-free allowances and restrictions, travelers can enjoy a hassle-free customs process.

Dutiable Items

All goods imported into Singapore are subject to Goods & Services Tax (GST).
If you are a traveller who is NOT

  1. A crew member; or
  2. A holder of a work permit, employment pass, student pass, dependent pass or long-term pass issued by the Singapore Government.

You will be given GST relief on new articles, souvenirs, gifts and food preparations (excluding intoxicating liquors and tobacco, as well as goods imported for commercial purposes) intended for your personal use or consumption. The relief amount is based on the duration that you have spent outside Singapore:

  • 48 hours and above: $500 GST relief
  • Less than 48 hours: $100 GST relief

Travellers are entitled to duty-free concession for liquors if all the following conditions are met:

  • You are 18 years old or above;
  • You have spent 48 hours or more outside Singapore immediately before arrival;
  • You are not arriving from Malaysia;
  • The liquors is for your own consumption; and
  • The liquors is not prohibited from import into Singapore.

Visit the customs website to know more: https://www.customs.gov.sg/individuals/going-through-customs/arrivals/duty-free-concession-and-gst-relief/

Dutiable Goods:

  • Intoxicating liquors, including spirits, wine, beer, ale, stout and porter
    • Beverages and liquors consumed for health reasons and used for cooking are dutiable if the alcoholic strength by volume exceeds 0.5% (eg shandy, bottled alcoholic cocktail drinks, D.O.M., Yomeishu, samsu and rice wine)
  • Tobacco products, including cigarettes and cigars
    • With effect from 1 July 2020, all cigarettes and other tobacco products imported into, sold, offered for sale or distributed in Singapore must comply with the new Standardised Packaging (SP) requirements. For further information, you may refer to Health Sciences Authority (HSA)’s website or contact Ministry of Health (MOH) through email at [email protected].
    • Importation of cigarettes and / or tobacco products that do not comply with the SP requirements is not allowed, and these cigarettes and / or tobacco products will be disposed of at the checkpoints.
    • Travellers have to ensure that their cigarettes and / or tobacco products comply with the SP requirements before making a declaration and payment via the Customs@SG web application. Do note that no refund will be given for duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) already prepaid via the Customs@SG web application for cigarettes and / or tobacco products that do not comply with the SP requirements.

Prohibited Items

  • Endangered species of wildlife and their by-products
  • Concealed Weapon, Cigarette lighters in shape of Pistols/Revolvers
  • Cross Bow
  • Firecrackers, including tube-sparklers and “pop-pop”
  • Flick Knife, Gravity Knife, Wasp Knife, Throwing Knife
  • Knuckleduster, Ninja Star, Catapult/Slingshot
  • Obscene articles, publications and /discs
  • Reproduction of copyright publications, software, video compact discs, laser discs, records or cassettes
  • Seditious and treasonable materials
  • Any product containing nicotine or tobacco that may be used topically for application, by implant or injected into any parts of the body
  • Controlled drugs and psychotropic substances
  • Chewing Tobacco and imitation tobacco products (e.g. electronic cigarettes)
  • Nasal stuff, Oral stuff, Gutkha, Khaini, Zarda

Controlled goods

Controlled goods are items that require an import permit or authorisation from the relevant controlling authority for importation into Singapore.

  • Animals, birds and their by-products
  • Endangered species of wildlife
  • Ornamental fish Plants
  • Fish and seafood products
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Meat and meat products
  • Arms and explosives Bulletproof clothing
  • Toy guns, pistols and revolvers
  • Weapons, kris, spears and swords
  • CD-ROMs and video games Films, videotapes, videodiscs and laser discs
  • Newspapers, books and magazines
  • Pre-recorded cartridges and cassettes
  • Telecommunication and radio communication equipment
  • Toy walkie-talkies
  • Medicines Pharmaceuticals
  • Poisons
  • Dangerous Cargo
  • Ionising Radiation (IR) irradiating apparatus & Radioactive material (e.g. x-ray equipment)
  • Non-Ionising Radiation (IR) irradiating apparatus (e.g. ultraviolet sunlamps)

Miscellaneous (Pets, Motors, and others.)

Pets

The National Parks Board (NParks) Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) regulates all importation of live pets. Importers must comply with NParks’ AVS’ import licence and pet quarantine requirements and obtain approval before importing the pets from overseas.

An importer who is transferring residence to Singapore (including returning Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, and foreigners) may be granted GST relief on the importation of his personal pet(s) subject to the following conditions:

  • That such person satisfies Customs that:
    • He is changing his place of residence from outside Singapore;
    • He is the owner of the pet(s) imported;
    • He gives an undertaking not to dispose of the pet(s) within 3 months from the date of importation of such pet(s); and
    • The pet(s) have been in his ownership for a period of not less than 3 months;
  • The pet(s) are imported within 6 months of the pet owner’s first arrival in Singapore.

Motor vehicles

In general, importing motor vehicles for local use incurs Goods and Services Tax (GST) and duty, while the import of pleasure boats for local use incurs GST only.

However, there are selected types of motor vehicles that are granted duty exemption and boats that are granted GST relief respectively. Please click on the tabs below to find out more.

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