Shipping to Singapore: Your essential guide

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Shipping from Cambodia to Singapore opens up opportunities for local businesses to expand their international sales. Singapore is one of Cambodia's top export partners, and its e-commerce-friendly environment, low taxes, reliable support services, and policies that encourage digital trade make it an attractive market. However, to ensure successful customs clearance in Singapore, one should be well-informed on the various taxes, tariffs, and documents required for shipping from Cambodia to Singapore.

1. Import taxes and duties in Singapore

Understanding customs duties

When shipping goods to Singapore, it is important to understand the import taxes and duties involved. Singapore splits its customs procedures into two types of goods: dutiable goods and non-dutiable goods. Dutiable goods include items such as intoxicating liquor, tobacco products, motor vehicles, and petroleum products. Customs duties on these goods are based on percentages and vary from item to item. Non-dutiable goods are not subject to customs duties.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

In addition to customs duties, Singapore imposes Goods and Services Tax (GST) on imported items. The current GST rate in Singapore is 8%. Payment of GST is an important requirement for customs clearance. Depending on the nature of the goods being imported, businesses may need to pay both customs duties and GST. It is important to factor these costs into pricing strategies when shipping goods from Cambodia to Singapore.

Businesses also need to pay attention to the new rules for GST chargers under the Overseas Vendor Registration regime. If businesses meet the prescribed conditions for mandatory registration of GST in Singapore, they will need to charge GST on all products sold to Singaporean customers valued at S$400 and below. Compliance with these regulations is crucial to avoid any issues during customs clearance.

Goods that are exempted from GST include:

  • Investment precious metals
  • Items that do not enter Singapore customs or are in a free trade zone
  • Goods that belong to an importer of record who has been approved for a GST scheme in Singapore

2. Prohibited items

Singapore customs maintains a list of prohibited and controlled items for import. Some examples of prohibited items include:

  • Firearms
  • Firecrackers
  • Endangered animal products
  • Chewing gum
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Shisha
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • Cigarette lighters in the form of pistols or revolvers
  • Endangered wildlife and products derived from them
  • Obscene articles, publications and video tapes or discs
  • Controlled drugs under the 4th Schedule of Misuse of Drugs Regulation

It is important to review and adhere to the list of prohibited items to ensure compliance with Singapore's import regulations.

3. Prepare your essential documents for import clearance in Singapore

Registering and obtaining the necessary documents

To facilitate the import process, it is a requirement for businesses to register and obtain a Unique Entity Number (UEN) from Singapore customs. The UEN is required to activate the customs account and obtain the necessary customs permit. It is important to accurately fill in all details on relevant documents and ensure all necessary permits and customs regulations are followed. Without the necessary permits and correctly filled documents, delays could occur during customs clearance.

Essential import clearance documents

Businesses should prepare the following essential documents for import clearance in Singapore:

  • Customs permit: This document is obtained from Singapore customs and authorises the importation of goods.
  • Shipping invoice: A detailed invoice that provides information about the shipment, including the description of goods, quantities, values, and other relevant details.
  • Packing list: A document that itemises the contents of each package in the shipment, including the quantity, weight, and dimensions of each item.
  • Bill of lading or air waybill: These documents serve as evidence of the contract of carriage and contain information about the shipment, such as the consignor, consignee, and details of the goods being transported.
  • Consignment note: A document that accompanies the goods during transportation and includes information such as the origin, destination, and tracking details.

It is essential to ensure that all details on these documents are filled in accurately and that planning is done beforehand to avoid any issues during customs clearance.

Expand your business overseas with DHL Express

Shipping to Singapore from Cambodia presents an opportunity to enter a different market altogether. While the customs clearance procedure may seem strict, partnering with a proven international shipping company in Cambodia like DHL Express can help navigate the import procedures and customs clearance in Singapore. DHL Express has extensive experience and knowledge in customs laws and regulations all over the world, allowing businesses to focus on their core operations while leaving the logistics and customs clearance process to the experts. For more information, read on to discover why DHL Express is the best choice for international shipping and how DHL Express can simplify the shipment process for businesses.

By leveraging DHL Express’s expertise in overseas shipping, businesses can navigate the complexities and expand their operations into the Singaporean market. Open a DHL Express business account today and let us support your shipping needs from Cambodia to Singapore, ensuring smooth customs clearance and fast shipping to your Singaporean customers.