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FAQs on Singapore GST, Import duty, Customs tax & more


FAQs on Singapore GST, import duty, customs tax & more


Customs departments around the world are usually an extension of the country’s government. DHL Express has no influence over customs, but we do have the expertise and specialists to help facilitate a smooth clearance for your shipment.

Learn more about our Customs service here.

Every country has their own taxation schemes for exporting and importing. For example, anything being imported into Singapore that is valued above S$400 has to incur a 7% GST.

When your shipment incurs duties or taxes, the costs are usually borne by the receiver. There will be a set timeline to settle these fees if not your shipment might risk being delayed or in the worst case, confiscated by customs.

It is recommended that you read up thoroughly on the customs requirements of countries that you plan to export to prior to shipping. Similarly, it is important that you know your country’s importing requirements when you are ordering something from overseas.


Typically, the receiver shoulders the payment of duties and taxes. DHL Express allows shippers to offer their receivers greater convenience by using their DHL account to cover duties and taxes for their shipments over at the destination country. This is known as “Duties & Taxes Paid (DTP)”. These are commonly referred to in abbreviation as DTP, or DDP. 

You should indicate this on your DHL AWB when creating your shipment.

First of all, your shipping invoice is NOT to be confused with your DHL Express bill, although both may be referred to as invoices.

As long as you are shipping a parcel, regardless of the purpose, you must produce a shipping invoice. The invoice is a supporting document that justifies the description of your air waybill, and verifies the value of your shipment. It is used by both DHL Express and customs departments to have a better understanding of your shipment.

Shipping documents with DHL Express do not require a shipping invoice.

To get a refund, fill up the refund request form and submit the relevant documents. Our GST Helpdesk will review it and get back to you within 7 working days.
For re-declaration, submit the correct invoice to DHL Express for us to re-declare the shipment with Singapore customs. Re-declaration fees apply.

Goods and Services Tax or GST is a broad-based consumption tax levied on the import of goods (collected by Singapore Customs), as well as nearly all supplies of goods and services in Singapore. In other countries, GST is known as the Value-Added Tax or VAT. GST of 7% is charged for all imports into Singapore with total CIF value above SGD 400.

For more information, please refer to

The Singapore Customs calculates the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on import goods based on the customs value of the goods, plus all duties, or the value of the last selling price plus all duties. The calculation of GST will apply to non-dutiable and dutiable goods imported into Singapore. There is also customs and excise duty on imported goods like alcohol. 

For more information on how the GST calculator works in Singapore, read our guide on importing goods.


As per Singapore Customs, GST is levied on all goods imported into Singapore which are more than S$400 in Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value and/or dutiable goods. Similar to imports, all re-imports of goods into Singapore will incur GST and/or duty payments.

If your online seller is absorbing the GST, they need to use DTP (Duties Taxes Paid) service whereby all Duties and Taxes will be billed back to shipper. 

You will need to pay for GST if your online seller has opted for DDU (Delivery Duty Unpaid), where receiver is responsible for these charges.

For more information, please check with your online seller on the services offered by them.

GST is levied on all goods imported into Singapore with a value more than S$400 in CIF and/or dutiable goods.

What is CIF?
CIF = (Declaring value in SGD + Freight Charge) + 1% Insurance of (Declaring value in SGD + Freight Charge) x 7%

To apply for the temporary export and import permit in Singapore, please contact our Customer Service Team via live chat: for the arrangement, after which you may get a GST exemption. 

There will be a S$200 application fee for both permits, payable via cash, cheque, or credit card. If you have a GST account with us, it can be charged to the account.


Should there be an overpayment or incorrect payment of duties or GST, you can request for a reimbursement by writing to Singapore Customs. In order for your reimbursement to go smoothly, take note that this should be done within five years from the date of payment of duty or GST.

For more information, you can call our GST hotline at +65 6389 5722 (Mon – Fri, excluding public holidays: 8.30 am – 12.30 pm, 1.30 pm – 5.00 pm)