Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Declare goods purchased abroad for GST payment: Singapore Customs

SINGAPORE: It's the year-end school holidays and Singaporeans travelling overseas are reminded to keep the invoices or receipts of their overseas purchases, so as to facilitate the computation of tax payable.

The Singapore Customs says travellers who return to Singapore carrying goods with values exceeding their Goods and Services Tax (GST) relief and duty-free allowance are required to declare the goods at the Customs Red Channel for the payment of tax.

Travellers can pay their tax or duty at the Singapore Customs Tax Payment Office or at the self-service Tax Payment Kiosk at the checkpoints.

All goods brought into Singapore such as new articles, souvenirs, gifts or food items meant for the traveller's own use or consumption are subject to 7 per cent GST.

Travellers who spend more than 48 hours overseas will get GST relief for goods valued up to S$600.

Those who are away from Singapore for less than 48 hours will get GST relief for goods valued up to S$150.

GST will be levied on the amount exceeding the value of the goods eligible for GST relief.

The GST relief is not applicable for liquor, tobacco products, petroleum and goods imported for commercial purposes.

And there is no duty-free concession on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

All cigarettes, including those with the 'SDPC' (Singapore Duty Paid Cigarette) mark, and tobacco products are subject to duty and GST when brought in by travellers into Singapore.

Singapore Customs says arriving travellers and returning Singaporeans should familiarise themselves with Singapore's customs regulations available at their

It adds that it is the responsibility of travellers to make an accurate and complete declaration of the dutiable and taxable items in their possession.

Failure to make a declaration is an offence under the Customs Act and the GST Act.

Offenders may be prosecuted in court and fined up to S$10,000 and jailed for up to three years.

The composition sum for out-of-court settlement for a first-time offender is S$200 per packet for cigarettes, and 10 times the amount of duty or GST for other items.

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