What are Exports?
The Customs Act, the Regulation of Imports and Exports Act, the Strategic Goods (Control) Act, and other legislation by the relevant Competent Authorities (CAs) regulates any goods exported from Singapore. There are various category of exports.
The most common type of export is locally produced goods or goods which you have bought locally and paid Goods and Services Tax (GST) for. There are also goods that have been imported or produced solely for export. Warehouses with special schemes keep these goods to suspend the payment of GST. There are also goods held in licensed warehouses where customs duty and GST are suspended. The payment is pending the confirmation whether the said goods are for local use or export purposes. Lastly, there are also goods imported for exhibition, repairs or any temporary purposes and will be sent out in due course.
How to arrange Export?
To export goods from Singapore, you are required to declare the goods to Singapore Customs. Goods exported from Singapore do not attract GST or duty. It is your duty to check if the goods are controlled using the description of the goods, HS code or CA product code. You may check directly with the respective CAs on their licensing requirements. Before arranging any shipment, it is your duty to ensure that all relevant authorities approve the export. How to decide which mode of transport to deliver the goods depends on your sales agreement with your customer.
Furthermore, you have to make sure that the export from Singapore abides by the Singapore Export Regulations. It is also important to fully compile with the import regulations of the destination. The carrier has the right to arrange the shipment back to Singapore if the receiver do not clear the goods within a reasonable amount of time. Do also note that the exporter is obliged to pay for the return shipment and any miscellaneous charges involved with the return shipment.
What you can export?
As with any country, there are certain goods that are controlled goods or goods subject to restrictions by relevant CAs in Singapore. Do check if the goods you intend to export are controlled goods subject to restrictions by CAs in Singapore. Relevant permits and licenses are required to be in place before any arrangement of export of such goods.
Should I handle on my own or engage a declaring agent?
If you have intention to do major exports of your goods, then it makes more economic sense to handle your company’s declarations on your own. Otherwise, it is easier to engage a declaring agent for assistance in declaring the export permit with fees involved. Do also note that it is your duty to declare the goods exported as accurately as possible.
All permits have a validity period. You have to ensure that the export is within the validity of the permit for exporting the goods. When requested for verification, you have to submit the relevant correct supporting documents such as invoice, packing list and Bill of Lading/Air Waybill.
How long is it required to keep relevant documents?
As a general guideline, you have to keep all relevant documents for a period of 5 years from the date of the customs permit approval. Lastly, do note you are required to produce these supporting documents to Singapore Customs upon request.