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Thread: import tax?

  1. #1

    Default import tax?

    hi guys
    have a question about import tax in singapore.
    thinking to get something on ebay, but the seller mentioned about the import tax, not sure about it.

    so we have to pay import tax if buying something on internet?
    the product would be electronic product ( camera, cell phone..)

    if it does, what is the procedure that we should apply/ do if we bid item on ebay.

    some said if we ask the seller tick the column as a gift, the tax will be exempted, true?
    but some seller does mentioned that they won't do that.

    does anyone have experiences on this?

    would appreciate on your advices

    thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: import tax?

    Anything above SGD 400 (including the postage fee) is taxable in Singapore, but sometimes they do let it go.........

    HS

  3. #3
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    Default Re: import tax?

    if you under declare or label as gift, your item's value will decrease and your insurance coverage will be little or none. In any case of item lost in shipment or damage during shipment, you're not able to receive full compensation of the item. That's why seller don't recommend that when selling, as liability lies on the seller not the buyer.
    Logging Off. "You have 2,631 messages stored, of a total 400 allowed." don't PM me.

  4. #4
    vince123123
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    Default Re: import tax?

    The legal and theoretical limit is S$400.00; but this is not strictly enforced. However, I have heard experiences of packages going above S$400.00 that went through without imposition of import tax at the time of entry.

    The manner of entry also affects; some courier companies are more onz about declaration of GST than others. It also seems that parcels sent by post (ie regular post) has the highest chance of not being taxed.

    Finally, the value stated on the package plays a part. However, ticking as "gift" is not as reliable as stating a lower value. For the insurance bit, you can always put in writing that you are waiving the insurance coverage and assume the risk yourself. I believe the more important factor isn't insurance cover, but whether the seller is willing to risk fraud to assist you. I have encountered both types of stories; some are willing, others are not.

    Quote Originally Posted by IWONDER View Post
    hi guys
    have a question about import tax in singapore.
    thinking to get something on ebay, but the seller mentioned about the import tax, not sure about it.

    so we have to pay import tax if buying something on internet?
    the product would be electronic product ( camera, cell phone..)

    if it does, what is the procedure that we should apply/ do if we bid item on ebay.

    some said if we ask the seller tick the column as a gift, the tax will be exempted, true?
    but some seller does mentioned that they won't do that.

    does anyone have experiences on this?

    would appreciate on your advices

    thanks guys!

  5. #5

    Default Re: import tax?

    There is no import tax for consumer electronic goods or on most other things in Singapore as this is a "free tax" country. What you have to pay is the GST, which technically you have to pay for any items above ANY amount/value, but because of administration cost purpose, it is set at $xxx (which some guys mentioned $400).
    Even imported "gifts"/samples, etc have to be "gsted".

    So it is important to declare a value to your imports/gifts, etc ...
    Last edited by Canonised; 14th September 2009 at 10:50 AM.
    always the Light, .... always.

  6. #6

    Default Re: import tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by hongsien View Post
    Anything above SGD 400 (including the postage fee) is taxable in Singapore, but sometimes they do let it go.........

    HS
    This is a very wrong assumption!
    Our government agencies collect every cents! because it is their duty to do so. However in certain cases, they overlook (human error) or the costs of collection is not feasible.
    Always remember, what the government collect is actually belong to all of us, citizens and anyone who under-declare any shipments is actually cheating/stealing the citizens, including you and me .....
    always the Light, .... always.

  7. #7

    Default Re: import tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canonised View Post
    This is a very wrong assumption!
    Our government agencies collect every cents! because it is their duty to do so. However in certain cases, they overlook (human error) or the costs of collection is not feasible.
    Always remember, what the government collect is actually belong to all of us, citizens and anyone who under-declare any shipments is actually cheating/stealing the citizens, including you and me .....

    Wah, good citizen spotted. Loyalty points given.

  8. #8

    Default Re: import tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by HeiPiGu View Post
    Wah, good citizen spotted. Loyalty points given.
    NDP tickets sent!
    Alpha

  9. #9

    Default Re: import tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    NDP tickets sent!
    KNN, I have NEVER received any free tickets from the garment before even though I have paid high taxes for many many years ....
    Frankly I have never watched any NDP before, but my wish is to watch one before I die
    always the Light, .... always.

  10. #10
    vince123123
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    Default Re: import tax?

    I would like to add that the $400.00 limit is actually a specific express GST relief granted under the Goods and Services Tax (Imports Relief) Order and hence there is no "technically you have to pay for any items above ANY amount" since there is an express relief given and made under law; not just an administrative policy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Canonised View Post
    There is no import tax for consumer electronic goods or on most other things in Singapore as this is a "free tax" country. What you have to pay is the GST, which technically you have to pay for any items above ANY amount/value, but because of administration cost purpose, it is set at $xxx (which some guys mentioned $400).
    Even imported "gifts"/samples, etc have to be "gsted".

    So it is important to declare a value to your imports/gifts, etc ...

  11. #11

    Default Re: import tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    I would like to add that the $400.00 limit is actually a specific express GST relief granted under the Goods and Services Tax (Imports Relief) Order and hence there is no "technically you have to pay for any items above ANY amount" since there is an express relief given and made under law; not just an administrative policy.
    ya, you are not wrong ....
    and "technically" I am right .....
    since the relief grant is gazetted only after the practicality and administrative considerations by the authority ....
    always the Light, .... always.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
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    Default Re: import tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canonised View Post
    This is a very wrong assumption!
    Our government agencies collect every cents! because it is their duty to do so. However in certain cases, they overlook (human error) or the costs of collection is not feasible.
    Always remember, what the government collect is actually belong to all of us, citizens and anyone who under-declare any shipments is actually cheating/stealing the citizens, including you and me .....
    I never got taxed for items below SGD 400, this is a waiver or some kind of that. If the value does exceed SGD 400 (including postage fees), then you need to pay GST over the WHOLE amount, so the waiver is waived :-)

    And it all depends on the actual officer checking the parcels whether he/she wants to investigate it or not.......

    HS
    Last edited by hongsien; 14th September 2009 at 07:00 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: import tax?

    From Singapore Customs' website

    If you import:


    There is a 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST) levied on all goods, inclusive of new articles, personal effects, souvenirs, gifts, food preparations and dutiable products, imported into Singapore. GST is calculated based on the CIF value of the goods plus all duties payable. If the invoice value of goods does not include insurance and freight charges, the postage charge paid for the goods is to be taken as freight and insurance charges, and is to be added to the invoice value of such invoice for calculation of GST payable.

    GST relief is granted on goods, inclusive of new articles, personal effects, souvenirs, gifts and food preparations but excluding dutiable products, imported by post to a total value not exceeding $400. Where the value exceeds $400, the entire sum would be subject to GST.


    If you bring in:
    If you are a bona fide traveller, other than a person who is 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) up to the following values, depending on your age and the number of hours you have spent outside of Singapore immediately before your arrival: (18 years of age and above )

    Period Away From Singapore
    Less than 24 hours
    $50
    24 to less than 48 hours $150
    48 hours and above
    $300
    always the Light, .... always.

  14. #14
    vince123123
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    Default Re: import tax?

    Actually you are not right, because technically, the law is as it stands right now. You will use the term "technically" when it is still the case but for some reason is not enforced.

    For example, "technically, homosexuality is an offence under the Penal Code", but practically, this law is seldom, if ever, enforced.

    That would be the correct use of the word "technically".

    And by the way, the Order was first issued in April 1994, and the GST Act was enacted in Nov 1993; the time period seems awfully close to support your "afterthought" theory More research will be required though

    Quote Originally Posted by Canonised View Post
    ya, you are not wrong ....
    and "technically" I am right .....
    since the relief grant is gazetted only after the practicality and administrative considerations by the authority ....

  15. #15

    Default Re: import tax?

    THANKS GUYS FOR ALL THE INFO.
    i called to the custom phoneline today, and according to them, item below 400SGD is free of tax.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: import tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by IWONDER View Post
    THANKS GUYS FOR ALL THE INFO.
    i called to the custom phoneline today, and according to them, item below 400SGD is free of tax.
    Note that it's not item, it's parcel/package below $400 that's free of tax. Very big difference.

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