SINGAPORE - The Singapore Customs has reminded Singaporeans to pay GST for shopping items purchased overseas.
Singapore Customs said in a press statement on Monday that travellers who are away from Singapore for 48 hours or more can enjoy GST relief for goods bought overseas valued up to $600. Those who are away from Singapore for less than 48 hours will receive GST relief for goods valued up to $150.
However, travellers are required to pay GST on the value of goods that exceeds their GST relief. Singapore Customs said Singaporeans should declare and pay the GST for their goods at the Customs Tax Payment Office or Self Service Tax Payment Kiosk at the checkpoints.
There is no GST relief for liquor, tobacco products, petroleum, and goods imported for commercial purposes.
There is no duty-free concession for cigarettes and other tobacco products either. All cigarettes, including those with the 'SDPC' mark, and tobacco products are subject to duty and GST when brought into Singapore.
Arriving travellers, which includes returning Singaporeans, should familiarise themselves with Singapore's customs regulations (available online at www.customs.gov.sg). Singapore Customs said it is the responsibility of travellers to make an accurate and complete declaration of the dutiable and taxable items in their possession. "Compliance with these regulations will help travellers enjoy smooth customs clearance on their arrival in Singapore," said the customs authority.
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 $10,000 or 20 times the amount of duty and GST, whichever is higher, and/or jailed for up to three years.
To avoid the hefty penalties, travellers are advised to consult Singapore Customs officers at the Tax Payment Office if they are unsure of the GST relief they are entitled to, or their duty-free allowance.