New moves to make shipping faster, easier

New moves to make shipping faster, easier

SINGAPORE - From going paperless in a bigger way to streamlining its online TradeNet system, the Singapore Customs is looking to make it faster and easier for traders to ship their goods.

The moves, which were announced on Thursday, have been welcomed by the industry.

Singapore Customs hopes to make TradeNet, a single network which links all government agencies and businesses involved in the import, export and trans-shipment of goods, simpler to use, by requiring less information to be submitted, for example.

It also aims to extend "paperless clearance", which currently applies only to container cargo, to conventional cargo - that is, goods that are not packed in containers, and arrive mostly by land or air.

"Making TradeNet more straightforward will help us save time and reduce repetitive work, because a lot of the information asked for is quite similar," said Mr Lok Hwee Chong, regional manager of TNT Express Worldwide, a global express carrier.

But he also suggested that Singapore Customs should look at increasing the value at which goods need to be declared.

"Top of our wish list is to have a higher threshold for what we have to declare. We need manpower and time to submit declarations and it's quite tedious."

Traders have to apply for a permit to import or export goods, regardless of their value. However, for air shipments, a permit is not required for non-dutiable and non-controlled goods if the value does not exceed $400.

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