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Moving to Singapore


Capital: Singapore
Population: 5,469,700 (2014)
Area: 277 sq. mi
Top 5 Largest Cities:
Lanuage: English, Malay, Manderin and Tamil
Climate: Tropical rainforest
Motto: “Majulah Singapura” / “Onward Singapore”

Looking forward to moving to Singapore? Not as much as we are! Here at Nationwide Van Lines, you and your shipment is our main concern. We will provide a professional touch throughout your entire venture. Allow us to move you overseas the stress-free way, the Nationwide Van Lines way.

Required Documents for Import

Documents are very important for you and Customs. Please take a look at some of the documents that may be required of you below.

Supplementary Customs Declaration form – To allow your destination agent to arrange Customs clearance.

Goods and Services Tax Relief form (GST) – A Value-Added Tax (VAT) applied to your import.

Exemption Permit – For relief of paying duties for Diplomats

Declaration of Facts form – A form providing Customs all information needed for GST relief

Import Requirements and Documentation

  • A copy of your Passport with your photograph and personal information page
  • Original Bill of Lading
  • Residence Visa
  • Your contact information
  • 2 copies of your detailed Inventory List
  • Acknowledge card from immigration
  • Exemption Permit for Diplomats
  • Residence Permit
  • Wine and Liquor Declaration form if importing wine and/or liquor
  • A copy of both sides of your Employment Pass or Green Card

Additional detailed document requirements

  • You must be abroad for at least 6 months, use your items in Singapore for at least 3 months and reside in Singapore for at least a year to receive 7% GST if you are a returning Singaporean.
  • If you are a Diplomat, receiving Diplomatic, Consulate or immunity privileges or part of the Embassy, Consulate, accredited Trade Mission and High Commission, your duties and GST will be exempted if used for personal or organization use. The Exemption Permit will be needed.
  • If all requirements of documents are met, a duty exemption will be given to all goods.
  • Once you’ve arrived in Singapore, you must have your HHGS shipped within 6 months. If you exceed 6 months, a GST charge of 7% of your Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) value.
  • All household goods (HHGS) must be used and in your possession for no less than 3 months.
  • Unsatisfied taxes and failure to declare all HHGS can result in fines, prosecution and/or imprisonment.
  • You are allowed only one surface shipment to Singapore a year.

The Examination of Household Goods and Entry Documents

Once your household goods have arrived in Singapore along with your documents, both are subjected to examination by Customs. A CBP officer will examine your household goods to determine the value, correct markings, proper invoicing, existence of prohibited items, damages, deterioration and illegal narcotics. It’s important to assure all items are properly described and accounted for to avoid any delays or seizure of items. Once your items are approved for release, they are safeguarded by the proper officers.

Duty and Taxes

You may have to be present to clear Customs in Singapore. Your Goods and Services Tax Relief (GST) will be a rate of 7% and an Import Tax ranging from 0 – 1%.

Duty-free Items

In order to import the following duty-free, one must be 18 years of age, at least:

  • 1 Liter of spirits
  • 1 Liter of beer (2 Liters if no spirits being shipped)
  • 1 Liter of wine (2 Liters if no spirits being shipped)
  • A value up to $479.88 USD of goods if you’ve been out of the country for at least 48 hours or up to $119.97 USD if you’ve been out of the country for less than 48 hours.
  • One major electrical item of each kind
  • Antiques with a Certificate of Antiquity and noted in your detailed Inventory List.

Labeling and Marking Requirements

The correct labeling and markings are very important for Customs. Each mark and label should be in the English language. Please take a look below to discover the marking and labeling requirements.

  • The name and address of the importer
  • The country of Origin
  • Clearly numbered in reflection of the inventory list
  • The quantity

Prohibited Items

You want to assure that all of your items can be cleared through Customs. Below you will find items Customs will not allow to pass through.

  • Chewing gum
  • Controlled drugs
  • Counterfeit materials
  • Firecrackers
  • Guns
  • Electronic cigarettes (including imitation tobacco products)
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Narcotics
  • Ammunition
  • Plants
  • Swords
  • Animals and their by-products
  • Obscene articles, publications, videos and/or software’s
  • Weapons
  • Kris (dagger)
  • Books
  • Birds and their by-products
  • Laser disc
  • Bullet proof wear
  • Film
  • Cd-Roms
  • Disc
  • Telecommunication equipment
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Spears
  • Refrigerators
  • Newspaper
  • Walkie-Talkies
  • Magazines
  • Video games
  • Poisons
  • Radio communication equipment
  • Endangered species or anything made f such
  • Psychotropic substances
  • Video tapes
  • Defense Items
  • medication
  • Any revolver or gun shaped lighters
  • Products of Iran

Restricted Items

There are certain items one can import with restrictions. Please take a look below of such items.

  • Any cigarettes or liquor marked “SINGAPORE DUTY NOT PAID” on its label, packaging or cartons.
  • Cigarettes marked “E” on the package.
  • Alcoholic Beverages and wines must have an International Special Commodities (ISC) accompanying them.
  • Books and magazines are randomly inspected.
  • Alcohol and tobacco must be documented with the exact number of bottles and type of alcohol and loaded by the container door.
  • Stuffed animals and agricultural products are in need of an import license.
  • New furniture may be charged a duty. The invoices may be required.
  • Cartridge and cassettes that are prerecorded.

Receiving your Household Goods

The liability for duties are paid once Customs has cleared your shipment for release. There are no options of prepaid duties or taxes prior to exportation from a foreign country. Once your shipment is filed with CBP, the party and only the party listed as the receiver can pick up the shipment. If household goods are warehoused, the party of liability can be changed to another party, most whom purchased the goods. The Customs broker cannot pay duties, but can accept a check written out to the Customs and Border Protection to forward. Once items are received, all articles are deemed owned by the receiver and no longer in ownership of the CBP.

For more information regarding moving to Singapore, please visit:

Custom Corporate HQ

Singapore Customs
55 Newton Road
Revenue House
Singapore 307987
Tel: (65) 6355 2000
Fax: (65) 6250 8663

All information featured above is for viewing purposes only. To obtain up-to-date information about overseas shipment, please notify your nearest Consulate.