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Moving to Singapore Guide

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click for a larger viewGoods and Services Taxes (GST)
Documents Required
Customs Duty
Prohibited Items
Controlled Items

Importing Household and Personal Effects into Singapore

With Vanpac International, you can be confident that you have chosen the best moving company to handle your move into Singapore. On your behalf, Vanpac International will handle all the import documents, arrange clearance of your household & personal effects through customs and movement from the seaport or airport to your home.

Free Port

Singapore is essentially a free port. Used household goods and personal effects (ie: furniture, electrical items such as TV, fridge, Hi-Fi and etc) are not subject to customs duty. Go ahead and ship to Singapore. It’s easier for you to settle down and cheaper as you do not have to buy new ones and pay storage charges.

Items that are dutiable on import include alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and motor vehicles. It is best not to include these items.

Goods & Services Tax (GST)

All importations are currently subjected to 5% Goods & Services Tax (GST). However, returning Singaporeans, permanent residents as well as foreigners, who are transferring residence to Singapore may be granted GST relief on his/her used household and personal effects (excluding liquors, tobacco products and motor vehicles), subject to the following conditions.

i) that such person satisfies Customs that -

• he is changing his place of residence from outside Singapore.
• he is the owner of the household & personal effects imported; and have in his possession and used    for a period of not less than 3 months

ii) that the household and personal effects are imported within 6 months of the first arrival in Singapore

iii) that such person gives an undertaking not to dispose of the household and personal effects within 3 months from the date of importation such household and personal effects..

For returning Singaporeans, they must have resided in a foreign country for not less then 6 months to quality for GST relief on their used household and personal effects. Please take note that you will need to provide proof of your stay.

Documents Required

To prove your transfer of residence to Singapore, the owner should submit a completed Declaration of Facts Form together with photo copies of the following supporting documents to Vanpac International at least seven days before the vessel's arrival.

• Passport showing personal particulars and photo page (copy)
• Employment pass (copy)
• Completed & signed "Declaration of Facts" form.

However, if your employment pass is still processed by the Manpower Ministry, Customs will accept a copy of the application pass duly receipted by the Manpower Ministry Department. Alternatively, you may furnish a letter from your employer confirming your employment together with the undertaking from your employer to pay GST involved in the event that the employment pass is not approved or that your employment is not taken up.

In the event that you are not in Singapore, and have not provide Vanpac International the above supporting documents for submission to Customs, you may have to pay GST and port storage charges, if any. It is recommended that you inform our Import Department about one week or more in advance prior to the vessel’s arrival.

Note: Generally, customs in Singapore is a quick and painless process. Custom officials are reasonable, but do expect a stiff penalty if you are caught for evading duties.

Duty for Alcoholic beverages and tobacco

No Customs permit is required as part of household & personal effects shipment, provided that they are in reasonable quantity. Full itemised list stating brand, number of bottles, type of alcohol, size, country made, and cost price of all bottles must be provided for computation of GST. Please click here for your Alcohol Listing Declaration.

If you are including alcohol or tobacco, you must be prepared to pay high customs duty and (GST) tax upon request. These are naturally not included in the quotation you received from your mover. Due to high customs duty, we always discourage any liquor to be included in the household goods shipment.


Liquor and Spirits: cognac, whisky, vodka, gin, rum, brandy (not exceeding 46% vol)
$ 30.00 per litre
Sparking Wine $ 10.40 per litre
Still Wine ( red, white & etc ) $   9.50 per litre
Beer $   3.90 per litre
Stout  $   5.40 per litre

Opened bottles are also subject to custom duty. Duty above excludes GST.

Note : GST relief is not extended to liquors, tobacco products and motor vehicles. If liquors are included in the shipment, you must declare it to the Customs’ attention to avoid stiff penalty. Please also note that if wines/spirits are not listed with the Singapore Customs, a test/analysis may be carried out by the Department of Scientific Services and the duty levied according to the alcohol content. The testing, documentation and handling charges will be charged to the owner (approx: $80.00 per bottle ) It may take up to 2 months to clear alcohol.

Please check with us.

Video Tapes /Video Disks & Films
All recorded tapes, laser disc/films, for ballet, opera, classical, jazz, country folk, instrument, music, sports, documentary; cartoons for children can be shipped to Singapore, as censorship exemption for such, can be arranged by owner in person.

All others types of tapes, laser disc and films will be subject to strict censorship before allowing into Singapore. The censorship fee of about $6.50 per hour is payable.

Dry Food
No restriction so long as quantity is reasonable and imported with household and personal effects shipment.

Prohibited Items
The following items are prohibited from entry into Singapore.
• The intoxicating liquors and cigarettes must not be marked with the words 'SINGAPORE DUTY NOT PAID' on the labels, cartons or packets. Cigarettes with the prefix 'E' printed on the packets.
• Chewing gum
• Chewing tobacco and imitation tobacco products
• Cigarette lighters of pistol or revolver shape
• Controlled drugs and psychotropic substances
• Endangered species of wildlife and their by-products
• Firecrackers
• Obscene articles, publications, video tapes/discs and software
• Reproduction of copyright publications, video tapes, video compact discs, laser discs, records or cassettes
• Seditious and treasonable materials

Controlled Items

Import of the following items is under control. Approval must be obtained from the respective controlling authorities before the items are allowed entry into Singapore. It is highly recommended that you do not include any such items in your consignment prior to approval.

Items Authority
Live animals and their by-products AVA - Regulatory Branch Service
5 Maxwell Road #02-00
Tower Block MND Complex
Singapore 069110
Tel: (65) 6227 0670
Fax: (65) 6227 6403/6305
Plants with soil Phytosanitary and Plant Quarantine Section
Lorong Chencharu Sembawang 17km
Sembawang Research Station
Singapore 769193
Tel: (65) 6751 9843
Fax: (65) 6752 0170
Arms & explosives
Bullet-proof clothing
Pistols & revolvers
Spears & swords

Singapore Police Force
Arms & Explosives Branch
391 New Bridge Road #02-701
Police Cantonment Complex
Singapore 088762
Tel: (65) 6557 5803/09/22
Fax: (65) 6223 4704

Pre-recorded cartridges & cassettes
Printed publications

Ministry of Information and the Arts
Film and Publications Department
45 Maxwell Road #07/11-12
URA Centre East Wing
Singapore 069118
Tel: (65) 6372 2848/9
Fax: (65) 6222 0956

Director of Medical Services Drug Administrative Division
2 Jalan Bukit Merah
Singapore 169547
Tel: (65) 6325 5637
Fax: (65) 6224 2352

Motor Vehicles

Customs duty & related fees are extremely high. Cars over three years old are not allowed to be imported into Singapore. Please check with Vanpac International before you consign any motor vehicle to us.

Moving your Pets

If you are moving your pets to Singapore, Vanpac can take care of the necessary arrangements for your pets.

All dogs & cats may be brought into Singapore, provided an import permit is issued by the Agri -food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) prior the arrival.

The following breeds of dogs are being banned from imported into Singapore:
• Pit Bull (which includes the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Bulldog.
• Neapolitan Mastiff.
• Tosa.
• Akita.
• Dogo Argentino.
• Fila Braziliero.
• Crosses of these breeds.

Import Pre-requisites
Veterinary health certificate
Original copy (in English) issued by a registered veterinarian of the country of export, certifying that “the pet is healthy and free from any contagious or infectious diseases at the time of inspection”. The date of inspection must not be more than 7 days from the date of entry into Singapore.

Vaccination Card (for dogs only)
All dogs entering Singapore must be vaccinated against canine distemper, canine hepatitis and canine parvovious infection not more than two weeks, but less than one year prior to entry.

Quarantine Space

If you live in a country other than Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Ireland, you must have official notification of a quarantine space for your pet before your import permit application can be processed.

Quarantine space is limited and must be booked months ahead. To apply for quarantine space, approach the Jurong Animal Quarantine Station (JAQS) at the address below:
53, Jalan Buroh           Tel: (65) 6268-0658
Singapore 619495       Fax: (65) 6266-2985

30-day quarantine
Except for pets from Australia, New Zealand & United Kingdom, all pets must be vaccinated & quarantined for one month upon arrival.

Getting the Import License
We can arrange for the import license from AVA at least two weeks prior the date of import.

Consignment Information
Please consign all sea and air shipments to Singapore port/airport terminal.
Port of entry: Singapore

Consignee (on OBL & AWB):

Vanpac International Pte Ltd
Jurong Point P O Box 301
Singapore 916411

Phone : (65) 6262 1300
Fax : (65) 6262 1290
For : Shipper's name (same as passport)


Documentation Required

Sea Shipment
We need BL, packing list, and other supporting documents immediately once vessel leaves the port to avoid any port charges. Please advice client to contact our Import Dept at least one week prior vessel’s arriving Singapore. We require the following documents:
1) Declaration of Fact form (duly completed & signed)
2) Passport (copy) showing personal particulars and photo page
3) Employment Pass (copy)

For returning Singaporeans, he/she must also provide proof of stay in country.

Air Freight
All required documents for airfreight are the same as sea shipment. Due to the short transit time, prior shipment, we need a 72 hours pre-alert, along with all details and documents. Airlines & forwarders allow up to 48 hours free. Without the documents, storage will incur, consignment cannot be uplifted and as such additional charges will incur.

Ms Patricia Lim, Senior Manager
Tel : + (65) 6262 1300
Fax : +(65) 6262 1290
Email: pat@vanpac.com.sg

Company's Email: vanpacsg@vanpac.com.sg

Next: General Information About Singapore

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