An import or export license is permission issued by Singapore’s central government that allows you to engage in any regulated import or export activity. Certain items are not allowed to be freely imported or exported into or out of Singapore, and the government can put import or export restrictions on them. Therefore, to be able to import or export such goods, you need a licence.
Types of Import/Export Licenses
Importing or Exporting of All Goods
An IN Permit is required if your company intends to import all commodities, including non-controlled and controlled ones. Similarly, any products exported out of the country require an OUT Permit. However, exporting or importing trade samples of several uncontrolled goods with a total value of less than S$400 may be done without permits in some circumstances.
Importing or Exporting of Controlled Goods
Food and animal products, petrochemicals, medicines, tobacco products, and cigarettes are some of the most commonly imported or exported restricted items in Singapore. The Controlling Agencies’ regulations govern these activities. Therefore, you will almost always need to obtain an OUT or IN Permit before proceeding.
Importing of High Technology Goods
A few high-tech items are subject to export restriction by the exporting area. The Singaporean importer may be obliged to present the exporter with a Delivery Verification and Certificate of Import. These permissions can be obtained from Singapore Customs. Instead of being diverted to others, devices protected by these restrictions should be directly imported into the country.
Export of Locally Manufactured Goods
If you export Singapore-made items, some buyers may request a Certificate of Origin if you export Singapore-made items, which certifies that the goods were made in Singapore. There are two sorts of origin certificates:
1) Ordinary: to reassure buyers that the exported items are wholly manufactured, produced, or purchased in Singapore;
2) Preferential: to give buyers particular treatment.
Procedure for Importing Goods to Singapore
- To get a Unique Entity Number (UEN), you must first register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) or the relevant Unique Entity Number (UEN) issue agency; and then activate your Customs Account.
Following the activation of your Customs Account, you will be able to:
- You can either choose a Declaring Agent to get customs permits on your behalf or do it yourself.
- Obtain customs permits on behalf of your clients or for your shipments. To do so, apply for a TradeNet user ID and register as a Declaring Agent.
All permit applications must be submitted through TradeNet.