SingPost customers must pay GST for imports via cashless methods before receiving delivery
UPDATE (October 6, 6:25 p.m.): An earlier version of this article stated that SingPost would charge GST on imports. We have since updated it to clarify that as of November 1, payment of GST / duty on imported goods valued over $ 400 or dutiable and controlled goods can be made through SingPost Mobile app, SAM kiosks or any SingPost office before delivery.
Most Singaporeans are fans of online shopping, especially with the low prices that shopping platforms offer.
Buying products wholesale often means racking up a big bill of hundreds of dollars, which some of us may be familiar with. To provide transportation, SingPost charges customers customs duty or the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on goods valued over $ 400.
Currently, customers are expected to pay this amount in cash upon receipt of their orders.
But of November 1, 2021, they will need to pay these charges through the SingPost mobile app, SAM kiosks, or any post office before SingPost makes delivery.
SingPost GST / Cashless Payments from November 1
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, October 5, Singapore Customs informed the public of a new update. The update appears to be in line with the measures SingPost introduced earlier on October 1.
Starting in November, those who ordered packages from overseas will have to pay a GST fee up front before SingPost delivers the item.
Charges can be paid through the SingPost mobile app, SAM kiosks or any post office prior to delivery.
However, no GST will apply to non-taxable and uncontrolled items of an amount less than or equal to $ 400. This does not apply to alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.
GST on low-value imports will not be imposed until 2023, as mentioned in Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat’s budget speech in February.
But for imports currently subject to duty or GST, recipients will be notified of their charges via SingPost’s mobile app, SMS, email, or letter.
Here is a breakdown of the types of assets involved:
Packages must be accompanied by their commercial invoice
SingPost will notify individuals once they have calculated the GST or duty on any of the affected products they have listed above.
After customers make payment, they will likely receive their packages within 2-3 business days. SingPost may impose other fees as well, so take note.
SingPost will also hold any package without a commercial invoice.
They will then notify the recipient to submit an invoice and other supporting documents to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) for validation.
Recipients will have 14 days from the date of notification to pay. Otherwise, SingPost will return the item to the sender.
Those eligible for the GST exemption can send a copy of the following to SingPost’s email address prior to delivery:
- a copy of the import permit for the items
- shipment tracking number
Take note if you receive some packages
While the changes will only affect those ordering high value imports or dutiable and uncontrolled goods, it is helpful to know the procedures in case we need to deal with them in the future.
Hopefully the transition will be a smooth one, especially for people who regularly process such orders.
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Featured image adapted from Google Maps and SingPost on Facebook.