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22 January 2021

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Singapore Publishes Updated GST Guide on Imports

On 20 January 2021, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) published an updated e-Tax Guide concerning GST on imports. The purpose of the guide is to provide details on GST matters relating to the importation of goods, including GST reporting requirements and various import related schemes. This includes guidance on:

  • Supply of imported goods to local customers;
  • Claiming import GST;
  • Correcting errors made on importation of goods;
  • Importing goods on behalf of an overseas person;
  • Re-importing goods belonging to local persons or GST-registered overseas persons; and
  • GST suspended at the point of importation.

The latest update primarily concerns section 8 - Importing goods on behalf of an overseas person, including changes regarding section 33(1) agents and non-section 33(1) agents:

  • Amendments to paragraphs 8.32 and 8.33 to remove the requirement for an overseas principal to obtain approval from Singapore Customs and to ensure that the non-section 33(1) agent has the necessary authorisation from relevant government agencies;
  • The insertion of footnote 31 to provide the link to Singapore Customs website for the list of authorisations; and
  • The insertion of paragraph 8.33 to be clear that the non-section 33(1) agent cannot claim the import GST and the section 33(1) agent is still responsible for the GST obligations of the overseas principal.

A section 33(1) agent is a person substituted for an overseas person registered for GST, which assumes all the GST responsibilities of the registered overseas person including the reporting and payment of GST due.

Click the following link for the e-Tax Guide - GST: Guide on Imports (Sixth Edition) on the IRAS website.

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