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28 September 2021

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Singapore Publishes Updated GST Guide for the Logistics Service Industry

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has published an updated e-Tax Guide - GST Guide for the Logistics Service Industry (Third Edition). The guide explains the GST principles relevant to the logistics service industry and clarifies the GST treatment of some of the more common services provided by businesses in the logistics service industry, including zero-rated services.

In general, all supplies of services made in Singapore in the course or furtherance of a business are subject to GST at the prevailing rate. Certain service supplies, however, can be zero-rated if the supply fulfills specific conditions to qualify as an international service under Section 21(3) of the GST Act. Services that can be zero-rated in the logistics service industry include:

  • International transportation (including local transportation and handling services ancillary to international transportation);
  • Handling or storage services provided within FTZs and designated areas on imported goods or goods for export;
  • Services provided to an overseas customer that are supplied directly in connection with goods for exports; and
  • Handling, transportation, or storage services provided within Singapore (but outside FTZs and designated areas) at the first leg of import supplied to and directly benefitting an overseas person in business capacity, and with effect from 1 January 2020, such services supplied to an overseas person in business capacity and directly benefitting a GST-registered person who belongs in Singapore.

Detailed guidance is provided for each of the services above as well as certain other GST matters for the logistics service industry.

The main updates in the third edition of the guide concern Annex E – Common Errors made by the Logistics Service Industry, which has been amended to reflect changes to the scope of allowable input tax on medical expenses from 1 Oct 2021.

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