TNETS Customs Clearance Services in Singapore

At TNETS Global Singapore we have the people, processes and technology to help you clear customs quickly and easily.

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Customs Clearance in Singapore
How does Customs Clearance in Singapore work?

Understanding Customs Clearance in Singapore

Before release of international freight upon arrival in Singapore or departure from Singapore, the cargo owner must obtain a Cargo Clearance Permit or CCP. The exporter must obtain export clearance using the export CCP before the cargo leaves the port of origin. Similarly, a package can only leave the destination port and into ‘free circulation’ once the importer has received import CCP.

You will also see this process referred to as Customs Permit Declaration.

Even seasoned shippers making customs entries can run into complications in Singapore if they don’t have the appropriate documents on hand and the right know how.

It’s critical you meet the conditions of Singapore Customs when your freight is exported from Singapore or being imported into Singapore.

You can outsource the physical and administrative work of processing declarations. It remains your responsibility however as owner of the goods to ensure you have complied with all Singapore Customs rules and regulations.

The obligation to have paid any duties and taxes due to Singapore Customs also rests with the owner of the goods.

The commercial invoice, packing list, and shipping document are essential for customs clearance in Singapore. Still, your package will only physically leave customs control once all duties and taxes have been paid or guarantees given.

For certain cargoes, you may need additional documents such as import / export licences, or certificates of origin to clear customs. Our team in Singapore will be happy to advise you further on this.

What documents do I need for Customs Clearance? in Singapore

Commercial Invoice

The commercial invoice is a critical document.

It contains all the financial conditions of the buyer-seller agreement, including the shipping terms required for customs clearance.

In some cases, the importer can use a pro-forma invoice instead of a commercial invoice as an official document.

Customs officials utilise the information on the invoice to assess the taxes and duties applicable to your cargo.

Packing List

The packing list is part of the shipping documentation and contains precise information about the products.

The freight forwarders will utilize this list to inspect and trace every item in your shipment as it comprises the weight, size, safety measures, and packaging for the cargo.

Exporters may sometimes integrate the above two documents into a single combined document called a CIPL (commercial invoice packing list).

Transport Document

The transport document may be either an Airwaybill for air freight, a Bill of Lading for ocean freight, a Consignment Note for an express shipment or parcel, or a Delivery Order for road freight, and is what the shipper and freight forwarder use to confirm receipt of goods for shipping.

Either the carrier or a freight forwarder will issue a bill of lading to you as the exporter.

This further guarantees the legal receipt of your cargo and contains precise information about the shipping destination, the products you are shipping, and how you wish them to be handled.

Other documents you might need for Customs Clearance in Singapore

Import Licence

Controlled goods require proper authorisation (advance notification, licence or certificate approval) from Competent Authorities (CA) before they may be imported into Singapore.

You can check whether the goods are controlled using the description of the goods, Harmonized System (HS) code or CA product code via the HS/CA Product Code Search Engine.

Alternatively you can check with TNETS Global in Singapore for more information on what licenes may be required for your goods.

If the item is subject to control, you may check directly with TNETS Global on the licensing requirements.

Export Licence

Goods and technology that meet the technical specifications described in the Strategic Goods Control List are subject to controls under the Strategic Goods (Control) Act (SGCA).

The Strategic Goods Control List is found in The Schedule to the Strategic Goods (Control) Order 2023.

It includes items from the four multilateral export control regimes

  • Australia Group
  • Missile Technology Control Regime
  • Nuclear Suppliers Group
  • Wassenaar Arrangement.

Certification of Origin (COO)

A Certificate of Origin (COO) states where the items originate, were processed or obtained from ensuring that the export or import is lawful and that export or import duties and taxes are correctly calculated.

The consulate or chamber of commerce can sometimes issue or certify this document. For claiming duty preferences, it’s usually the national customs body in the country of origin which issues the COO.

The exporter is responsible for delivering the certificate of origin following the rules and regulations of the destination country.

Working with experienced customs brokers makes international shipping easier.

Customs brokers are registered and licenced professionals who can assist with customs clearance and guarantee that you have the proper documents for your freight shipment.

Read more about certificates of origin and how TNETS can assist you with these here.

Purchase Order

A purchase order is a formal declaration that you have received an order.

This document contains information about the transaction, including the parties involved, the products, and the transaction date.

Singapore Certificate of Origin

Obtaining a Singapore Certificate of Origin (CO) can provide several valuable benefits to an exporter, especially when dealing with international trade transactions. A Certificate of Origin is a document that certifies the origin of goods and is often required by customs authorities in the importing country to determine eligibility for preferential trade agreements, tariff reductions, and other trade-related benefits. Here’s why obtaining a Singapore Certificate of Origin can be advantageous for exporters:

1. Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs):

Many countries have established trade agreements with Singapore that offer preferential tariffs or trade benefits to goods originating from Singapore. These agreements aim to reduce or eliminate tariffs, thereby making Singaporean goods more competitive in those markets. To avail of these benefits, exporters need to prove the origin of their goods through a Certificate of Origin.

2. Reduced Tariffs and Duties:

A Certificate of Origin can help exporters reduce or eliminate customs duties, taxes, and other fees imposed on their goods by the importing country. This can significantly improve the cost competitiveness of their products in international markets, potentially leading to increased sales and market penetration.

3. Market Access:

Some countries require a Certificate of Origin to be submitted alongside other import documentation. Without this document, goods might face delays at customs, leading to potential supply chain disruptions. Having a Singapore Certificate of Origin can help ensure smoother customs clearance, facilitating quicker access to target markets.

4. Enhanced Credibility and Trust:

A Certificate of Origin adds credibility to the claim that the goods being exported indeed originate from Singapore. This can be especially important in industries where product quality, safety, and compliance with regulations are crucial. Customers and importers are more likely to trust goods accompanied by proper documentation.

5. Conformity with International Regulations:

International regulations and trade agreements often require proper documentation to prove the origin of goods. Failing to provide a valid Certificate of Origin can lead to non-compliance and potential legal issues. Having the necessary documentation in place helps exporters adhere to these regulations.

6. Competitive Advantage:

Exporters with a Certificate of Origin may have a competitive advantage over those who do not possess one. This advantage is particularly relevant in markets where buyers prefer or require proof of origin for the products they purchase.

7. Risk Mitigation:

In case of disputes or audits related to the origin of goods, having a valid Certificate of Origin can serve as a critical piece of evidence to support the exporter’s claims. This can help mitigate potential legal or financial risks.

8. Access to Government Incentives:

Some governments offer incentives to exporters who can demonstrate the origin of their goods. These incentives may include financial support, grants, or other forms of assistance aimed at promoting international trade.

In conclusion, obtaining a Singapore Certificate of Origin can offer exporters significant advantages by ensuring compliance with trade agreements, reducing tariffs, and enhancing credibility in international markets. It plays a pivotal role in helping exporters tap into the benefits of preferential trade agreements, improve their competitiveness, and navigate complex international trade regulations more effectively.

Why Choose TNETS Global For Customs in Singapore

Your Partner For Customs Clearance In Singapore

At TNETS Global, we are proud to be a leading customs intermediary and provider of customs and trade management technology in Singapore. Our strategic location in the heart of Asia Pacific, with excellent air and sea connectivity, makes us the perfect partner for businesses looking to navigate the complexities of customs and trade in the region.

Customs Clearance Expertise

Our team of experienced professionals understands the intricacies of customs regulations and procedures in Singapore and across the Asia Pacific. We offer comprehensive customs clearance services to ensure smooth and efficient import and export processes for your goods. With our in-depth knowledge of customs laws, we help you navigate through the complexities and ensure compliance, saving you time and resources.

Trade Management Technology

To simplify your customs and trade processes, we provide cutting-edge trade management technology solutions. Our state-of-the-art software and digital platforms enable seamless document management, real-time visibility of your shipments, automated compliance checks, and efficient communication with relevant authorities. Our technology empowers you to streamline your supply chain, reduce costs, and enhance operational efficiency.

Regional Reach

Singapore’s strategic location at the crossroads of major trade routes and its world-class transportation infrastructure make it an ideal hub for businesses operating in the Asia Pacific region. With our extensive network and partnerships, we extend our services beyond Singapore to cover the entire Asia Pacific region. Whether you need assistance with customs clearance, trade compliance, or trade technology solutions, our experts are equipped to support your business needs across borders.

Air and Sea Connectivity

Singapore is renowned for its excellent air and sea connectivity, making it an ideal gateway to the Asia Pacific. Changi Airport, consistently ranked as one of the best airports globally, offers direct flights to major cities worldwide. Our proximity to the port of Singapore, one of the busiest and most efficient ports in the world, ensures seamless sea transport for your goods. We leverage this connectivity to provide you with efficient and reliable customs and trade services.

Value-Added Services

In addition to our core customs clearance and trade management technology offerings, we provide a range of value-added services to cater to your unique requirements. These include consulting services for trade compliance, duty and tax optimization strategies, supply chain risk management, and trade finance solutions. Our aim is to be your trusted partner, supporting your business growth and helping you stay ahead in a competitive marketplace.

Experience the TNETS Global Advantage

With our deep customs expertise, advanced trade management technology, extensive regional reach, and seamless air and sea connectivity, TNETS Global Singapore is your go-to partner for customs and trade solutions in the Asia Pacific. We are committed to delivering exceptional service, enhancing your operational efficiency, and ensuring compliance in a rapidly changing global trade environment.

Contact us today to explore how TNETS Global Singapore can support your customs and trade management needs. Together, let’s unlock new opportunities and drive your business forward in the dynamic Asia Pacific region.

Whatever the size of your business or the industry you serve, TNETS Global has a customs clearance solution for you.
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We understand your business.

Our expertise across all industry verticals makes customs clearance compliant, speedy, and cost-effective for our clients.

Regardless of whether you are importing, exporting or transhipping, TNETS has got you fully covered when it comes to any aspect of Customs Clearance.