One of the most booming industries in the new millennium is international trade. However, it is a new concept of trading. Back in the prehistoric period, man traded salt and shells with distant communities. Trade is based on the fact that one country or group has plenty of supply of some merchandise or commodity that another country demands.
As the world becomes technologically advanced, shifting from subtle to one mode of thought, trade between countries has become more rewarding for both personal and profit satisfaction.
Known for its international outlook, ease of doing business, and strategic location, Singapore is one of the welcoming countries for trade business. This country connects over 120 countries and 600 ports, making it the world’s second-best and busiest container port.
The Asian country was ranked 14th leading exporter in 2014 and 15th leading importer in the world. According to the World Bank, this country is the easiest place in the world to run, do and start a business. It takes a couple of hours to incorporate a trading business in the country. The advanced infrastructure and free trade agreements make it easy for Asian commodities to move among the 31 partners.
This country has a clear regulation and a good reputation for doing business. Therefore, importing and exporting various products follow efficient and straightforward procedures that are done in short orders.
This article will help break down the steps involved in export and import documents acquisition.
Singapore’s regulations on imports and exports, goods and services tax act (GST), and customs act govern all goods imported. GST applies to any goods imported into the country, and it involves 7% of the freight, insurance and freight, and all dutiable goods.
It is advisable to adhere to the below certification steps if you wish to participate in import activities.
Review of the controlled goods
It is important to check whether the goods involved are subject to restriction before initiating any import process.
Activation of custom account
The importer needs to get a Unique Entity Number (UEN) to start any import process by registering with a relevant UEN agency or Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). This will allow account activation.
Inter-bank account registration
For duty payment of importing goods, importers are required to open an inter-bank account with the country’s customs.
It is important to furnish security for things like operation of licensed premises, temporary goods importation, and dutiable goods.
Getting custom import permit
Importers need to appoint a declaring agent or register themselves as one to get hold of customs import permit.
Document preparation for cargo clearance
All entry points into the country are controlled by officers who must see various documents like packing lists, custom permits and invoices to clear cargo entry.
Exporting of goods
Exporting goods in this country falls under the strategic goods act, custom act, and regulation of import and export act. Goods exported from the country must be declared but not subject to duty and GTS. The exporter can get the certificate of origin through the online TradeNet platform for any goods created inside the country.
Below are the steps for exporting goods:
Check controlled goods
It is important to confirm the restriction available on exported goods based on the customs classification database.
Open custom account
The export activities start only after getting a UEN, given either by a relevant UEN insurance agency or ACRA.
Generate custom export permit
One can acquire a customs export permit, similar to an import permit, through the TradeNet system.
Preparation of cargo clearance documents
Certain documents should be presented to the officer if the cargo to be exported is dutiable goods. However, both conventional and containerised cargoes require a customs export permit and any supporting document for the process to be complete.
Instances that require customs export permit for cargo clearance
- Goods exported from bonded warehouses
- Exporting dutiable goods obtained from the licensed warehouse
- Re-exporting of previously imported goods based on temporary import scheme
- Goods exported under the temporary scheme
Singapore presents the simplest and most streamlined export and import procedure since it is considered one of the world’s busiest trading spots. However, it is important to comply with government regulations and leverage temporary policies, warehousing schemes, and free trade zones to improve your trading experience.