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Singapore Custom Duty Rate & Dutiable Goods

Out of all of Singapore’s businesses, the import and export business is one of the most prolific in the country. In the last few years alone the number of trading companies have increased because the city-state is located at such a strategic spot, between the crossroads of several continents. For foreign investors who want to import or export goods to and from Singapore, there is no better place to be, although several requirements must first be met.

When dutiable goods are imported into or manufactured in Singapore, they are going to be subjected to customs and/or excise duty. There is a difference between these two. Also, investors should note that some goods are exempted from taxation in Singapore, while others are considered dutiable goods.

Customs duty is when the duty is levied on the goods which are imported into Singapore, while excise duty on the other hand, is levied on goods which are manufactured in or imported into Singapore.

The duties which are imposed in Singapore are either based on the ad valorem system or on specific rates. An ad valorem rate is calculated based on the percentage value of the goods’ customs. So, for example, ad valorem would be approximately 20% of the customs value of the goods in question. Specific rates on the other hand, is specified according to the amount per unit of weight or any other quantity.

Categories of Dutiable Goods

Dutiable goods in Singapore are divided into four specific categories:

  • Motor vehicles
  • Tobacco products
  • Petroleum and biodiesel products
  • Intoxicating liquors

Below is an example of how the duties payable on these categories of goods are calculated:

  • Alcohol Products – The formula for the duties payable would be as follows:
    • Total quantity in litres X Customs and/or excise duty rate X Percentage of alcoholic strength = Duties payable


  • Tobacco Products – The formula below is applicable to all tobacco products except cigarettes:
    • Total weight (in KG) X Excise duty rate = Duties payable for tobacco products
    • Total number of sticks X Weight of individual sticks (every gram or part thereof) X Excise duty rate = Duties payable


  • Motor Vehicles – Duties payable for motor vehicles are calculated using the following formula:
    • Customs value X Excise duty rate = Duties Payable


  • Petroleum Products – The duties payable for petroleum products and biodiesel blends are calculated using the following formula:
    • Total volume X Excise duty rate = Duties payable for petroleum products
    • Total weight X Excise duty rate – Duties payable for compressed natural gas
    • Volume of diesel X Excise duty rate = Duties payable for biodiesel blend

For foreign investors who have trading companies in Singapore, the first step you need to do if you are looking at importing dutiable goods into Singapore is to obtain a Unique Entity Number (UEN) and register with the Customs Authority of Singapore. All imported goods which come into Singapore will also be subjected to 7% goods and services tax.

Related Link
Corporate Taxation Services
GST Services