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DHL Guide > Export to Singapore

Export to Singapore

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Singapore is the world’s fourth-largest financial centre. The city-state’s economy is one of the world’s most open, and GDP growth is predicted to remain strong at 3 to 4 per cent per year.

A former British colony, Singapore has strong trade ties to the UK: English is Singapore’s business language and over 1,000 UK companies have a presence in the city-state. The UK-Singapore Economic and Business Partnership facilitates trade cooperation and a Singapore-EU Free Trade agreement is expected to further grow bilateral relations.

Sources: European Commission, GOV.UK, UKTI, World Bank

For more detailed information when trading with Singapore, download our Singapore Fact Sheet.

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Singapore Fact Sheet (2 MB)

Read more detailed
information about Singapore

DHL Facts

Number of Service Centres: 4

DHL Delivery Zone: 8

Vehicle Fleet: 253

Singapore: Country Profile
Population: 5.6 million

EXPORTS FROM SINGAPORE

Exports from
Singapore:
US$ 442.9 billion (2013 est.)
Area: 697 sq km Export Commodities: Machinery and equipment (including electronics and telecommunications), pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, refined petroleum products, food and beverages
Currency: 1 Singapore dollar (SGD) = 100 cent Top Export Destinations: USA, Malaysia, Australia, India, Germany, China, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, UK, Indonesia
GDP: US$ 339 billion (2013 est.) IMPORTS INTO SINGAPORE
Time Zones: UTC+8, no daylight savings time observed Imports into
Singapore:
US$ 380.3 billion (2013 est.)
Languages: Mandarin (official), English (official), Hokkien, Tamil (official), Cantonese, Teochew, Malay (official), other Chinese dialects, other Import Commodities: Machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs, consumer goods
Ethnic Groups: Chinese 74.2%, Malay 13.3%, Indian 9.2%, other 3.3% Top Import Origins: USA, Germany, China, Australia, UK, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, New Zealand
Transit Times
Destination Transit Time
Singapore (all destinations) 4 days
  • Further Information

    DHL can assist you with trading with Singapore. Contact the DHL team on 0844 248 0675

    DHL Customer Services is also available on 0844 248 0844

    Calls to DHL UK phone numbers beginning ‘084’ cost 7 pence per minute, plus your phone company’s

  • Duty Free Allowance

    SGD 400

Essential Customs Information

For an estimate of landed costs (duties, taxes and other import fees) for shipments going to Singapore use the free and interactive DHL Express Trade Automation Services (TAS) tool, tas.dhl.com. TAS also provides information on regulations compliance and trade documentation.

Singapore’s General Sales Tax rate is based on 7% of commercial invoice value for all shipments with a Cost Insurance Freight (CIF) value exceeding SGD 400. Import duty only applies to intoxicating liqueurs, tobacco products, motor vehicles and petroleum products. Excise duty applies on excisable goods, i.e. alcohol and tabacco. 

Document shipments weighing over 30 kg and printed materials with a commercial value or meant for mass distribution must be shipped as goods. 
Certain items will be subject to inspection by and/or require approval from the following Singapore government bodies/agencies: Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA), Health Sciences Authority (HSA), Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), Media Development Authority (MDA) 


Prohibited items specific to Singapore:

The list below is in addition to DHL’s standard list of prohibited items.

  • Antiques 
  • Asbestos 
  • Chewing gum, except for medical purposes 
  • Chewing tobacco 
  • Cigarette lighters if pistol / revolver shaped 
  • Dangerous goods, hazardous or combustible materials 
  • Electronic cigarettes 
  • Endangered animals / plants 
  • Firearms, or parts of 
  • Firecrackers 
  • Furs 
  • Ivory 
  • Jewellery 
  • Precious metals & stones, including rough diamonds 
  • Rhinoceros horn 

Restricted items specific to Singapore:

Alcoholic beverages
Dutiable regardless of CIF. Invoice must state bottles per shipment, alcohol strength, brand name, bottle volume. Wine: specify if sparkling or still. 


Animal products & foodstuffs, including grain samples 
Receiver to obtain import licence/ approval from Singapore’s AVA. 


Animal skins
If unprocessed: provide Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) certificate from country of origin. 


Audio cassette tapes, hardback or paperback books for non-commercial use, journals, magazines, newspapers & periodicals
Provide title list. May be inspected by Singapore’s MDA. 


Cash letters (NI), cheques (NI): blank/cancelled/cashier, credit cards (NI) & credit card blanks (NI)
Not acceptable if activated and/or in bearer form. 


Cologne and perfume, soil samples & telecommunications equipment
Approval from Singapore’s AVA and proper packaging required. 


Communications equipment including phones & modems, radar equipment including transmitters & receivers
Subject to approval from Singapore’s IDA. Mass distribution: importer to provide import licence. 


Cosmetics, drugs: prescription, including oral dental chewing gums & drugs: non-prescription
Receiver to obtain approval/import license from Singapore’s HSA. Private individuals: provide doctor’s prescription for contents. Drugs/medicines: invoice must state name, brand, quantity per bottle, weight of each capsule, reason for import & product composition. 


Diplomatic mail
Can be shipped as documents regardless of weight. 


Electronic games
Receiver to confirm the item is on Singapores MDA approved list of games. 


Films, including entertainment films: 8mm, 16mm & 35mm, video cassettes, DVDs & laser discs
Submit title list to Singapore’s MDA for approval. 


Films: promotional / training, including industrial advertising and promotion materials for internal company use
Receiver to provide declaration to Singapore’s MDA. 


Medical samples
For personal consumption: receiver to provide doctor’s prescription. For retail purposes: receiver to obtain import licence from Singapore’s Drug Administration Department. 


Oil products, bunker oil samples (for analysis), coal & firewood
Flashpoint must be above 60.5°C. Contact DHL Customer Services before shipping.  


Perishables
Receiver to obtain import permit from relevant government authorities prior to shipping. Contact DHL Customer Services before shipping. 


Plants & plant products including seeds & cotton seeds
Shipper to provide Phytosanitary Certificate.  


Tobacco
Dutiable regardless of CIF but not controlled. Invoice must state number of packages in shipment or weight per shipment, brand name and numbers of sticks per package.  


Toy guns / pistols / revolvers
Import controlled by Singapore’s State Police, Arms & Explosives Licensing Division. State ‘TOY GUNS’ on Waybill and commercial invoice. Provide document proof by manufacturer confirming the product is a toy and not a replica of a real firearm.  


X-ray machines
Destination importer or receiver to obtain licenses from Singapore’s HSA.


For military equipment and strategic goods & technology (including ‘dual-use’ goods with both civilian and sensitive military applications) machines please contact DHL Customer Services before shipping.

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