Market Reports/Tariffs
Textiles, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods

Singapore

Import Tariffs
Documentation/Procedures
Restrictions
Standards
Labeling
Intellectual Property Rights
Market Information

Last updated on 12/14/2012

If you have any questions about the following information, please contact Maria D'Andrea-Yothers at the U.S. Department of Commerce- Office of Textiles and Apparel at 202-482-4058 or click here for e-mail access.

**The following information is provided only as a guide and should be confirmed with the proper authorities before embarking on any export activities.**


Import Tariffs - Singapore
The U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA) was implemented on January 1, 2004. For more information, see the OTEXA USSFTA webpage.

Singapore generally does not impose duties on imported goods, which includes textile and apparel products. See more detailed tariff information on the Current Situation of Schedules of Members on the World Trade Organization website. For additional information, see the Singapore Customs website.

To obtain information about tariffs on individual U.S.-origin products exported to FTA member countries, you may use the FTA Tariff Tool.

Additional Import Taxes and Fees--The Singapore Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax on domestic consumption of products and services within Singapore. It is paid whenever customers buy goods or services from GST-registered businesses within Singapore. The rate is charged at 7 percent on the on the landed c.i.f. (cost, insurance and freight) value plus duty (if dutiable and as assessed by Customs). All imported goods (whether for domestic sale or re-exports), are taxable unless the goods are specifically given GST relief by the Comptroller of GST. For more information on GST-related topics pertaining to U.S. exporters, see the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore website or the Singapore Customs website.

Temporary Entry/Samples--Goods may be temporarily imported under the Temporary Import Scheme for a period of six months and for purposes such as repairs, testing and stage performances, auctions, displays, exhibitions or other similar events without the payment of duty and/or GST. A banker’s guarantee is required under the Temporary Import Scheme. These goods must be re-exported within the prescribed period using a Customs Outward permit. GST has to be paid if the goods are not subsequently re-exported.

Trade samples (excluding liquors and tobacco) may be imported if they are imported solely for the purpose of soliciting orders for goods to be supplied from abroad, for demonstration in Singapore to enable manufacturers in Singapore to produce such articles to fulfill orders from abroad or by a manufacturer for the purpose of copying, testing or experimenting before they produce such articles in Singapore. Import of trade samples for which the total value is below $295. are not subject to payment of duty and/or GST. For goods entering Singapore on a temporary basis, companies can apply for an ATA Carnet. For more information, see Temporary Import Scheme on the Singapore Customs website.

ATA Carnet--An ATA Carnet or "Merchandise Passport" is a document that facilitates the temporary importation of products into foreign countries by eliminating tariffs and other import taxes or charges normally required at the time of importation. For more information or to apply for an ATA Carnet, see the United States Council for International Business website.

For information on how to determine tariff rates, see the Export.gov webpage on Tariffs and Import Fees.

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Import Documentation/Procedures (Singapore)

Controlled Goods--Importation of some goods are prohibited, while others require proper authorization (advance notification, licence or certificate approval) before they may be imported into Singapore. For example, articles of clothing intended as protection against attack, including bullet-proof vests require authorization from the Police Licensing & Regulatory Department (Arms & Explosives), Singapore Police Force. You may view the lists of prohibited and controlled goods on the Singapore Custom's Controlled & Prohibited Goods for Import webpage.

For more information on local customs rules and regulations:
Singapore Customs

Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

For information on common export documents, such as transportation documents, export compliance documents, certificates of origin, certificates for shipments of specific goods, temporary shipment documents, and other export-related documents, see the Export.gov webpage on Common Export Documents.

For more information on import procedures and documentation requirements, see the Country Commercial Guides (CCG) in the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library (enter your country of interest in the "country" field, and enter "Country Commercial Guide (CCG)" in the "Report Type" field. Some market research reports are available only to U.S. companies and U.S. students/researchers that are registered with Export.gov.

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Import Restrictions (Singapore)
No information is currently available on any bans, quotas, or other restrictions.

U.S. Export Restrictions:

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the U.S. Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, and international narcotics traffickers and their agents in accordance with U.S. foreign policy and national security goals. The OFAC website includes summaries of sanctions programs for various countries and the “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” (SDNs) list of entities and individuals with whom U.S. persons may not conduct business and whose property must be blocked if under the control of a U.S. person.

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in the U.S. Department of Commerce is responsible for implementing and enforcing the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which regulate the export and re-export of most commercial items. BIS maintains the Denied Persons List, which consists of individuals, and companies that have been denied export and re-export privileges by BIS, and the Entity List, which consists of foreign end users who pose an unacceptable risk of diverting U.S. exports and the technology they contain to alternate destinations for the development of weapons of mass destruction
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Standards - Singapore
SPRING Singapore (Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board), a statutory board of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is the national standards authority in Singapore. SPRING manages the Singapore Accreditation Council - SAC, which accredits conformity assessment bodies based on international standards.

SPRING Singapore establishes and publishes Singapore Standards, by notification in the Government Gazette. In Singapore, compliance to Singapore Standards is voluntary. However, they become mandatory when used by government bodies in regulations or administrative requirements for safety, environmental and health issues. Technical References (TR) are transition documents developed to help meet urgent industry demand for specifications or requirements on a particular product, process or service in an area where there is an absence of reference standards. Unlike Singapore Standards, TRs are not gazetted and are issued without going through the full consensus process and are pre-standards ’tested’ over two years before assessment.

On April 1, 2011, new Consumer Goods Safety Requirements were adopted for products such as toys, children's products, apparel, sports and recreation products, furniture, mattresses and bedding, and do-it-yourself tools.

The SPRING eShop sells Singapore Standards and Technical References.

Local standards organization and other resources:
SPRING Singapore (Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board)

Singapore Accreditation Council - SAC

The National Center for Standards and Certification Information (NCSCI) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce provides information on U.S. and foreign standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures for non-agricultural products. NCSCI staff responds to requests for information by identifying relevant standards and regulations, and by referral to the appropriate standards-developers or private-sector organizations. Under copyright restrictions, NCSCI cannot provide copies of standards, but NCSCI does provide sources for accessing standards.

U.S. companies can register for the Notify U.S. service to learn about and comment on proposed changes to foreign standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures that may affect U.S. access to global markets.

Additional resources:

Examples of voluntary formaldehyde labeling programs

American Apparel and Footwear Association's Restricted Substances List

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) 2014 global guidebook on Understanding Chemical and Physical Requirements for Footwear

ASTM International


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Labeling - Singapore
Labels for all imported goods should be in English. There are no government regulations on labeling for locally manufactured clothing. These products sometimes carry in-house labels of the department store or boutique. Imported clothes usually have labels showing the manufacturing place, material content, washing instructions and size.

With the variety of imports from different countries, sizes can be found according to the British, Italian, French, Japanese or U.S. standards. Many shops only carry small sizes (up to U.S. size 8 or petite sizes).

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Intellectual Property Rights - Singapore
The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore - IPOS is the lead Singapore government agency that advises on and administers intellectual property (IP) laws, promotes IP awareness and provides the infrastructure to facilitate the development of IP in Singapore. Trademarks must be registered with the IPOS. Patent applications are granted by the IPOS.

In connection with its FTA commitments and obligations under international treaties and conventions, Singapore has developed a generally strong IPR regime. The FTA ensures that government agencies will not grant approval to patent-violating products, but Singapore does allow parallel imports.

Singapore is a major transshipment and transit point for sea and air cargo and does not collect information on the contents and destinations of most of this trade. This lack of information makes enforcement against transshipped or transit trade in infringing products virtually impossible. In addition, goods in transit are not generally subject to seizure under the Copyright Act, although seizures may be possible if a search warrant is obtained in advance.

For information on protecting your trademarks, patents and copyrights:

Export.gov --Protecting Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Abroad

StopFakes.gov


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Market Information - Singapore

U.S.-ASEAN Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA)--The ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) collectively ranks as the United States' fifth largest trading partner and fourth largest export market. ASEAN countries include Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Concluded in 2006, the U.S.-ASEAN Trade and Investment Arrangement is intended to strengthen U.S. trade and investment ties with ASEAN both as a region and individually. Future goals include negotiating agreements on trade facilitation, as well as conducting dialogues on trade finance, trade and environment, and government-business synergy. These are in addition to the existing set of TIFA work plan items that include cooperation on standards and support for the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) project. For further information, see the ASEAN page on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative website.

Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP)--On November 14, 2009, President Obama announced that the United States would engage in Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations, which currently includes the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Canada, Mexico and Japan. For further information about TPP, see the Trans-Pacific Partnership page on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative website.


Government Procurement-- See Global Procurement Opportunities for U.S. exporters.

Procurement is generally carried out by individual ministries and agencies although some centralized purchasing is carried out by the Ministry of Finance and other lead agencies like the Infocomm Development Authority - IDA. The tenders are published electronically on the Government Electronic Business System (GeBIZ) website. Selective tendering may be carried out for complex projects.

U.S. companies may contact the U.S. Commercial Service for information and personalized counseling at every step of the exporting process. Find a U.S. Export Assistance Center near you or contact an international office.

Other sources for market information and data:

OTEXA Export Market Report (U.S. export data for textiles, apparel, footwear and travel goods)

Export.gov Trade Data & Analysis webpage

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service

U.S. Department of State - U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions and
U.S. Department of State Country Background Notes

U.S. Office of the Trade Representative

Local Industry and Trade Associations


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