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Moving to Singapore: What You Need to Know

April 13th, 2017

Singapore, the tiny city-state in the South Pacific, is an economic powerhouse. In addition to economic opportunity, people are attracted to its political stability and proximity to a number of other hot destinations (such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Australia).

If you’re planning on moving there for work or for other reasons, here’s what you need to know about shipping your personal effects there.

Shipping Goods without Paying Duties

You can ship your personal effects without paying duties as long as the following criteria are met:
-You’re a Singaporean, a Singaporean permanent resident, a foreigner transferring residence to Singapore, or an immigrant

-If you’re a Singaporean or a returning permanent resident, you have to have lived outside of the country for at least six months

-You can prove you’re the owner of the goods

-You’ve owned these articles for at least three months

-You shipped them by air or by sea

-You’ve imported your belongings within the first six months of your arrival in Singapore

-You don’t try to sell your belongings within three months of their importation

What Goods Are Taxable?

Every country has a list of personal effects that are taxable, and Singapore is no exception.
Liquors, tobacco products, motor vehicles, private aircrafts, boats, yachts and any commercial goods are subject to taxation. It doesn’t matter what your resident status is – you’ll have to pay duties to import any items on the list above.

What Items Are Restricted or Prohibited?

Again, every country has a list of goods that are either highly prohibited or restricted outright. Singapore doesn’t buck any trends in that regard.

Animals (including birds), arms and explosives, batteries, chemicals, diesel oil, movies, fish, flammable materials, food items, pathogens, fertilizer, plants, radioactive materials, and wood are some of the items on the “restricted” list.

Chewing gum, certain kinds of telecommunication equipment, fire crackers and rhino horns are on the prohibited list, so don’t try shipping them.

What Documentation Do You Need to Ship Goods?

You’ll need the following documents when shipping personal effects to Singapore:
Passport

-Work permit (if relevant)

-Entry permit

-Bill of lading/air waybill

Picking up Your Belongings

Once your shipment has arrived in Singapore, your moving company’s local agent picks it up.

If your goods are arriving by boat, the agent will retrieve them from the port, and if they’re arriving via air, the agent will bring them from the airport after filling out the relevant customs forms.

Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Experts

If you’re moving to Singapore, contact Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd. today. We have been moving customers across the world for over a decade. Our dedicated, courteous and knowledgeable staff answers all of your questions, no matter how small. And our team of movers arrives on time, with all of the equipment they need, to get the job right the first time. Some of our customers love us so much, they’ve used us more than once! To learn more, call 416-661-4228.

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