Singapore imported US$327.7 billion worth of goods in 2017 and exported goods worth US$373.2 billion. Singapore’s top trading partners include China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, United States, Japan and South Korea. Integrated circuits, petroleum and gold count among its highest-valued import and export items. Given Singapore’s population of 5.6 million people, its import and export numbers demonstrate an impressive demand in consumption and output in production per resident.
Incorporating Your Import/Export Trading Business On ACRA
Registering your company on the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore is the first step to kicking off your business venture. Successfully registered, your company will receive a Unique Entity Number (UEN), which is required when making applications for other licences and permits.
Registering with Singapore Customs and Other Legal Formalities
Importing and exporting goods into and out of Singapore requires activating an account with Singapore Customs using the company UEN. Account activation, which is free, is generally completed in less than 48 hours. As long as business entities remain registered on ACRA, their Customs Account will remain valid.
Import/Export Trading Companies, depending on their business model, must apply and acquire additional licences and permits when required.
- IN Permit and OUT Permit, for importing and exporting both Controlled and Non-controlled goods into and out of Singapore. For Controlled Goods, an additional permit must be obtained from the relevant Controlling Agencies.
- Import Certificate and Delivery Verification (ICDV), from Singapore Customs, for the import of High-technology Goods.
- Strategic Goods Control (SGC) TradeNet Permit, for exporting, transshipping or bringing in transit Strategic Goods (which include all goods and technology that are intended or likely to be used for weapons of mass destruction).
- Certificate of Origin (CO), for exporting locally produced goods. CO is divided into two categories: Ordinary and Preferential.