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Any tips on avoiding Singapore import duties?

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Does anyone here have tips on how to avoid Singapore import duties for articles mailed from the UK?

I am moving to Singapore at the end of the month and was thinking of shipping valuable items separately because I am wary of the shipping service hired by my company. By valuable I mean articles such as a Swaine Adeney briefcase, Brigg umbrella, a Lock fedora and so on. As I care for my accessories, I am afraid that these may be mistaken for brand new items and taxed.

I am wondering whether it would make a difference if I sent these in separate packages, or as part of a larger shipment containing clothes and other personal items.

I would appreciate hearing from someone with similar experience for Hong Kong as well.
 
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Given my situation, might it make sense to send my things to a friend in Hong Kong and pick them up on a later trip? Or might Singapore customs let me prove that I owned these items for some time before shipping them out?
 

Wicky

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First check whether there is an exemption. Most countries have an exemption from customs for expats that come for a certain period of time and then move back again. Don't know the specifics about Singapore though.
 

Infrasonic

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Don't know the ins and outs of the Singapore system, but if you have the original purchase receipts could you not photocopy them and place with the goods?
 

aleksandr

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Hey,
Generally import duty isn't charged on bringing in goods, only the local version of VAT, called GST, is charged. It's currently at 7%. But if you can prove that you are transferring your place of residence to Singapore, you can apply for an exemption. Check out details at http://www.customs.gov.sg/leftNav/tr...+Singapore.htm
 
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Thanks a lot. I didn't find this and neither did my shipper. Do you think Singapore customs will be anal about the requirement that you prove you've used the things for three months? Like I said, I have some expensive looking things that look new.
 

aleksandr

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I don't think so.
As long as you can show that you shipped the item from your country of origin, I don't think they're going to be anal. The government is pretty keen on foreigners coming here to work so I doubt that customs will make life difficult for them.

Although I haven't exactly been in your shoes since I'm local, over the years I've shipped all sorts of stuff in and I haven't ever had problems with customs.
 

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