A Comprehensive guide shipping from China to Singapore
This guide equips you with all the information you need while shipping goods from China to Singapore.
- China is dubbed as Singapore¡¯s biggest product exporter, with approximately 14% of all imports coming from China. Electronics, mineral fuels, and medical equipment comprise most of the products imported to Singapore from China.
- From China to Singapore, DFH global logistics has the capability to assist you. We have years of experience in this industry and we are able to handle all sizes and types of cargo. With our wide network of partners and suppliers, we are also able to provide one of the most competitive rates in the market.
- Competitive pricing and great customer support.DFH offers customers great prices partnered with great support. This ensures that you get the best price for your shipments, all while getting support from DFH is personnel about the shipping status.
- Among the main goals of DFH Global Logistics Service is to provide importers like you with tailored logistics services to meet your demanding needs. As such, DFH offers: Door-to-door shipping, FCL and LCL shipping options, Express shipping from China to Singapore
- Air, sea, and express freight are available for you to pick from depending on your business is importation requirements. And whatever you choose, you¡¯ll get seamless quality services coupled with superior tracking and customer support services.
- Shipping from China to Singapore often takes 10-12 days by sea to door, 3-5days by air include express shipping like DHL, FedEx, or special way, etc. If you are importing goods from Alibaba, Taobao, Aliexpress, or any other platform, DFH can help you get the cheapest shipping rate from China to Singapore.
- If your goods are Volume weight goods, DFH Global Logistics has a special way by air door to door, Volume weight is less than by express. if you need a slow way, then by sea door to door is the better choice, delivery time is about 10-12 days to door.
- Import GST Singapore is imposed on all goods coming to Singapore, whether they are dutiable or not. If the goods Volume is more than 400SGD, you will need to pay for the GST 7% charge, and for some special way, you will need to pay for 50SGD for local customs clearance agent charge, too
Contact DFH Global Logistics for Best Rate
Your Best Freight Forwarder Partner in China
China and Singapore are two major Asian countries with exceptionally strong economic ties. As such, China is dubbed as Singapore’s biggest product exporter, with approximately 14% of all imports coming from China. Electronics, mineral fuels, and medical equipment comprise most of the products imported to Singapore from China.
1. Products to Import from China to Singapore
2. Consumer Goods Safety Regulations
3. Prohibited and Restricted Items for Import in Singapore
4. How to Import Goods from China to Singapore?
5. Singapore Import Duties and Taxes
6. Shipping Incoterms and Its Role in Determining Customs Valuation
7. Shipping Times from China to Singapore
8. Main Seaports and Airports in China
9. Main Seaports and Airports in Singapore
10. DFH Global Logistics Services – Your Best Choice for Shipping from China to Singapore
It is possible to import your goods from China to Singapore. But first, you need knowledge of several important factors such as acceptable and prohibited goods, product safety policies, import duties, permits, taxes, and reliable freight forwarder from China to Singapore.
This article will tackle all the basics of importing and shipping from China to Singapore. Think of it as your complete guide to make importing to Singapore easier for you.
We’ll also introduce DFH Global Logistics Service and how their excellent freight forwarding service can help you handle your Singapore imports cargo needs.
Products to Import from China to Singapore
There are plenty of products Chinese manufacturers typically bring to Singapore. These main goods include the following:
- Pieces of machinery and medical equipment
- Cars and automobile parts
- Organic chemicals
- Iron and steel products
- Furniture such as sofas
- Clothing and textiles
- Mineral fuels
- Children’s products
Consumer Goods Safety Regulations
Some categories of imported products must meet certain safety requirements before being allowed to get inside Singapore. These safety requirements are stipulated in the Consumer Goods Safety Regulations (CGSR).
CGSR protects Singaporean consumers from unsafe imported goods. The regulations are created to point out goods that need to be tested for safety before reaching the Singaporean market. CGSR provides these regulations not only for suppliers, traders, and importers but also for the general consumers’ information.
Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) appointed Enterprise Singapore as its Safety Authority. Enterprise Singapore administers all the rules under CGSR. The agency can investigate, interfere with ongoing sales, and/or ban sales of goods deemed unsafe for the Singaporean public.
CGSR covers general consumer goods not regulated by other Singaporean agencies. Examples of these CGSR-regulated goods include:
- Children’s products
- Recreational and sports products
- Do-it-yourself tools
There are two classifications of goods under CGSR:
- Category 1 – Products under this category must comply with applicable international standards such as:
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
- International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
- European Standards (EN)
- ASTM International Standards
Apart from meeting safety requirements from the aforementioned standards, consumer goods under Category 1 must also conform to any additional safety requirements given by Enterprise Singapore. Such is the case for children’s toys and childcare products.
- Category 2 – All products under Category 2 apply to goods without specific international standards to meet. Category 2 goods must comply with safety requirements stipulated by applicable national and/or regional standards.
Some products are not under CGSR’s purview, and they include:
- Medical devices
- Chinese proprietary medicines
- Electric bikes and motor vehicles
- Hazardous substances
- Kid’s car seats
- Motorcycle helmets
- Food products
Import of these products is regulated by different bodies such as the Singapore Food Agency, Health Sciences Authority, Land Transport Authority, Traffic Police, and National Environment Agency.
Importers like you must carefully check the products you wish to import from China to Singapore. See to it that your goods comply with all the safety standards of CGSR imposed by Enterprise Singapore. Sales of non-compliant products will be stopped by Enterprise Singapore. Also, importers who continued to sell their non-compliant products despite the halt orders of Enterprise Singapore will be convicted, imprisoned, or fined accordingly.
Prohibited and Restricted Items for Import in Singapore
You are not allowed to import the following products to Singapore:
- Cigarette lighters in pistol or revolver shapes
- Chewing gums, except oral dental and medical chewing gums approved by the Health Sciences Authority
- Chewing tobacco
- Voice-changing equipment for telephones
- Radio-communication jamming devices
- Equipment for military communication
- Scanning receivers
- Radio-communication equipment operating in certain frequency bands
- Materials that are obscene, treasonable, and seditious
- Products derived from endangered wildlife species
- Horns of rhinoceroses
- Species of endangered wildlife animals
- Imitation tobacco products
- Smokeless cigarettes and similar products
- Nicotine or tobacco in a dissolvable form
- Nicotine or tobacco-containing products that can be injected, implanted, or topically applied to the skin
- Oral and nasal snuffs
- Gutkha, khaini, and zarda
- Drugs under the regulation of the 4th Schedule of Misuse of Drugs
How to Import Goods from China to Singapore?
In this section, we will thoroughly cover Singapore import regulations and import procedures. We’ll go through different customs procedures, as well as duties and taxes that may be imposed on your products. Importation of goods from other countries to Singapore is governed by three regulatory bodies, namely:
- Customs Act
- Regulation of Imports and Exports Act
- Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act
Here are the steps in importing goods from China to Singapore:
1. Double-check your goods’ classifications.
A responsible importer needs to double-check if his goods comply with all classifications and safety regulations imposed by Singapore. It’s best if you can check these classifications even before applying for a customs permit. But it’s perfectly fine to commence classifications checking after activating your Singapore Customs Account.
Check that your goods are not in the list of items prohibited to import to Singapore. You may refer to the lengthy list that was discussed in the previous section.
For safety requirements, kindly refer back to the previous section regarding Consumer Goods Safety Regulations. Ensure that your products comply with regulations administered by the Enterprise Singapore agency or any relevant regulatory body, as applicable to the type of goods you wish to import.
You can also check if your goods are subject to restrictions or are controlled by using the HS/CA Product Code Search. Note that Singapore uses the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) created by the World Customs Organization (WCO).
Searching for your products’ classification under the HS/CA Product Code Search requires you to input either of the following:
- Product description
- HS code
- Competent Authorities (CA) product code
Goods subject to control will have its CA name displayed beside its HS code. Hence, you can quickly contact the relevant Competent Authorities for any licensing requirements you’ll need to submit.
You may file for official classification ruling if you need your products’ full 8-digit HS code. Note that HS codes currently searchable on the Customs web engine are only up to the 6-digit level. These official classification rulings will cost S$75 per product and are applicable only within Singapore.
2. Register for a Singapore Customs Account.
You need to acquire a Unique Entity Number (UEN) to start activating your Customs Account. UEN is a unique yet standard identification number issued to various entities wishing to transact with Singaporean authorities. This number is all you need to go through the various phases of applying for an import permit.
Getting your UEN requires registration to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). In this case, your ACRA registration number becomes your UEN. If getting a UEN from ACRA isn’t possible, you must contact a relevant UEN Issuance Agency such as Enterprise Singapore.
After acquiring your UEN, proceed to the Singapore Customs website to activate your Customs account.
3. Register to acquire an Inter-Bank GIRO Account.
An Inter-Bank GIRO (IBG) account is needed so you can pay GST, import fees, duties, penalties, and other charges for customs-related services directly to Singapore Customs.
Print out and accomplish the form for Application for Inter-Bank GIRO. Mail your completed form to Singapore Custom’s address, which is readily available in the form. It’ll take around 3-4 weeks for the financial institution to approve your IBG request.
After the approval of your IBG, you can authorize your Declaring Agent (if you have any) to use your IBG for GST and duties payment for your imports from China. Authorization can be done a day after IBG application approval. Note that if you did not set-up an IBG account, your goods’ GST and duties payments will be taken from the IBG of your Declaring Agent. Duties and GSTs will be deducted from your IBG once your customs import permit is already approved.
4. Arrange for security.
You need to lodge security for transactions that fall under these conditions:
- Transactions involving dutiable goods
- Temporary goods importation for purposes approved by Customs
- Operation of licensed excise factories and warehouses
- For purposes of revenue protection
- As compliance with Singapore Customs’ regulatory requirements
Security amounts required are dependent on the transaction type. You may refer to Singapore Customs’ Security Lodgement page for a complete list. Meanwhile, security amounts may also differ on a case-to-case basis.
Securities can be lodged as an Insurance Bond, Banker’s Guarantee, or Finance Company Guarantee. Download the Security Application Form, then bring it either to your insurance company, bank, or finance company.
After you receive the original security, submit it to the Singapore Customs’ Registration Unit, Procedures, and Systems Branch. It is located at 55 Newton Road #09-01, Revenue House, Singapore 307987. Customs will then register this security in 3 working days and will send you notifications through fax or email.
5. Apply for your Customs Import Permit.
You may now start applying for a Customs Permit. To do so, register and apply for a TradeNet user ID inside the Customs website. You need to register as a Declaring Agent, or you may appoint another person to act as a Declaring Agent on your behalf.
Applying for customs permit via TradeNet can be accomplished in two possible ways:
- Purchasing TradeNet front-end solution from approved solution providers
- Using a front-end application offered by the Singaporean government
Prepare S$2.88 for each permit application. Note that the cost doesn’t include charges made by Declaring Agents (if you used any) and freight forwarders.
Applicants for containerized cargo importation should also submit the shipper seal number and the container number when applying for a customs import permit.
Singapore’s online portal TradeNet may be unavailable at times unannounced by the customs. If so, you can create a Letter of Undertaking to process your customs permit. Download the template from their Import Permits page.
6. Submit documents for cargo clearance.
Documents required for import and cargo clearance include the following:
- Customs Import Permit
- Commercial invoice
- Packing lists
- Books of accounts
- Certificate of origin
- Certificate of insurance
- Certificate of analysis
- Air waybill or bills of lading
Printed copies of these documents must be available at hand, especially when your goods will be imported via containerized and/or conventional cargo.
All trading documents must be retained for 5 years from the date of customs permit approval. You may keep both physical and digital image copies. Singapore Customs might request some of these documents from you even after you’ve successfully imported your goods from China to Singapore.
Singapore Import Duties and Taxes
Generally, Singapore is a free port with an open economy. This means over 99% of imports going to Singapore do not need to pay duties. However, there are certain goods categories which Singapore levies duties and excise taxes to, including:
- Motor vehicles
- Intoxicating liquors
- Tobacco products
- Biodiesel blends and petroleum products
Singapore Customs lists down all dutiable goods based on the four categories above, plus its equivalent duties and excise taxes on this page.
Singapore custom duty rate and excise duties are computed based on a specific (ad valorem) rate. Singapore import duty is also calculated based on specified rates, that is, a specific amount per weight or per any other unit of a quantity that applies to your products.
Import GST Singapore is imposed on all goods coming to Singapore, whether they are dutiable or not. Taxable values for GST for dutiable goods are computed based on the Cost, Insurance, and Freight (CIF) incoterms value and include all additional charges and duties. GST for non-dutiable goods is calculated based on the CIF as well, plus incidental charges and all other commissions that may or may not be shown on the invoice. Singapore’s current GST rate is fixed at 7%.
Get more information on the Singapore tax calculator at http://www.asean-cn.org/.
Shipping Incoterms and Its Role in Determining Customs Valuation
Incoterms are used to define transactions between importers and the receiving party. These terms draw clear lines regarding contract provisions and risk transfers between buyers and sellers.
Incoterms may also be used to value customs duties. This is because incoterms define who takes responsibility for costs and customs clearance between the person importing goods and the receiving party.
Here are incoterms you’ll likely encounter during your shipping from China to Singapore. All incoterms in this list are updated and included in the Incoterms 2020 list:
1. Cost, Insurance, and Freight (CIF)
In CIF, the seller is responsible for goods delivery to the vessel, as well as customs clearance, freight charges, and minimum insurance cover for the goods with the buyer as its beneficiary.
2. Ex Works (EXW)
EXW puts minimum responsibility on the seller. This is because the seller simply needs to make the products available for the buyer at a specific place (usually the seller’s premises or other named places). The buyer shoulders all responsibilities for pick up, loading goods, and costs of all transportations, freight, duties, and insurance.
3. Cost and Freight (CFR)
CFR indicates that the seller takes responsibility for costs and freight. Responsibilities transfer to the buyer when the products are loaded to the vessel and just before the main carriage happens.
4. Free on Board (FOB)
Seller’s responsibilities on FOB incoterms include loading the goods on board the vessel and clearing the goods from customs. The buyer chooses the port where the goods will leave. All costs and risks transfer to the buyer once the products are already on board inside the ship.
5. Free Alongside Ship (FAS)
FAS dictates that the seller assumes responsibilities until the goods are delivered to the port alongside the specified ship. Customs and transport costs shall be shouldered by the seller.
6. Free Carrier (FCA)
Often used for containerized goods, FCA incoterm gives the seller responsibility for arranging and paying for pre-carriage services from his warehouse to a specific place. This place could be a terminal, forwarder warehouse, transport hubs, or similar locations. The risks and costs transfer to the carrier upon the vehicle’s arrival to the specified place for goods loading. Customs clearance remains the seller’s responsibility.
If the specified place is still under the seller’s premises, the seller still needs to load the goods onto the vehicle. Risks only transfer to the buyer after this.
7. Carriage and Insurance Paid to (CIP)
In CIP, the seller remains responsible for the goods, carriage costs, and insurance until the products reach the destination port. When the goods are taken by the first carrier, all risks and costs will then pass to the buyer.
8. Carriage Paid To (CPT)
CPT dictates that the seller is responsible for goods carriage but not for the goods insurance. When the goods are transferred to the carrier, the buyer assumes responsibility for all costs thereafter. The buyer can pay for an insurance cover for the goods at this point.
9. Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU)
Incoterms 2010 included DPU but under the original term Delivered at Terminal. The incoterm was updated in 2020 and renamed to Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU).
In DPU, all risks and costs of goods carriage, delivery, and unloading from the arrival conveyor are assumed by the seller. After unloading, risks and costs transfer to the buyer. The buyer shoulders the duties, taxes, and import clearances.
10. Delivered at Place (DAP)
DAP is almost similar to DPU except that in DAP, the buyer’s responsibility starts when the goods are already available to unload form the conveyance. DAP takes off the responsibility of unloading from the seller and places it in the buyer’s hands.
11. Delivered Duty Paid (DDP)
This incoterm puts the most responsibility for all risks and costs on the seller. DDP dictates that the seller shoulders payments and responsibilities for delivery, import duties, taxes, and goods insurance. Import clearance will also be shouldered by the seller.
Those are the 11 incoterms that could be relevant to you as you import your goods from China to Singapore. Specify which incoterm applies to your transactions with the buyer, carriers, and freight forwarders for a hassle-free importation process.
Shipping Times from China to Singapore
After successfully securing a customs import permit from Singapore Customs, you’ll now focus on the shipping services.Planes and ships carrying cargo may take days to arrive from China to Singapore. As such, shipping transit times are influenced by several factors such as:
- Shipping service used
- Weather conditions
- Traffic control
- Public holidays
- Resources allocations
Airfreight generally arrives faster than sea freight. Airfreight may take 5-10 days, while sea freight could take 10-20 days or even longer, up until 45 days on the extreme end. This justifies why air freight services are priced higher than sea freight services.
Here’s a list of estimated transit times for different kinds of shipping services. Note that none of these transit times are fixed; all are subject to change and could be shorter or longer than expected.
FCL shipping from China to Singapore
Full Container Load shipping may take 5-10 business days or even more via ocean freight.
LCL shipping from China to Singapore
Similar to FCL, Less than Container Load shipping through sea freight may take 5-10 business days or even more to arrive.
Door to door shipping from China to Singapore
Door to door shipping means the forwarding company picks up the goods from your warehouse, takes it to the port, gates it in, and provides paperwork for your shipping container to pass through. Your freight forwarder will then retrieve it on the receiving port and bring it to your consignee’s warehouse. Door to door shipping transit times vary, but it generally takes around 2-5 days.
Express freight shipping from China to Singapore
Express freight shipping from mainland China to Singapore is among the fastest delivery methods. It takes as little as 1-3 days to deliver goods via express freight shipping.
FedEx shipping from China to Singapore
FedEx shipping services are popular for its fast delivery options. Transit time is approximately 2-5 business days for FedEx shipping from China to Singapore. You may use the transit times tracker to check FedEx shipping from China to Singapore. The tool can be found on the FedEx website.
UPS shipping from China to Singapore
UPS offers international shipping from China to Singapore. Expect your goods to be delivered in 3-4 business days. Trackers and transit time calculators are also provided on the UPS website for your convenience.
DHL shipping from China to Singapore
DHL ships goods from China to Singapore quite fast as well. The air freight service delivers products in 3-5 business days.
EMS shipping from China to Singapore
EMS (China Post) takes around 3-8 business days to ship goods from China to Singapore. Its transit time estimates are largely similar to other providers, albeit a bit slower with its cheaper payment rates.
To round up this section, each provider has varying approximations on shipping transit times from China to Singapore. Make sure to get an estimate of how long does shipping take from China to Singapore from your chosen shipping service provider.
Consider express air freight shipping for delivering in-demand imports from China to Singapore. If time isn’t of the essence, you have bulk shipments, and you need to save on costs, go for sea freight services. Note that shipping rates are considerably lower for sea freights, but they carry the risk of longer delivery time.
Main Seaports and Airports in China
We present you with a list of the main seaports and airports in China. You may select any of these starting points from where your goods can exit via sea freight shipping and air freight shipping from China to Singapore, respectively.
China Sea Ports of Exit
- Port of Dalian
- Port of Tianjin
- Qingdao Port
- Port of Shanghai
- Port of Ningbo-Zhousan
- Port of Xiamen
- Port of Guangzhou
- Port of Shenzhen
China Main Airports
- Beijing Capital International Airport
- Tianjin Binhai International Airport
- Shanghai Pudong International Airport
- Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport
- Nanjing Lukou International Airport
- Wuhan Tianhe International Airport
- Xi’an Xianyang International Airport
- Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport
- Ningbo Lishe International Airport
- Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport
- Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
- Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport
- Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
- Hong Kong International Airport
Main Seaports and Airports in Singapore
Similarly, here’s a list of Singaporean seaports and airports where your goods can enter from China to Singapore.
Singapore Sea Ports of Entry
- Port of Singapore – Tanjong Pagar Terminal
- Port of Singapore – Pasir Panjang Terminal
- Port of Singapore – Brani Terminal
- Port of Sembawang
- Jurong Port
Singapore Main Airports
- Singapore Changi Airport
DFH Global Logistics Services – Your Best Choice for Shipping from China to Singapore
DFH Global Logistics Service is the freight forwarder you can trust in importing your goods from China to Singapore. We’ll enumerate here why:
1. Experienced logistics provider from China
You’ll need a logistics provider with years of experience in the shipping industry. DFH Global Logistics Service has been operating for more than 10 years, providing you peace of mind that all your cargo needs will be fulfilled successfully.
Also, DFH has extensive knowledge of customs brokerage, laws, and regulations for importing goods from China to destination countries such as Singapore. Partner with DFH so that you’ll get most of the paperwork done for your customs-exit clearance in China, as well as customs import clearance to Singapore. Letting DFH handle your customs needs also saves you time and valuable money in importing your goods to Singapore.
2. Quick and hassle-free delivery
DFH Global Logistics Service offers a variety of delivery services to ensure that your cargo safely reaches its destination in Singapore. Its air and freight services are among the fastest ones in China.
DFH also strives to provide its customers with hassle-free logistics services. Should any concerns arise, customers may always contact its trusty customer support channels via phone, email, and through the DFH website.
3. Various logistics services tailored to your needs
Among the main goals of DFH Global Logistics Service is to provide importers like you with tailored logistics services to meet your demanding needs. As such, DFH offers:
- Door-to-door shipping from China to Singapore
- FCL and LCL shipping options
- Express shipping from China to Singapore
Air, sea, and express freight are available for you to pick from depending on your business’ importation requirements. And whatever you choose, you’ll get seamless quality services coupled with superior tracking and customer support services.
4. Affordable, competitive, and transparent rates
When it comes to pricing, DFH believes in transparency and in making cargo shipments affordable for every importer. You’ll surely get your money’s worth when you partner with DFH Global Logistics Service for moving your goods to Singapore.
Quotes are available by requesting one from the DFH website. Simply specify your name and email address, and indicate your needs in the message body. DFH will get back to you in 1-2 business days with a free customized quote matching your needs.
5. Real-time cargo tracking
Track your ongoing cargo in real-time using DFH’s tracking system. You’ll get notified on your goods’ whereabouts as it travels to its final destination in Singapore, giving you and your business partners ultimate peace of mind.
6. Large cargo accommodations
Need to move huge shipments to Singapore? DFH can take care of that! We provide cargo accommodations that’ll suit your cargo size and requirements. Larger-than-usual cargos can be arranged in special shipments from DFH’s spacious cargo warehouse. We also offer free warehousing for 30 days and distribution unloading.
Sensitive goods, as well as dangerous goods, can also be safely accommodated in DFH’s warehouse. Special procedures are in place for such kinds of products, so rest assured your goods will safely be stored and delivered to its final destination in Singapore. Repacking services are also available should your goods need better packaging to withstand the demands of international transit.
The Big Wrap-Up
Importing goods from China to Singapore is no easy feat, especially for first-time goods importers. Hence, we’ve put this guide together to improve your knowledge about customs paperwork, requirements, goods classifications, relevant duties and taxes, and shipping must-knows for importing products to Singapore.
DFH Global Logistics Service is also here to help simplify the importation process for you. Count on DFH to provide professional assistance on customs clearance for your Chinese goods. The company’s vast knowledge of importation rules for both China and Singapore makes this possible.
Most of all, DFH provides you everything you need to safely and affordably ship your products from China to Singapore. Enjoy hassle-free shipping and get peace of mind knowing that your goods will safely reach Singapore from China – only with DFH Global Logistics Service.
Contact DFH Global Logistics for Best Rate
Your Best Freight Forwarder Partner in China