Singapore – Cessation of physical endorsement of permits

With effect from 1 February 2022, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at the cargo checkpoints will stop manual endorsements of Cargo Clearance Permits (CCPs) to ease the cargo clearance process at the checkpoints. This applies to all conventional and containerised cargo, with the exception of:

  • Inward, Outward and Transhipment permits for the movement of cargo through other Authorised Piers and Places; and
  • Inward, Outward and Transhipment permits for the movement of cargo through Customs Airport Passenger Terminals.

ICA announced a 6-month adjustment period till 31 July 2022 to allow businesses to adjust to the changes. Drivers may still request for ad-hoc endorsements within these six months.

Compliance with customs requirements at CAC and ALPS

On 14 October 2021, Singapore Customs issued an advisory to all parties operating in the Changi Airfreight Centre (CAC) and Airport Logistics Park (ALPS) after encountering non-compliance
with regulations or delays by traders in furnishing the required supporting documents to Singapore Customs to account for goods stored in the companies’ premises.

To facilitate checks by customs officers during inspections, companies are to ensure the following:

  • Maintain proper records of the relevant supporting documents such as air waybill, commercial invoice, packing list, and customs permit to account for the goods stored in your company’s premises;
  • Promptly obtain the correct customs permit
    • For the temporary storage of imported goods in the Free Trade Zones, pending re-export or local release;
    • For transhipment of goods involving an inter-gateway movement from one Free Trade Zone to another Free Trade Zone; and
    • For controlled goods stored in your premises, with approval from the relevant Competent Authority.

In addition, SIngapore Customs reminded exporters and declaring agents to submit the relevant Advance Export Declaration (AED) as early as possible, preferably before the shipment is sent out to the airport Ground Handling Agents prior to export. Shipments should be accompanied by approved export permits and supporting documents (such as air waybills, packing lists and commercial invoices) furnished at time of lodgement with the Ground Handling Agents.

Importers/exporters to be declared in permit applications

On 12 November 2021, Singapore Customs issued an advisory with regards to improper declarations of the “importer” and “exporter” in permit applications.

The advisory highlighted a case of improper declarations, where a declaring agent did not have valid security lodged with Singapore Customs to make permit applications. This declaring agent entered into a commercial arrangement with another declaring agent (the declared party) to use the latter’s security and Unique Entity Number to make permit applications. This means the declared party was listed as the “importer” or “exporter” in the permit applications, even though it had no interest in the goods.

The advisory seeks to remind declaring agents to ensure that all the information that is furnished when applying for permits is true and correct. The declaring agents may be liable for an offence and their registrations may be suspended/revoked if false or misleading information is provided.

Australia and Singapore announce development of a Green Economy Agreement

Australia and Singapore have announced the development of a Green Economy Agreement (GEA) that aims to promote green growth, improve investment and trade by tackling regulatory burdens and removing non-tariff barriers for environmental goods and services, and accelerate the adoption of low emissions green technology.

In early October, Australia and Singapore issued a joint vision statement outlining the commitment of both nations to cooperate on climate change. The joint statement emphasised the aim of the GEA to combine trade, economic and environmental objectives to reduce trade barriers and explore opportunities in green growth sectors, such as the adoption of low-carbon and green technologies, low-carbon and renewable energy, and decarbonised production processes.

For more information please find the Trade Intelligence Asia Pacific published by PwC here.

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