background image
12.1. VAT on the Supply of Goods by Non-Residents

The supply of goods by a non-resident is subject to GST if the non-resident has registered for GST in Singapore. The requirement to register is if the non-resident makes annual taxable supplies in Singapore exceeding SGD 1 million. Effective 1 January 2023, the registration requirement also applies for a non-resident with an annual global turnover exceeding SGD 1 million making supplies of low-value goods (value not exceeding SGD 400) to a non-GST registered Singapore customer (B2C).The supply of low-value goods to a GST-registered customer is subject to GST on a reverse charge basis.

Under certain conditions, a local or overseas operator of electronic marketplaces or redeliverer may also be regarded as the supplier of the low-value goods. In such cases, the operators and redeliverers are required to register, charge and account for GST on these supplies, instead of the suppliers.

An electronic marketplace is defined as a medium operated by electronic means which allows the suppliers to make supplies available to customers. This includes marketplaces operated via a website, internet portal, gateway, distribution platform or any other types of electronic interface, but excludes payment processors or internet service providers.

A redeliverer is defined as a person who, under an arrangement with the customer delivers or facilitates the delivery of goods to Singapore; and provides or facilitates the use of an address outside of Singapore for delivery of the goods; or purchases or facilitates the purchase of the goods.

The non-resident importing goods for supplying in Singapore may appoint a GST-registered Singapore agent for importing and supplying the goods on its behalf. In such a case the non-resident entity is not required to register in Singapore

The non-resident importing goods for supplying in Singapore may apply for voluntary registration (in case the annual taxable supplies do not exceed the registration threshold) to claim the GST paid on imports.

Digital Supplies

Effective 1 January 2020, a non-resident is required to register in Singapore if the annual global turnover exceeds SGD 1 million and the value of digital supplies to Singapore customers (B2C) exceeds SGD 100,000.

B2B supplies refer to supplies made to GST-registered persons, including companies, partnerships, and sole-proprietors. B2C supplies refer to supplies made to non-GST registered persons, which include individuals and companies that are not registered for GST in Singapore.

When a non-resident is required to register for GST, a representative must be appointed in Singapore. The representative is in charge of maintaining all GST records and accounts and makes GST payments on behalf of the non-resident. A non-resident can only appoint one representative, although a representative can represent more than one non-resident.

The base on which GST is applied is the selling price of the goods, including any excise taxes, duties, etc. However, stamp duties are not included in determining the GST amount payable. If the supply of goods is made without monetary consideration, GST is applied based on the fair market value of the goods.

An alternative to GST registration for a non-resident is to appoint an agent to handle the importation and supply of goods in Singapore. In this way, the non-resident has no responsibility for GST.