GST Refund and Shopping at Singapore's Changi Airport

by Jeremy


i am a tourist that going to singapore next two week. i always go to singapore with international flight which landed at T2 but this time we are using budget airline that why i got a lot of question

i wanted to know if i fly in to singapore using Mas airline and going back using Airasia which mean a budget airline am i allow to claim my GST??? and if yes where should i do it? should we go to T2 or we can just do it at T!. and can we arrive early and go shopping inside T2??? i mean all the shop that located inside after immigation checking.... cause i always like to shop at there....

sorry for so many question but i really wanted to know :)


In this thread:

Claiming GST Refund at Singapore Airport
Shopping at Singapore Airport Transit Areas
Christmas in Singapore
Where to Buy Cameras in Singapore
Where to Buy Camping Gear in Singapore
About Phone Cards
Recommended Singapore Food Places

Comments for
GST Refund and Shopping at Singapore's Changi Airport

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Dec 03, 2008
You can claim GST refund and shop at Singapore Airport
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Jeremy

Question: Can I claim GST Refund if I'm leaving on a budget airline?

It does not matter whether you are using a full service airline or a budget airline. As long as you are a tourist, you may still claim your GST Refund at the airport.

Just make sure you get ready your passport, airticket, receipts, proper GST Refund forms, your goods, etc. And you'll be alright.

You can claim your GST Refund at Terminal 1, or any other terminal.

a. For check-in goods, have them inspected at the GST Inspection Counters at the Check-In Hall.

b. For hand-carried shopping, have them inspected at the Inspection Counters after you have cleared your departure customs.

Question: I'm leaving from Terminal 1. Can I shop at Terminal 2 Transit Mall?

Sure, after you have cleared departure customs, and entered the restricted departure/transit area, you could either:

a. shop at Terminal 1 Transit Mall, or

b. take the Skytrain inside the transit area and go to the Transit Malls at Terminal 2 or Terminal 3.

Just make sure you have enough time to get back to the departure terminal for your flight!

Have a great holiday in Singapore.

Dec 03, 2008
by: Jeremy

Hi Gabriel :)

Thanks you so much for the infomation. cause this few question is in my head for weeks and i dont no who to ask. really thanks. the infomation given really helps a lot.

and Gabriel normally the check in time for boarding pass open when? because i am thinking of going to the airport early and check in early so that i can go to T2. so i got more time to shop.

and as u know hotel rules is we need to check out at around 1 pm in afternoon and our flight is in 10 plus pm. so i am thinking going around 6 or 7 plus and go around in T2. cuase i really like ur Terminal 2.

Thanks Gabriel.
hope to hear from u soon :)

Dec 04, 2008
Early Check In Only for Some Airlines
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Jeremy

thanks for your kind words.

there are several airlines that allow early check-in, sometimes up to 24 hours.

I did a check and unfortunately Air Asia does not allow early check-in. They usually open their counters 2 to 3 hours before departure.

So if you arrive about 7pm, you could go and do your GST Refund inspection first. Try to be among the first few to check-in when Air Asia's counter opens. Then, you'll have a bit more time for your shopping in Terminal 2 Transit Mall.

Have a pleasant trip.

Dec 04, 2008
once agian thanks
by: Jeremy

Hi Gabriel :)

wow that is a fast reply.

thank you very much for all the details...

i will tell all my friends and my relative about this website. and next time if i got some question i will drop by and leave a msg.

once again thank you Gabriel for ur effort to
help me :)

and if there any interesthing place for recommend just drop me an email :)


Dec 05, 2008
Thank you for your support
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Jeremy

thank you so much for your encouragement and support. Have a good time in Singapore.

Dec 05, 2008
where and what to do during christmas
by: Jeremy

Hi Gabriel :)

sorry for my disturb agian.

i am going to celebrate my chrismas eve and my chrismas at singapore. where is the best place to go and for countdown? and where is the best place to stay in. i had book Pan Pacific orchard. it is ok? Thanks


Dec 06, 2008
You're near the heart of the Christmas Light Up
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Jeremy

your hotel, Pan Pacific Orchard, is actually in the heart of the Christmas Light Up.

The junction of Scotts Road and Orchard Road, a short walk from your hotel, has many nice spots to take photos.

If you walk along the Orchard Road Walkway (outside Ngee Ann City and Wisma Atria) you'll like find quite a few buskers performing and so on.

Note, especially, that you are eligible for a free open-top bus tour of the Light Up area. You can show your passport and request for your tickets at the Singapore Visitors' Centre at the airport when you arrive.

On my Christmas in Singapore 2008 page, I listed the major spots where the Christmas performances and highlights are, including the events on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Do check it out.

Let me know if you have further questions. ;-)

Dec 12, 2008
by: Jeremy

Oh thanks Gabriel...

sorry for the late of saying thanks.

and i think that all. For my question..

will arrive at singapore in next week. i cant wait...

and buy camera at Sim lim square right.. hehehe

Dec 13, 2008
A Note About Camera Shops
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Jeremy

If you are serious about buying cameras in Singapore, I recommend the following shops:

1. Cathay Photo (Peninsula Plaza)
2. John 3:16 Photo (Funan IT Mall)

Both are near City Hall MRT Station. These 2 shops are helpful and don't cheat their customers.

Of course, there are other good shops elsewhere. But if you intend on buying cameras elsewhere, pls do your price research online or at a shop near your home before you come.

In the tourist areas, a few of these camera shops try to mark up prices on tourists. This is how they do it:

1. They quote you a believably low price for the model you want.

2. Next they say they don't have stocks for the model you want, and recommend "something better" to you.

3. The model they recommend is usually something you've never heard about, so you don't know its market price.

4. Then they mark up prices on you.

Another of their strategy is the 'upsell' - they try to sell you an add-on to your purchase, and then mark up the price on the add-on.

Have a good time shopping in Singapore. But also look out for shops like that.

Dec 13, 2008
by: Jeremy

Oh okay..

i actualy want to buy a camera..

MOdel i dont really know but i just know i wanted to buy Sony Brand. And oh ok i will try to go to those Shop you had recommend. It is Easy to find those shop??? And do they do Tax refund??? hehehe sorry to ask more question..

Glad u help me alot

Dec 13, 2008
Recommended shops easy to find; GST refund not sure...
by: Gabriel Tan

These shops are both a short walk from the City Hall MRT Station. They are not difficult to find.

Take the North Bridge Road exit at City Hall MRT Station. Cross the road and walk in the direction of traffic. You'll come to the shopping centres mentioned.

I can't remember if Cathay and John 3:16 offer GST Refund schemes.

Another place you can consider is Mustafa Centre in Little India. They offer fixed prices, but their prices are also fair, from my experience shopping there. Their disadvantage? Limited number of models.

Mustafa offers GST Refund scheme - ask about it at their basement level.

All the best.

Dec 13, 2008
by: jeremy

Oh okay..

No worries on that one. i will go and check on that one. and as u recommended to check online. is there any recomended website. as i dont really know. hehehe i am not really pro with website.

and that is a shocking speed of reply...

and my mom wanna know where to but car parts??

sorry for more question again....

Dec 13, 2008
Car parts?!!
by: Gabriel Tan

Car parts?! ;-) How are you going to bring those back?

Do you mean car accessories like those small convex mirrors to check blind spots? I'm not familiar because I usually send my car back to my good old trusty mechanic.

Dec 13, 2008
Check prices at Amazon
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Jeremy

by checking the price of your desired camera at Amazon.Com, and adding in a bit more for shipping, you'll get a rough idea of how much that camera is currently being sold for.

Convert it to Singapore dollars. This way, you'll know whether you are getting a good deal at the Singapore shop.

Dec 13, 2008
Will do & Question about Phone Cards
by: jeremy

For the car parts is actually yeah the car accesories hehee sorry for the wrong type. pai sei oh i see and heheeh that go to my parent too just sent to mechanic hehehe i totally agree on that one.

will do the research on the Amazon. for my favorite camera.

and Gabriel i got a land line called Starhub. Normally is how much to get that line. cause last time i went to songapore the shop at lucky plaza charge me $80 for a sim card. and i havent use for a few month already. so am i able to use again. is there any expires on the line?? and if is expires wht landline u recomended? i mean the prepaid one ya hehehe

Thanks Gabriel ;)

Dec 14, 2008
Phone Card & Related Issues
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Jeremy

Your prepaid card should still be valid, this being a few months after you bought it.

I can't comment on whether your SIM card deal is a good one, since I don't have exact details of everything in that deal.

However, I recommend that if you plan on getting a Starhub prepaid card again, you should go to their official outlets, or one of their exclusive partner outlets: 7-Eleven, Cheers, iEcon, Singpost and Watson's. They have standard promotion deals at different times of the year.

Lucky Plaza? I've got very mixed feedback about this place. A few people have got good deals there. Others have had bad experiences.

Dec 14, 2008
by: jeremy

Oh ok :)

will do and thanks :)

and i gona have fun at singapore with all ur details given.... thanks Gabriel

Dec 14, 2008
Recommend Some Food Places?
by: jeremy

and oh ya sorry to disturb...

any recomended food at singapore???

i had been to maxwell before and lau pa sa and a lot.... so any recomended restaurant??? hehehe

i like all the food there.. but now i am out of idea.... buger king. mos, heheh all i had try hehehe

and about the lucky plaza. ya sometimes i got a good deals but my worst experience is buying sim card i think. cause is expensive.And so crowded at the weekends hehehe

Dec 14, 2008
Try These Great Buffets in Singapore
by: Gabriel Tan

These are 3 of my favourite buffet places in Singapore... You won't regret going there!

Dec 14, 2008
okay & where to buy camping gear?
by: jer

okay will try to go there if got time and Gabriel any recomended place to buy camping stuff?? which is not that expensive. and i think this is the last question cause i am flying at tuesday... hehehe

Dec 14, 2008
Cheap Camping Gear @ Golden Mile Food Centre Level 2
by: Gabriel Tan

For cheap camping stuff, go to Level 2 of Golden Mile Food Centre - opposite Golden Mile Complex on Beach Road.

You'll find many shops selling tents, ground sheets, backpacks, boots, outdoor shoes, sandals, etc. Lots of camping gear here.

Have a great holiday in Singapore...

May 17, 2009
by: KAYA


May 17, 2009
GST Refund For Tourists Only
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Kaya

Singapore PRs cannot claim GST Refund in Singapore.

Jun 17, 2009
GST refund of stuff bought before arrival
by: Gino

Hi guys,

I bought a camera for my folks before they arrived here in SG for a few days vacation. As a habit, I asked for a GST claim form when I bought the cam.

Can my folks claim the GST refund for that transaction?

Thanks in advance.



Jun 17, 2009
Date of Purchase Before Date of Arrival?
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Gino

They'll have to answer for why the camera's date of purchase is before their arrival date in Singapore.

I think they might have a problem.

Nov 17, 2009
Shopping at Airport
by: LL

Can anyone pls advise if there is any GST charged to shop at all shops in Changi Airport? or only some certain shops do not charge GST?

Thanks.. :))

Nov 28, 2009
GST Refund: Sequence of Actions at Airport
by: Anonymous

what should i do first at the airport? (gst refund, check in, custom inspection)?

Nov 28, 2009
Goods Inspected First
by: Gabriel Tan

Do these in sequence:

1. Get your goods inspected at the GST Refund inspection counter and verified.

2. Check-in.

3. Claim GST refund after departure check, in the restricted area.

Feb 08, 2010
GST Refund for Spass Holder?
by: Kerr

Im going back to my homeland for holiday. My brother asked me to buy a laptop. I'm an Spass holder, can I claim GST refund?

Feb 10, 2010
GST Refund for Tourists Only
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Kerr

Only tourists may claim GST refund, and under certain fulfilled conditions. Singapore citizens, PRs and employment pass holders may not claim GST refund.

Apr 16, 2010
GST Refund for Tourists Leaving by Land?
by: stacia

Hei my name is Stacia. I'm a tourist from Indonesia. I will go to Singapore by Air Asia. I want to do some shopping which more than $100 so i can refund the GST.

However, when I'm going back to Indonesia, I will go to Kuala Lumpur first by bus! How about that? Can I still get GST refund in Singapore airport? But I will leave Singapore by bus. How? Thx very much.

Apr 16, 2010
No GST Refund for Tourists Leaving by Land
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Stacia

Unfortunately, you cannot claim GST refund if you are leaving Singapore by bus to Malaysia.

May 10, 2010
Flight to Malaysia
by: SCN

I will go to Singapore on the day after tomorrow by the Causeway. After buying the camera, I planned to fly back to KL on the same day. Am I eligible to claim GST refund? Because I saw from somewhere else that must fly to places other than Malaysia. I'm Malaysian passport holder.

Urgent. Need to book the air ticket soon.


Sep 12, 2010
GST Refund on Visa Credit Card??
by: Jeremy

Hi! I'm a Malaysian tourist who had visited Singapore more than a month. I've arrived at Singapore early rite b4 Singapore National Day; I've spend lot's on shopping ~ Youth Olympic Games (YOG) & I'm gonna continue stay in Singapore right until the end of Singapore GP Night Race.

I wanna ask if I purchase electronic devices using Visa Credit Card (worth SGD$3xxx), is there any refund on GST? Thx ya!!


Hi Jeremy

You need to verify with the shops you patronised: do they have a GST Refund scheme? If they don't, you have nothing to claim by way of GST refund.

Gabriel Tan

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