Singapore Shopping: Tax Refund for Electronic Goods

by Eva

I am an Indonesian and I plan to do stopover for 2 days in Singapore on the way to my country. I plan to buy a new laptop (unopened), do I have to pay tax in Singapore for that?

Thank you.

Comments for Singapore Shopping: Tax Refund for Electronic Goods

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Jun 09, 2009
Tax-free Electronic Goods in Singapore
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Eva

You may get a GST refund for your laptop computer under the Tourist Refund Scheme.

Before you buy your laptop, ensure that the shop is participating in one of the following GST Refund schemes:

1. Premier Tax Free

2. Global Refund Scheme

3. Shop's own refund scheme

Shops offering GST refunds will usually display a 'Tax-free Shopping' sign.

This page explains how you can claim your GST refund in Singapore.

Related to Buying Laptops in Singapore

1. Electronics Mega-Mall: Sim Lim Square

2. Singapore Shopping Tips

Jun 13, 2009
Tax for electronic good entering Singapore
by: Eva

Hi Gabriel,

Thank you for your response. I was not very clear on my previous question. I don't plan to buy the laptop in Singapore, I plan to buy the laptop in Milan, and I will only stay 2 days in Singapore.

Do I still need to pay tax for my laptop when I enter Singapore? Thank you.

Jun 13, 2009
GST Relief for Bona Fide Tourists & Declaring Items at Singapore Airport
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Eva

There was a previous thread about paying taxes for electronic goods brought into Singapore.

But because you're taking the computer out soon after your holiday in Singapore, your situation is slightly different.

2 scenarios are possible:

Scenario 1: You've opened up your laptop packaging and have used the laptop.

In this case, your laptop will not be considered as a 'new article'. Just carry it through customs. The customs people are reasonable. Otherwise, any traveller with a personal laptop will have to declare it!

Scenario 2: You are taking your laptop into Singapore still in its packaging (unwrapped).

You'll have to declare your new laptop at the red lane, since it's considered a 'new article' and will likely cost more than $300 (the maximum GST relief amount a bona fide traveller is entitled to).

Show the customs officer your onward ticket to Indonesia. And indicate that you have no intention to leave the laptop in Singapore. It's then up to the discretion of the customs officer.

Dec 31, 2010
Online Shopping Tax Refund
by: Victor FUNG

I am Tourist from Hong Kong and I am going to travel to SG for a few days. Before the trip, i would like to buy some electronic goods online in SG web, which is subject to GST. I would like to know whether it is possible to get Tax refund when i arrive SG. Thank you.


Hi Victor

More and more online stores are beginning to join the Tourist Refund Scheme in Singapore.

However, the procedures for getting claiming GST refunds for online purchases are still very tricky:

1) The shipping date on your invoice/receipt must co-incide with the duration of your stay in Singapore.

2) The delivery date, obviously, must be during your time here as well.

3) You need to arrange for the GST refund forms to be sent to a convenient location in Singapore for pick up. Or you'll need to collect them from the merchant's office/service centre.

You need to ask yourself whether all these steps are worth your while. Please ensure that the online merchant is on the Tourist Refund Scheme before you buy.

Gabriel Tan

Mar 22, 2011
Tax refund not refunded,
by: Jugnu Thakkar

I had a world class shopping experince at mustafa center. after shopping for sg$ 1300 approximately in the month of Nov2010. I was requested by the GST refund counter that the tax would directly debited into my credit card account. I dont know but its tricky. and also I dont find any contact to the mall wherein I can ask for refund. So its always safe to get the GST amount refunded from the airport counter.

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