Import Regulations in Singapore

Singapore is the world’s 16th largest import economy and has the 7th highest gross domestic product per capita in the world. Maritime shipping, services, and transshipment trade centered at the Port of Singapore are key contributors to this success. Indeed, in 2018, the Port of Singapore was the second busiest cargo container port in the world.

Imports to Singapore were valued at over US$370 billion in 2018. Singapore’s main import sectors include electrical machinery and equipment, mineral fuels (including oil), gems and precious metals, and aircraft.

Singapore law empowers the government to register, regulate, and control the importation of goods. This includes prohibiting imports of certain goods as well as issuing licenses or permits for specified items.

The government controls imports for a variety of reasons such as protecting the environment, public health, and public safety, complying with international commitments, and upholding moral standards. Controlled items include poisonous and hazardous chemicals, diesel oil and fuel, arms, radioactive materials, tobacco products, live animals, and narcotics precursors.

SECURUS Strategic Trade Solutions, LLC has published a brief describing Singapore’s import regulations in the fourth quarter of 2019. Please click here to read “Import Regulations in Singapore, Fourth Quarter 2019.”

The brief is co-authored by SECURUS Associate Dr. Nolan Fahrenkopf, Research Assistant Dean Hart, and Lead Associate Emily Holub.

According to Dr. Fahrenkopf, “Singapore represents a significant market for exports. Its import of high-value products such as electrical machinery and equipment, computers, and aircraft parts, in conjunction with its third-place ranking on the World Bank’s ‘ease of doing business’ index, makes it a particularly attractive export partner. However, Singapore has an advanced trade regulation system. Singapore Customs and other relevant agencies can tax trade transactions, regulate, restrict, and prohibit the import of specified goods, and punish violations. Traders need to be aware of the myriad of Singapore trade regulations to take advantage of its lucrative import market.”

According to Hart, “Singapore has established itself as an international center of trade and continues to rise in prominence. Fully understanding the import regulations of Singapore is necessary for any company wishing to take part in the economic growth occurring in Southeast Asia.”

“Import Regulations in Singapore, Fourth Quarter 2019” is the latest entry in SECURUS briefs summarizing the trade regulations of major Asian economies. SECURUS tracks trade regulatory developments in Asia and other regions throughout the world. Please contact us at to learn more about how SECURUS can enhance your trade compliance and business insights.

Published December 18, 2019