Updated: Jun 23
Application for Zero-GST Warehouse / Bonded Warehouse License
Zero-GST Warehouse / Bonded Warehouse
Zero-GST Warehouse or Bonded Warehouse, also known as ZG Warehouse, is a designated area approved by Singapore Customs for storing imported non-dutiable goods for which GST tax is suspended. Depending on the circumstances, the ZG warehouse can be the entire site, a designated part of the site, a storage tank or any other place approved by Singapore Customs. ZG warehouses cannot be used to store dutiable goods, locally sourced or locally manufactured goods, and goods on which GST has been paid.
Zero-GST Warehouse Scheme
The Zero-GST Warehouse Scheme (ZGS) allows approved companies to store imported non-dutiable goods indefinitely in a designated area licensed by Singapore Customs, with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) suspended. This designated area is called the licensed premises.
GST is payable when these goods are taken out of the zero-GST warehouse for local use or consumption. No GST is payable when these goods are removed for export, or when the supply or sale of these goods occurs while they are in warehouse.
License Types under ZGS
There are 3 license types to suit the different needs of companies:
Zero-GST Warehouse Type I
Zero-GST Warehouse Type II
Zero-GST Warehouse Type III
The level of facilitation provided and the standard of company record keeping and internal control standards increase from Type I to Type III.
Type I and Type II licensees need to qualify for the “Standard” and “Intermediate” bands respectively under the TradeFIRST framework, while Type III licensees need to qualify for the “Enhanced” or “Premium” bands.
How to Qualify?
To qualify for the Zero-GST Warehouse Scheme, a company must:
Be registered for GST with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)
Have a valid Customs Account
Have proven compliance record with Singapore Customs and IRAS
Make sure that the site to be licensed is a storage-based facility with security measures in place whereby:
The premises are primarily used for the storage of goods; and
The tenant/lessee has legal authority and control over the premises, including entering into a tenancy agreement with the landlord, and the right to install or change any security features or plans at the site as required by Singapore Customs
Have good inventory record-keeping and warehouse procedures
Be responsible for the security, accountability and control of goods
Be assessed by TradeFIRST and meet all mandatory criteria, while meeting the minimum band for compliance with the corresponding zero-GST warehouse license type
TradeFIRST stands for Trade Facilitation and Integrated Risk-Based System. It is a comprehensive assessment framework that provides an overall assessment of the company and determines the degree of facilitation accorded.
The assessment is free and mandatory for all companies wishing to apply for a Singapore Customs scheme or license.
Participation in ASEAN Customs Declaration Document (ACDD) and ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS) will earn additional points based on TradeFIRST assessment from 1 January 2023. Please refer to the TradeFIRST Self-Assessment Checklist "B. Participation in ASW" for more information.
The TradeFIRST Benefits
A risk-managed approach is taken and facilitation levels are categorized into 5 bands - Basic, Standard, Intermediate, Enhanced and Premium.
The higher your TradeFIRST band, the greater the facilitation accorded to you.
For example, a company that obtains a Premium band can enjoy the facilitation and schemes accorded to the Premium band and the ones below it (in this case, Basic to Premium).
This list shows the various Customs facilitation and schemes under each TradeFIRST band.
Zero-GST Warehouse Scheme Type I
Zero-GST Warehouse Scheme Type II
Zero-GST Warehouse Scheme Type III
There are 6 sections under the TradeFIRST assessment framework:
1) Company Profile
2) Procedures and Processes
Management of information and records
Management of personnel, including training
Business partnering and customer screening
Security risk assessment and incident management
Security of cargo, containers and conveyance
Premises security and access control
4) Inventory Management
Capability of inventory system to track and trace movement of goods, and to flag out discrepancies
5) Other Scheme-Specific Requirements
Specific requirements applicable to applicants of certain Customs schemes, such as the Strategic Trade Scheme Bulk Permit
Company’s compliance records
How to Apply
1. The company completes the TradeFIRST Self-Assessment Checklist as follows and sends it to Customs:
For ZGS Type I; or
For ZGS Type II and III.
2. Prepare these supporting documents:
Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority BizFile Report
Audited financial statements for the past 3 years
A copy of the layout plan. Please indicate on the layout plan the intended licensed premises, entry/exit points and security features such as CCTV and alarm systems. The plan must show the address affixed with the company stamp.
Title Deed or Tenancy Agreement
Other relevant documents
3. Apply online.
The company completes the TradeFIRST Self-Assessment Checklist and sends it to Customs along with relevant supporting documents.
Upon receipt of relevant supporting documents, an on-site assessment will be scheduled and conducted.
Company receives the results of its application, identifying the band that determines the facilitation and scheme available to the company, and areas for improvement, if any.
Singapore Customs reserves the right to impose a Banker’s Guarantee or insurance bond if required.
TradeFIRST Self-Assessment Checklist assessments typically take approximately 3 to 4 months to process, following complete submission of relevant documentation. For more complex cases, it may take longer.
Once the application is successful, Singapore Customs will contact you to follow up on your application.
An annual license fee is payable when the license is issued. It is based on the average stock value of goods stored in licensed premises.
Average Stock Value
S$1 million or less
More than S$1 million but less than S$5 million
S$5 million or more
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For assistance or requirements on the licence application requirements, please contact us.