Singapore - MARKET ACCESS
Import regulations and customs duties
Import procedures in Singapore are very liberal. Most goods can enter the Singaporean territory without any restriction. Only a few products, such as chewing gum and weapons are banned. There is a license system required for about 6% of the total amount of imports and concerns fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, meat, animals, medicines, broadcasting products (automatic licenses) and also some sensitive products likely to represent a risk for health or the State (non automatic licenses). These licenses are generally issued by the International Enterprise Singapore. Some other institutions may be involved such as the Ministry of Health.
Singapore applies the Harmonised Customs System. The customs duties are calculated Ad valorem on the CIF value of the goods. The Customs and Excise Department is in charge of implementing the customs regulations.
The goods entering straight away in the free-trade area are exempted from GST (goods and services tax). The exemption is not applicable when they are later introduced on the Singaporean territory.
The Business to Consumer (B to C) market
The distribution sector in Singapore is similar to the western countries, with a domination of the large-scale distribution network which carries out the majority of retail sales. The high standard of living of the Singaporean and their taste for Western products attracted a lot of foreign groups to this 640 km² territory. The Carrefour and Cold Storage groups both compete for large-scale distribution leadership with the national group NTUC Fair Price and their 80 branches. In terms of local distribution, the leaders are Shop n Save, QAF company and Dairy Farm International Holdings.
The emergence of virtual groceries and 3 big shop windows may here be pointed out. They are e-mart, Cold Storage and home-club.
The Business to Business (B to B) market
The marketing is carried out mainly by salesmen, trade companies and distributors agents.
Singapore may represent a front door for commercial deals with ASEAN countries (Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Burma, the Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam) but is characterised by a high standard of living and a stiff competition between the local companies.
Transportation of goods
The road network consists of 3,000 km of roads, of which 150 km are distributed on 8 highways. The objective of the Land Transport Authority (LTA)
, (under the Ministry of Communication and Information technology), is to promote ground transport for a better use of the city by developing public transport. The construction of 9 express ways and two highways (partially subterranean) of a total length of 155 km is in progress in the Eastern part of the island. The other authority dealing with road transportation is the Public Transport Council (PTC).
Singapore is connected to Malaysia by a 300-km single-track railway line through the strait of Johar. This line is run by Malaysian KTM - Keratapi Tanah Melayu. The MRT subway has two lines - North to south and West to East to cover 48 stations along 83 km. The MRT's network has extended with the construction of the line West to East towards the airport (Changi Extention Line) in 2001 and North East Line in 2002. The MRT network is now bigger since 2002 with the LRT ( Light Transit Transit), small automatic subway, followed by Medium LRT for the sideboard of new districts.
According to forecasts, the Singaporean urban rail network is likely to triple in size in the next ten years with a network of 270 km.
The port of Singapore
, with 6 free-trade zones, is ranked second in the world for the number of containers. In 1998 the port of Singapore had 877 million raw tons (2.3% with regards to 1998). Air terminals with facilities for every type of loads handle 800 vessels a day. Containers terminals (Kepely, Tanjong Pagar) have an 8-million TEUs (Tons Equivalents Units) loading capacity. 400 maritime lines connect Singapore with 600 ports in the world.
's airport is linked to 131 cities and 56 countries, and 67 airlines operate 2,970 flights a week. In 1998, 1.25 million tons of goods were handled by this airport. There is a free trade zone with multiple opportunities and services.
The main airline company is Singapore Airlines (SIA)
. The rate of cargo boat completion of this company is 70%. The other very active company in terms of freight is Thai Airlines
. These two companies are grouped together within the main group Star Alliance
Industrial standardisation is managed by the Institute of technical standards and industrial research (SPRING) that depends of the Parliament. This institute issues national certificates such as the SS ISO 9000. Other authorised institutes are The Public Utilities Board (PUB) for technical and electric products, the Ministry of the Environment for food and drinks and the Department of primary products for fish, meat, fruits and vegetables.
Singapore is member of the International Organization of Standardisation (ISO) and the international electrotechnics Committee (IEC) and adheres to the technical standards of the GATT.
Patents and brands
The organisation responsible for the protection of intellectual property in Singapore is the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).
Singapore is part of the World Intellectual property Organization (WIPO), of the agreement of Madrid for the domain of names and trademarks but not part of the agreement of Paris concerning industrial property.
Texts currently applying to patents/brands
||Date entered into law
||Period of validity
Period of validity of 20 years
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