Singapore is one of the highest-ranked countries in the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” reports, and has a growing relationship with South Africa. Though sending shipments to Singapore from South Africa is generally straightforward, here are some things to bear in mind.

Country Information


The current GST rate for shipments entering Singapore is based on 7% of the Commercial Invoice value for all shipments of CIF value above SGD 400. Proforma Invoices are not accepted.

Import Duty is only applicable for the following commodities: Intoxicating Liquors; Tobacco Products; Motor Vehicles; and Petroleum Products.

If the receiver is a company a Unique Entity Number (UEN) is required. Businesses and local companies currently registered with ACRA will retain their ACRA Registration Number as their UEN. Other than business and local registered companies, all other registered entities will be issued with a new UEN. More details can be found on the government site here.

The Singapore government requires an export or transhipment permit for strategic goods and technology – otherwise the shipper will be subject to heavy fines and/or imprisonment. This also applies to “dual-use” goods that have both civilian and sensitive military applications (including nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; production technology; missile technology; and information security). Affected items may be certain chemicals, lasers, machinery, electronic equipment, and cryptographic items. Please contact DHL prior to shipping these items to ensure pre-alerts for Strategic Goods Export Control permit declaration are in place.


For any goods arriving from or destined for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Iran, you are required to apply for a permit at least 3 working days before the intended shipment date to or from Singapore. The permit requirements to import, export, tranship and transit goods through Singapore still apply.Please contact DHL for a permit application request.

Please refer to the Singapore Customs portal for the latest information and guidelines:



Singapore Customs defines a document as general correspondence (business or private) when not shipped as part of a purchase agreement as well as the below. Printed materials with a commercial value or meant for mass distribution as well as documents weighing more than 30 kg must be shipped as goods.

  • Airline tickets, issued or validated
  • Annual reports
  • Cash letters (NI) 1
  • Cheques, blank (NI) 1
  • Cheques, cancelled (NI) 1
  • Cheques, cashier (NI) 1
  • Credit card blanks (NI) 2
  • Credit cards (NI) 2
  • Deeds
  • Diplomatic mail 3
  • Documents, general business
  • Invoices, not blank
  • Passports
  • Photographs as part of business reports
  • Visa applications
  1. Not acceptable in Bearer Form.
  2. Not acceptable if Activated or in Bearer Form.
  3. Can be shipped as documents regardless of weight.


  • Alcoholic beverages 2
  • Animal products 3
  • Animal skins 4
  • Books: hardbk/paperbk non-comm. use 5
  • Bunker oil sample (for analysis) 13
  • Coal & firewood 13
  • Cologne and perfume 9
  • Communications equipment 10
  • Cosmetics 11
  • Cotton seed 15
  • Drugs: non-prescription 11
  • Drugs: prescription 21
  • Electronic games 8
  • Films: 8mm, 16mm & 35mm 6
  • Films: entertainment 6
  • Films: promotional, training 7
  • Foodstuffs 3
  • Grain samples 18
  • Laser disc 1
  • Magazines, periodicals, journals 5
  • Medical samples 12
  • Military equipment 14
  • Newspapers 5
  • Oil products 13
  • Perishables 19
  • Personal effects 22
  • Phones/modems 10
  • Plant products 15
  • Plants 15
  • Radar equip.-transmitters/receivers 10
  • Seeds 15
  • Soil samples 9
  • Tapes: audio cassettes 5
  • Tapes: video cassettes 6
  • Telecommunication equipment 10
  • Tobacco 16
  • Toys 20
  • X-ray machines 17
  1. Including DVD (Digital Versatile Disc). Title list is required to submit to Media Development Authority. Personal import : Delay 1 – 2 days
  2. Dutiable item. Delay : 1-2 days. Invoice must state number of bottles per shipment, alcohol strength,brand name, liters per bottle,specify sparkling or still wine.
  3. Consignee must obtain import licence from the AVA Food Control Dept. Delay : 1-2 days.
  4. If unprocessed, it must be accompanied by CITES Certificate from Origin.
  5. Title list required. Possible inspection by Media Development Authority. Delay: 1 day.
  6. Title list required. Subject to approval by Media Development Authority. Delay: 1-2 days.
  7. Training and industrial advertising and promotion materials for internal company use require consignee declaration to Media Development Authority.
  8. A Media Development Authority approved list of games titles required from cnee. Delay: 1-2 days
  9. Subject to approval from AVA. Proper packing required. Delay : 1-2 days.
  10. Subject to approval from IDA. Mass distribution requires import licence from importer. Delay : 1-2 days.
  11. Subject to approval from HSA. Consignee must provide product licence. Otherwise expect delays for processing licence. Invoice must state name of medicine,brand name, reason for import, product composition, quantity per bottle and weight of each capsule.
  12. For personal consumption, consignee needs to obtain Doctor’s prescription. For retail purpose, consignee needs to obtain import licence from Drug Administration Department, Otherwise, delay: 2-3 days.
  13. Flash point must be above 60.5 centigrade. Otherwise prohibited. Transport subject to approval of local Dangerous Goods expert/manager.
  14. Not acceptable if the commodity is under the Standard Prohibited & Restricted Commodities list. Otherwise, it is still be subject to import & export approval by the State Police Arms and Explosives Branch. Delay : 1-2 days.
  15. Shipper must provide Phytosanitary Certficate.
  16. Dutiable but not controlled. Delay : 1 day. Invoice must state number of packages in shipment or weight per shipment, brand name and number items per package. (Electronic Cigarette is Prohibited).
  17. Destination importer or consignee required to obtain licenses from Health Sciences Authority of Singapore
  18. Subject to approval from Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA); Delay: 1-2 days
  19. Consignee to obtain import permit from relevant government authorities prior to shipping. Fax paperwork and flight details for pre-clearance.
  20. Import of toy guns/pistols/revolvers is controlled by State Police, Arms & Explosives Licensing Division. Content to be indicated on Air waybill and Commercial Invoice as `Toy Guns’.
  21. Consignee to obtain import license from the Health Science Authority for importation of medicinal or oral dental chewing gum. If shipment contains private individual contents, it must have a Doctor’s prescription. Invoice must have medicine name, brand, quantity per bottle, weight of each capsule, reason for import and product composition. Subject to inspection and approval. Delay: 1-2 days.
  22. GST relief may be granted on imports of used household articles and personal effects to: 1) Singaporeans and Permanent Residents of Singapore (PRs) residing overseas and returning to resume residence in Singapore. 2) Foreigners transferring residence or migrating to Singapore. See more at:



  • Antiques
  • Asbestos
  • Chewing gum
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Cigarette lighters if pistol or revolver shaped
  • Dangerous goods, including hazardous or combustible materials
  • Electronic cigarette (including parts and accessories)
  • Endangered animals and plants
  • Firearms, parts of
  • Firecrackers
  • Furs
  • Jewellery
  • Precious metals and stones
  • Rhinoceros horn
  • Rough diamonds

This is in addition to DHL’s Global standard list of prohibited items which can be found here



The maximum weight per shipment is 3,000 kg (6,600.0 lb).

The maximum weight per piece is 1,000.0 kg (2,200.0 lb).

The maximum dimensions of each shipment are length: 300.0 cm (117 in); height: 160.0 cm (62.0 in); width: 200.0 cm (78.0 in).

Pallets are accepted.

If you are planning to send shipments exceeding these limits, please contact DHL.


Should you at any time require more information or telephonic assistance, please make contact with our Certified International Specialists.


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