Buying Physical Bullion for Export (GST free)

Can Silver Bullion waive GST (goods and services tax) for non-Singaporean buyers?

Yes, through the Hand-Carried Export Scheme (similar to the GST Tourist Refund Scheme). Silver Bullion Pte Ltd can apply for an Export Permit on behalf of a buyer, allowing the customer to ‘export’ silver bullion to another country without paying GST (tax). Export in this case means that the bullion is physically brought out by the buyer / carrying agent when he/she leaves Singapore, as hand carried items or as checked-in items.

The carrier or carrying agent – the person physically bringing the bullion out of Singapore –can be the customer or any designated agent / representative of the customer (Singaporean or non-Singaporean). The customer's shipping and billing address must be located outside Singapore.

Please take note that only non-Singaporean customers who do not reside in Singapore are eligible to place orders under this scheme. Permanent residents and Employment Pass Holders are not allowed to place orders under this scheme but can be a carrier who brings the bullion out Singapore on behalf of the buyer.

Who may avail of the export order option:

  • Non-Singaporeans
  • Non-Singapore residents

Who may not avail of the export order option:

  • Singaporeans and Permanent Residents
  • Singapore residents (eg: Employment Pass holders)

Who may carry/export the silver bullion out of Singapore:

  • Non-Singaporeans
  • Singaporeans / Singapore Residents (will need to present the export permit through all exit points)

In addition, the person bringing the bullion out of Singapore (the carrier) must be 16 years of age or above at the time of presenting the bullion to Singapore Customs.



Aside from being a non-resident of Singapore, what are the other requirements so I can proceed with this export scheme?

With a minimum purchase of SGD 10,000 per transaction, we can issue Export Permits in behalf of our customers and waive off GST. We will issue you a zero-rated tax invoice, wherein no GST is included in the purchase. We will be charging 1% of the total value of the goods ordered (without GST) as an export processing fee. We will also collect a fully refundable deposit (fully refundable) equal to 7% of the total value of the invoice.

During the ordering process, we need to collect the following information to apply for an export permit which varies depending on how you are exiting Singapore:

Leaving via airport: Destination, flight number, date and time of flight, airport terminal

Leaving via Woodlands / Tuas link: Car license plate number

Leaving via ferry terminals: Destination, ferry ticket number

Please provide these details at least two (2) business days before leaving Singapore with the bullion.



Why do you need all this information?

As a GST registered Singaporean company we are obligated to collect a Goods and Services Tax when a sale is made in Singapore and issue an appropriate tax invoice.

If we do not collect this tax due to an export we need to issue a “zero rated” invoice, issue an export permit (we are a customs declaring agent), and keep evidence of export as prescribed by Singapore Tax Authority and Customs. 

The information we collect is required to issue export permit and as proof of export. This information is not released to any foreign tax authority.



What should I do when I am exiting Singapore with the bullion?

When flying out of Singapore, please have the Export Permit endorsed by the inspecting Customs official (ie: signed and stamped at the Changi / Seletar airport). We will require the original endorsed Export Permit, which will serve as evidence that you have left Singapore with the bullion. The carrier must bring the bullion with him in his hand-carry or check-in luggage within 12 hours after having the export permit endorsed.

You will need to send us the endorsed Export Permit via post within 15 days after the stipulated invoice date.  Failure to do so will result in the deposit being forfeited.

For all other means of leaving Singapore (driving a private vehicle, taking the bus or taking a taxi out of Singapore to Peninsular Malaysia or taking the ferry to Malaysia or Indonesia), we will require a scanned copy of your passport indicating the 'exit stamp' and the corresponding departure date from Singapore as well as the 'entry stamp' of the destination country. You can send the scanned copy via post or e-mail them to [email protected].

Singaporeans or Permanent Residents designated as the carrier or carrying agent leaving Singapore by any means (land, sea, air), will have to declare with Singapore Customs that they are carrying silver bullion out of Singapore. You will have to go through the red lane (‘Goods to Declare’ lane) and ask the Customs official to stamp and sign the Export Permit. Please prepare the Export Permit, invoice as well as the bullion for inspection.

Important: Please have the Singapore customs officer sign two copies of the export permit. In case the endorsed export permit (sent via local post from the airport) does not reach us, you can e-mail us a scanned copy of the second export permit.



Why do you collect a deposit equal to 7% of the total value of the bullion?

The reason we collect this amount is because we are liable to pay GST for the bullion if there is no sufficient evidence that the bullion has been exported out of Singapore. That is, the Government will consider the bullion as sold here and therefore has to be treated with GST.

As soon as there is sufficient evidence that the customer has left Singapore with the tax-free bullion, we will refund the deposit within seven (7) business days.

During the ordering process, please specify refund wire / cheque instructions, including details such as your bank account number. We will send the deposit back to you via telegraphic transfer (TT) or by issuing you a cheque.



Do I need to pay import taxes at point of disembarkation (final destination outside Singapore)?

Depending on your destination or home country, we advise you to check with the customs authority of your destination country before leaving Singapore.



In the future if I want to sell the goods back to Silver Bullion, will I have to pay GST upon entering Singapore with the bullion?

Yes, you will have to declare the bullion at the point of entry and pay GST.



Can I place an order several months in advance before I arrive in Singapore and pick up the bullion once I reach your office?

We will hold the physical bullion for you up to three months after you have placed the order.



Will I continue to enjoy discount through your discount tier system for my export orders?

Yes, you can continue enjoy discounts with volume orders in combination with the tax-free export orders.



Am I eligible to apply for this scheme if I do not immediately take my silver bullion out of Singapore?  For example if I were to do so after 2 years or more?

Please take note that as soon as you want to collect your bullion, we will have to close the transaction, and issue the invoice and export permit altogether. The export permit is valid for 14 days. That means you will have 14 days from the day we issue the export permit to leave Singapore.



Where can I find a condensed version of the Export Ordering Process?

You can find the printable one-pager version here.