For Singapore, B2B import and export is one of the biggest pillars of the economy. Singapore is a city state and doesn't have much space for industry, let alone agriculture. Hence, the bulk of the economy is made up by goods that are imported to Singapore to be exported later. B2B Pay is providing a convenient B2B payment solution to exporters in Singapore, this consists of a virtual bank account coupled with the best currency exchange and transfer fees in the market.
Singapore, located on a bustling waterway, currently has one of the top 3 busiest ports in the world. Unlike Singapore, Asian neighbors Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines export mostly raw materials such as rubber, tin and petroleum. Despite lacking these natural resources, Singapore’s B2B export is enormous, widely based on re-export of the raw goods by processing those materials into finished products.
B2B export from Singapore into Europe
Singapore is EU largest trading partner from the Association of South East Nations (ASEAN) nations. In 2014, Singapore exported goods worth nearly 17 billion euro into Europe -- mostly into Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany.
The top five items/category of goods exported by Singapore into Europe were:
Office & Telecommunication Equipment
Electronic data processing and office equipment
Integrated circuits and electronic components
Power generating machinery
Permission to Export
Any entity (person or company) will need to follow a few procedures before starting any operations: register with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority or the relevant Unique Entity Number (UEN) Issuing Agency (to obtain an UEN), and activate a Customs Account. More information on these steps and procedures can be found at the Singapore Customs website.
Exporting goods from Singapore is usually hassle free as you only need to declare your goods to the Customs Authority. However, there are some restrictions on items that can be exported from Singapore, usually associated with weapons and nuclear devices. The list of items and category of goods can be found on the Singapore Customs website here. An Exporter does not have to pay any local taxes (GST) or Customs duty on goods being exported from Singapore.
For further information and guides, refer to the customs.gov.sg website which gives information for any own wanting to commence exporting goods.
Transshipment, one of Singapore major earners, involves goods arriving in Singapore as the first or intermediate destination and then being shipped out to their final destination. Transshipping occurs when goods are transferred from one mode of transportation to another (e.g. from a lorry carrying the goods to a ship, or when small batches are packed into a single large consignment).
In 2015, Singapore was listed as the number one port for transshipping worldwide, the main reason being that goods arriving for transshipment are not considered imported items by Singapore Customs, and therefore are not subject to duties and taxes normally associated with the bringing imported goods into a country.
Some of the conditions for Transshipping through Singapore:
Licenses are required for Controlled goods.
Strategic goods especially munitions or bio-chemicals have a more stringent requirement and special permits are required for the movement of these goods in or out of Singapore.
Non-controlled goods do not require licenses.
You may be required to Furnish Security for dutiable goods such as alcohol, cigarettes or motor vehicles in the form of a Banker’s Guarantee or Insurance Bond.
Apply for Transshipment Permit from Singapore Customs and prepare documentation for clearance of cargo.
For more information on transshipping via Singapore visit this page.
Legal Requirements to export goods into EU
The following procedures/regulations need to be complied with before a Singaporean exporter can start sending their goods into the European Union:
- The first time a Singaporean company makes any customs declaration to export a product into the EU, the company will be given an EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification). This is a unique identifier for use by Customs Authorities in the EU for anyone wishing to export or import goods into the EU. The EORI must be used in all communications with any EU Customs Authority for the purpose of exporting or importing from and to the EU.
- The next requirement is the Entry Summary Declaration (ENS). This will contain information about the consignments entering the EU. This must be done in advance (of the goods arriving) at the first port in the EU where the vessel transporting the goods crosses into EU territory.
There are different deadlines for submitting the ENS to Customs. The deadlines are based upon the type of vessel transporting the goods into the EU. (http://ec.europa.eu/ecip/documents/procedures/import_faq_en.pdf)
For more tips on EU import requirements visit the European Commission website