SINGAPORE: People who receive taxable items from overseas via the postal service or Speedpost can soon make their payment through cashless means, said Singapore Post (SingPost) on Friday (Oct 1).
From Nov 1, recipients of items sent from overseas will be required to pay all duties or Goods and Services Tax (GST), or both, via the SingPost mobile app, SAM kiosks, or at any post offices before delivery is made.
SingPost said it will stop collecting cash payment, also from Nov 1, for such items at the time of delivery by the postman, Speedpost parcel ambassador or appointed courier.
This is "part of its on-going efforts to improve customer experience", said SingPost.
GIRO settlement for registered corporate customers remains unchanged, it added.
All goods such as new or used articles, online purchases and gifts imported by post are subject to payment of GST and/or duty, according to current customs regulations.
GST relief is granted on goods imported by post, excluding alcohol and tobacco, with a total cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value not exceeding S$400.
Goods with CIF exceeding S$400 will have GST and/or duty levied for the entire value of the goods.
Dutiable items such as alcohol and tobacco are subject to payment of GST and duty on the full value of the items, as well as any additional requirements as stipulated by Singapore Customs for the import of such items.
SINGPOST MOBILE APP
SingPost encouraged all its customers to use its mobile app "to ensure a seamless, bona fide and fuss-free experience" in receiving their items from overseas.
Upon receipt of the taxable and/or dutiable items from overseas, SingPost will notify customers on GST payable items via a push notification on the mobile app as well as via SMS or email.
Customers without a registered account on the SingPost mobile app will be notified either via an SMS, email or a physical letter.
Payment will have to be made within 14 days from the date of notification, or else the item will be returned to the sender.
Once payment is received, SingPost will arrange for the item to be delivered within two to three working days.
Those who are eligible for GST waivers should send a copy of the item's import permit along with the tracking number of the shipment via email to SingPost at oclgst [at] singpost.com before the items are released for delivery.
CLOSURE OF ICA COUNTER AT SINGPOST CENTRE
SingPost on Friday also announced that the ICA counter at SingPost Centre will be permanently closed from Dec 1.
Currently, customers receiving dutiable items from overseas must make GST and duty payment in person at the ICA counter before collecting their items.
However, from Nov 1, customers will no longer need to physically pay and collect their items in person.
Customers receiving dutiable items will be notified via the SingPost mobile app, SMS, email or letter to make the necessary payment before the items are delivered to the listed address, said SingPost.
“We have heard our customers’ feedback on the current process on GST payments and we aim to enhance customer experience with the help of the SingPost mobile app," said SingPost's group chief brand & communications officer Mr Robin Goh.
“Singaporeans are now very savvy with mobile apps, and we see the SingPost mobile app as a critical enabler to help improve our customer’s experience with their interactions with us," said Mr Goh.
"The GST and duty payment process change is one such example, and customers will not only be notified of GST and duty payable items, but also able to track their items and make the necessary payment all through a single app."
“Customers will no longer have to prepare cash payment and wait at home to pay for GST at the time of delivery of the taxable items, or come down to collect their dutiable items in person, thereby freeing up their time."