Budget 2021: GST to apply to low-value imported goods from 2023

Dhany Osman
·Editor
·2 min read
Currently, low-value goods imported by air or post are not subject to GST in order to facilitate clearance at Singapore's borders. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
Currently, low-value goods imported by air or post are not subject to GST in order to facilitate clearance at Singapore's borders. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — With effect from 1 January 2023, Singapore's Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be imposed on low-value imported goods, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Tuesday (16 February).

This will help "ensure a level playing field for our businesses to compete effectively" against their foreign counterparts, he said during his Budget 2021 speech.

Low-value imported goods refer to goods imported via air or post that are valued up to, and including $400. These goods are currently not subject to GST in order to facilitate clearance at Singapore's borders. Goods imported by air or post of value above $400, along with all goods imported by land or sea, are currently subject to GST.

The GST will also be applicable from 2023 to imported non-digital services, such as live interactions with overseas providers of educational learning, fitness training, counselling and tele-medicine.

"One aspect of a fair and resilient tax system is ensuring a level playing field for our local businesses vis-a-vis their overseas counterparts," said Heng, noting that the move would see overseas suppliers of goods subject to the same GST treatment as local suppliers.

He also noted that several jurisdictions such as Australia, New Zealand and the European Union have implemented or are planning to implement the equivalent of GST on such goods.

In his Budget 2018 speech, Heng announced that GST would be extended to imported digital services as of January this year such as music and video streaming services, apps and online subscription fees.

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