29 April 2019
The Customs Act has been amended with effect from various dates to support policy changes relating to fuel taxes, improve the operational efficiency of Singapore Customs and provide legal clarity on current policies. Changes made include the following:
- Support recent policy changes on fuel tax: The Customs Act has been amended to broaden the definition of “motor fuel” to include diesel. The definition now refers to any fuel used in the propulsion of any conveyance (previously limited to motor spirit and compressed natural gas). Further, changes are made to provide greater clarity on how the amount of special tax payable should be calculated when different special tax rates apply within a taxation period.
- Improve operational efficiency: To ensure Singapore Customs remains operationally effective in its administration of the Customs Act, the Customs Act is amended to:
- Increase from one year to five years the time limit for the submission of claims for refunds of duties, taxes, fees or other charges overpaid or erroneously collected.
- Increase from one year to five years the time limit for the recovery of duties, taxes, fees, or other charges short levied or erroneously refunded, and remove the time limit for the recovery of duties in cases of fraud or evasion. The revised time limit aligns the Customs Act with the Income Tax Act and Goods and Services Tax Act.
- Provide legal clarity on current policies: The Customs Act is amended to clarify that there will be collection of customs or excise duties on goods used or consumed in a Free Trade Zone.
To support the implementation of the changes to the Customs Act, the following orders and regulations have been issued and came into operation on 1 April 2019:
- Customs (Fuel Tank - Minimum Amount) Order 2019
- Customs (Exemption from Section 136(1)) Order 2019
- Customs (Permits to Remove Goods) (Amendment) Order 2019
- Customs (Customs Ticket Notices) (Amendment) Regulations 2019
- Customs (Duties) (Exemption) (Amendment) Order 2019
The above orders and regulations can be accessed from the Singapore Statutes Online website sso.agc.gov.sg.