Step by Step Guide to Importing a Car in Singapore
There is no doubt that car prices in Singapore are among the highest in the world and this is mainly due to the numerous taxes imposed on vehicles. The easiest way to buy a vehicle is through a car dealership but you will definitely pay some extra amount which is the dealer’s margin. Therefore, in order to try and reduce the cost of buying a car, you may choose to import a car by yourself. Below is a step by step guide on how to import a car in Singapore which will come in handy when you embark on the process.
1) Ensure that the car complies with the general requirements and set standards
There are set requirements and standards for cars that can be imported to Singapore. Failure to comply with these standards would be lead to an automatic rejection of the car and it wouldn’t be allowed out of port. The set standards and requirements are:
- You can only import brand new vehicles or vehicles that are less than 3 years of age
- Determining the age of a used car will be based on the date of first registration in a foreign country. If this cannot be ascertained, then, the age of the car will be based on the first day of the year on which the car was manufactured.
- Modifications done on the car to be imported must be certified and done only by the manufacturer, or an agent who is certified by the manufacturer.
- You can only import a car that uses unleaded petrol
- The imported car must only use CFC-free air conditioners
- Every imported car must be inspected and has to pass inspection at the authorized inspection centres. There are set technical inspection guidelines/standards which you can get from the inspection agents so that you can be certain before importing the car.
2) Get the relevant documents from the manufacturer
Before you can register your car in Singapore you will need to provide the following documents and hence you must acquire them before the car is imported:
- If the car is new, obtain documents that prove the car is brand new and has never been registered by another user or in another country.
- You must also obtain documents to ascertain that the vehicle complies with the set emission and safety standards.
- Compliance documents to show that the vehicle’s CO2 and fuel economy data was tested as per the UN ECE regulations.
- If it is a new brand/model of car or if the car was never previously imported to Singapore, then you must also obtain a technical specifications catalogue from the manufacturer.
You can import a car to Singapore through the sea or by air. However, it is always cheaper to ship by sea though this will take a little bit longer. The best way to go about this is to arrange for shipment through a shipment agent who will help you with the finer details.
4) Inward cargo clearance permit
All goods imported to Singapore must get clearance from the customs authority. You should ensure that your agent gets the inward cargo clearance permit from Singapore customs by submitting an application. At this stage, the fees applicable are the permit and processing fee, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Exercise Duty.
5) Registration of the car in Singapore
After all the applicable fees have been paid to Singapore Customs, the car will be allowed to dock on land awaiting registration. For registration, you will have to provide all the importation documents for verification and registration of the car.