Singapore Customs is a government agency under the Ministry of Finance. Re-constituted on 1 April 2003, Singapore Customs is the lead agency on trade facilitation and revenue enforcement matters. It is also responsible for the implementation of customs and trade enforcement measures including those related to Free Trade Agreements and strategic goods.
The main roles of Singapore Customs include:
collection of customs revenue;
protection of customs revenue by preventing the evasion of duties and taxes;
provision of one-stop solutions for trade and customs matters, such as issuance of permits, licenses and Certificates of Origin, and provision of classification and valuation advice;
facilitation of trade through simplification of customs procedures and administration of tax suspension schemes;
enforcement of trade requirements under the respective Free Trade Agreements (FTAs);
regulation of trade in strategic goods and strategic goods technology.
The Customs department's history dates back to the Straits Settlement period. Established in 1910 under the name Government Monopolies Department, Customs is one of the oldest tax-collecting organisations in Singapore. The origin of revenue collection went back to December 1909 when the first import duty was imposed on hard liquors. In 1916, the tariff was extended to include tobacco and cigarettes. The collection of duty on petroleum was introduced in 1934.
The department has since gone through many developments, as well as organisational and name changes. The span of past 90 years has seen a significant expansion of the department's responsibilities, brought about by globalisation and changes in laws, tariffs, trading and traveling trends.
In April 2003, the department was re-constituted as Singapore Customs - an agency that provides one-stop solutions for customs, trade and revenue matters. The Mission, Vision and Values of Singapore Customs were also reviewed in July 2005 to show our commitment towards promoting Singapore as a global trade hub and being proactive in meeting our customers' needs.
Today, Singapore Customs takes on multi-faceted roles from collection and protection of revenue to trade enforcement and facilitation. The journey ahead continues to be an exciting one with challenges and opportunities. Working closely together with our stakeholders and partners, we are confident of overcoming the challenges and seizing the opportunities to create better value for our customers.
Headed by the Director-General, the work of Singapore Customs (SC) is performed mainly by Trade Division, Compliance Division, Corporate Development Dvision, Policy & Planning Division, Checkpoint & Corporate Services Division, as well as the Intelligence & Investigation Division.
The Internal Audit Branch report directly to the Director-General of Customs.