Singapore free zones in 2023
Since 2003, Healy Consultants assists our Clients registering their company and doing business with Singapore’s free trade zones (FTZs), in order to benefit from numerous tax advantages and easier custom compliance requirements when exporting abroad. Singapore’s free trade zones are indeed an attractive option for foreign companies looking for a hub from where to distribute their products globally.
- The Singapore free zones (or FTZs) are estates offering storage facilities to both foreign and local companies. The Singapore authorities currently operate nine FTZs: i) Brani Terminal ii) Keppel District Park iii) Pasir Panjang Terminal iv) Sembawang Wharves v) Tanjong Pagar Terminal & Keppel Terminal vi) Jurong Port vii) The Changi Airport Group viii) Airport logistics Park of Singapore and ix) Changi Airport Terminal Complex;
- Companies registered in a Singapore free trade zone benefit from numerous advantages including: i) no permit is required for the transshipment of non-controlled goods ii) no custom duties and iii) no GST on products imported in a FTZ, provided these products are thereafter re-exported (not sold locally);
- Singapore free zones also provide an ideal storage solution thanks to i) Singapore’s excellent transportation infrastructure ii) simplified customs procedures and iii) their convenient location, close the Singapore Ports Terminals and Changi International Airport, which appeals to entrepreneurs running a trading and shipping businesses.
The main Singapore free zones
- Jurong Port
- Jurong port is one of the leading global maritime multipurpose ports, handling bulk, general and containerized cargo. The port’s main terminal welcomes at least 15,000 international and regional vessels each year;
- The port offers more than 170,000 square meters of warehouse facilities open to interested investors and entrepreneurs. Jurong also offers one of the largest common user cement terminals in the world;
- Jurong Port also houses the Offshore Marine Centre, a state of the art waterfront facility offering services to local and global entities involved in the fabrication of offshore and marine equipment.
- The Changi Airport Group
- Changi Airport Group offers among other services i) over 100,000 square meters of warehouse and office space ii) at least 3million tonnes of annual handling space iii) over 70 hectares of free trade zones iv) round-the-clock efficient customs operations and v) at least 14 dedicated freight parking bays;
- Changi airport provides global companies with a unique opportunity to establish their regional redistribution centers in a Free Zone that has comparative advantage over other regional airports;
- The Free Zone also offers direct connections to the Changi Airfreight Centre, ensuring that your goods and products are delivered on time.
How to register a company in a Singapore free zone
- In accordance with the Free Trade Zones Act, both foreign and local companies can use the Singapore FTZs. They must however obtain a permit from the free trade zone authority. PSA Corporation Authority supervises the following FTZs: i) Brani Terminal ii) Keppel Distripark iii) Pasir Panjang Terminal iv) Sembawang Wharves v) Tanjong Pagar Terminal and vi) Keppel Terminal. The other FTZs are supervised by their own authority;
- Healy Consultants may assist our Clients interested to run operations in an FTZ to i) evaluate the eligibility of their project ii) draft a detailed business plan fulfilling registration requirements and iii) register their company directly with the relevant government entity;
- Companies using Singapore free zone must have a paid up share capital of SG$100,000 if a warehouse is required or SG$50,000 if only an office space is required. The paid up share capital must be deposited during the first year of operations and can be used for business expenses.
Frequently asked questions
What are the documents required to submit an application for a warehouse/office at Changi?
- Company certificate of incorporation
- Company audited accounts for the past financial year
- A paid up capital of i) S$50,000 for an office unit or ii) S$100,000 for a warehouse
- An application form from Changi Airfreight Centre
Are goods within the FTZ subject to duties and taxes?No. Goods within the FTZ are tax and duty free. You are only required to pay duties when the goods leave the FTZ
Can goods be transported by rail and road into the FTZ?No. Goods transported by rail/road cannot be deposited into an FTZ and is subject to taxes
Do I require a license to operate in a Free Zone?Yes. A registered company must obtain a permit from the relevant free trade zone authority before commencing operations
How to start a trading business in Singapore?The regulations are quite straightforward when it comes to setting up a trading business in Singapore.
The steps to start a trading business in Singapore are same to those for a private limited company and at the end a trading permit is required, based on the traded goods.
The summary of the steps is explained below:
- Register with the ACRA and obtain a business registration number;
- Register with the Singapore Customs and activate the Unique Entity Number;
- Apply for and obtain a license from the Competent Authority, depending on your business activity;
- Depending on the goods involved, special permits might be required before you begin trading.