We refer to the letter, "Consider GST exemption for items sent abroad for repair" (Aug 20).
Singapore Customs has looked into Mr Bill Tan's feedback and also contacted him to acknowledge that our call centre agent had given the wrong impression to him.
We would like to clarify that any importer may be granted goods and services tax (GST) relief on the re-importation of goods temporarily exported for repairs subject to certain conditions. This applies to both goods meant for commercial and personal use.
To do so, a temporary export permit is required to be obtained prior to the temporary export of the goods for repair. When the same goods are re-imported back into Singapore after the repair, a re-import permit will also be required.
Individuals may engage a local freight forwarding agent to declare the temporary export and re-import permit on their behalf, and will be required to submit the relevant supporting documents during the permit application.
More information on the procedures and conditions for the GST relief could be found on our website (www.customs.gov.sg).
We thank Mr Tan for bringing his encounter with our call centre to our attention. As part of our follow-up, we are working to strengthen the procedures and training of our call centre staff so as to improve our communication with members of the public.
Head, Procedures and Systems Branch