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Customs/import to Singapore

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zDave
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Customs/import to Singapore

Postby zDave » Wed, 30 Apr 2014 7:03 pm

I am not moving (to live) in Singapore. I will be staying for 4 days in a hotel. I will be then flying to Thailand before I return back home (Australia).

I was thinking about buying a particular watch (around $$2,300 to $3,000) from Singapore, but I am not sure if I could find this particular model and the price would be similar to that US website. I am weighting my options.

I know a reputable US website where the price is really good (Unfortunately I am not travelling to the US).

The other option is to buy it on line from the US, give them the shipping address of my hotel in Singapore and collect it when I get there. I realise that I should also let the hotel in Singapore know and see if they would be able to accept the shipment.
But then, would this shipment be subject to Singaporean customs? Would it be stuck there in customs until customs are paid? How much is customs (for this item)? 7%? Would it be subject to customs? (I do not live in Singapore) How can customs be paid? When I get there?

Obviously, it is safer to get it shipped to home (Australia) and pay customs here on entry (when I order it on line). The issue is Australian customs charges around 17% of the value of the watch and since I am travelling, it would probably be better to buy it from Singapore on the outbound trip from the Duty Free, but that could only be possible if I could find that particular watch model within the duty free (in Singapore) and provided that they would have it for a similar price to the US website (which I think it would be unlikely).

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Postby nakatago » Wed, 30 Apr 2014 7:15 pm

Which brand? Knowing which may help determine the quality of responses people can give you, especially given the price implies luxury.

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Re: Customs/import to Singapore

Postby ecureilx » Wed, 30 Apr 2014 7:26 pm

zDave wrote:I am not moving (to live) in Singapore. I will be staying for 4 days in a hotel. I will be then flying to Thailand before I return back home (Australia).

I was thinking about buying a particular watch (around $$2,300 to $3,000) from Singapore, but I am not sure if I could find this particular model and the price would be similar to that US website. I am weighting my options.

I know a reputable US website where the price is really good (Unfortunately I am not travelling to the US).

The other option is to buy it on line from the US, give them the shipping address of my hotel in Singapore and collect it when I get there. I realise that I should also let the hotel in Singapore know and see if they would be able to accept the shipment.
But then, would this shipment be subject to Singaporean customs? Would it be stuck there in customs until customs are paid? How much is customs (for this item)? 7%? Would it be subject to customs? (I do not live in Singapore) How can customs be paid? When I get there?
).


based on my own past experience, you 'MAY' be subject to 7% ...

if you ship door to door the courier will pay it and collect from you but I doubt anybody will ship to a hotel address and unless you pay serious express delivery, it may be more than 4 days ....

and it may miss your time in Singapore

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Postby zDave » Wed, 30 Apr 2014 8:34 pm

nakatago wrote:Which brand? Knowing which may help determine the quality of responses people can give you, especially given the price implies luxury.


Rado Hyperchrome (mens), the US website states its retail is US $4,200 but currently on special for US$2,688, plus $60 shipping.

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Re: Customs/import to Singapore

Postby zDave » Wed, 30 Apr 2014 8:39 pm

based on my own past experience, you 'MAY' be subject to 7% ...

if you ship door to door the courier will pay it and collect from you but I doubt anybody will ship to a hotel address and unless you pay serious express delivery, it may be more than 4 days ....

and it may miss your time in Singapore[/quote]

I still have 4 weeks before I get to Singapore. So I still have the chance to order it within the next two weeks and receive it by the time I get to Singapore.

If it will be subject to 7% customs, how would I pay the courier? They will notify me? how? I may still be in Australia?

Why do you think they would not ship to a hotel? If they take the money from my credit card, they may ship to a hotel, why not?

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Re: Customs/import to Singapore

Postby BillyB » Wed, 30 Apr 2014 8:42 pm

zDave wrote:I am not moving (to live) in Singapore. I will be staying for 4 days in a hotel. I will be then flying to Thailand before I return back home (Australia).

I was thinking about buying a particular watch (around $$2,300 to $3,000) from Singapore, but I am not sure if I could find this particular model and the price would be similar to that US website. I am weighting my options.

I know a reputable US website where the price is really good (Unfortunately I am not travelling to the US).

The other option is to buy it on line from the US, give them the shipping address of my hotel in Singapore and collect it when I get there. I realise that I should also let the hotel in Singapore know and see if they would be able to accept the shipment.
But then, would this shipment be subject to Singaporean customs? Would it be stuck there in customs until customs are paid? How much is customs (for this item)? 7%? Would it be subject to customs? (I do not live in Singapore) How can customs be paid? When I get there?

Obviously, it is safer to get it shipped to home (Australia) and pay customs here on entry (when I order it on line). The issue is Australian customs charges around 17% of the value of the watch and since I am travelling, it would probably be better to buy it from Singapore on the outbound trip from the Duty Free, but that could only be possible if I could find that particular watch model within the duty free (in Singapore) and provided that they would have it for a similar price to the US website (which I think it would be unlikely).


Firstly, some answers to the custom process here in SG:

By the letter of the law it should / will be subject to GST @ 7% of whatever value is declared and this is also the value the package will be insured for. The 7% will be paid on your behalf by the courier company in most cases and delivery won't, usually, be delayed. You then have 30 days to pay the courier company e.g. Fedex, DHL etc. You will then claim it back on exit, and you'll get shafted on the FX rates. As a tourist, you might have to make payment before the goods will be released because you don;t have a fixed address, but i'm not entirely sure on that one.

As a side note, a little bird told me that many oversea's watch companies actually insure the watches through a third party and declare a much lower value on the actual package documentation as a way to avoid paying GST........

Sourcing a watch:

For a watch worth 2-3k, i'd aim to buy it here as you'll likely lose out on FX charges - a lot of retailers insist on bank transfer, so you're not protected as much as you would be if you used a credit card, and also the hassle of paying and reclaiming the 7% import tax.

There are plenty of specialist & pre-owned dealers here that can source grey imports that will trim some decent dollar off the authorised dealers prices. They also have a wide variety of used pieces that may still be unworn and brand new or like new in box. Cash will also command a higher discount. I'd be surprised if you couldn't find a dealer here to get near the US prices. You might also want to look at prices in HK - they are usually 10-20% less than Singapore, so even with the 7%GST, you can still grab a bargain.

Taxico might also have some advice on this, as he collects watches and knows the local market well.

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Postby zDave » Wed, 30 Apr 2014 9:02 pm

Thanks Billy for the valuable information.
Would you recommend any websites (within Singapore) so that I can check the price range there. Would I be able to get a good price from Singapore Duty Free?

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Postby BillyB » Wed, 30 Apr 2014 9:11 pm

zDave wrote:Thanks Billy for the valuable information.
Would you recommend any websites (within Singapore) so that I can check the price range there. Would I be able to get a good price from Singapore Duty Free?


Not sure if they all do Rado, but try these SG based sites:

chrono24.sg (international, but you can select sellers based in SG)
ebay (same as above)
sgwatchmall.com
hj watch
chaun watch
bonfields
passions

HK based sites - use chrono24 to find the listings. Moboitime are pretty good from experience.

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Re: Customs/import to Singapore

Postby ecureilx » Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:39 pm

BillyB wrote:....



that's pretty much good info

I only been asked once to pay the GST, but when Fedex delivered, this being Singapore the guy refused cash and insisted I wait for the invoice from their accounts dept and to mail a cheque ... no amount of crying worked as he doesn't have a invoice book and hence, legally, cannot accept cash and issue a receipt ... this was like 7 years ago ...

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Re: Customs/import to Singapore

Postby taxico » Thu, 01 May 2014 6:48 pm

ecureilx wrote:
BillyB wrote:....



that's pretty much good info

I only been asked once to pay the GST, but when Fedex delivered, this being Singapore the guy refused cash and insisted I wait for the invoice from their accounts dept and to mail a cheque ... no amount of crying worked as he doesn't have a invoice book and hence, legally, cannot accept cash and issue a receipt ... this was like 7 years ago ...


still the same now. just last month, in fact. they will however be happy (okay, not happy) to wait for you to fill out a form with your credit card information.

i'm not sure if that's what i would do though. UPS (or was it DHL) have handheld mobile credit card terminals.
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Re: Customs/import to Singapore

Postby taxico » Thu, 01 May 2014 7:09 pm

zDave wrote:...But then, would this shipment be subject to Singaporean customs? Would it be stuck there in customs until customs are paid? How much is customs (for this item)? 7%? Would it be subject to customs? (I do not live in Singapore) How can customs be paid? When I get there?

Obviously, it is safer to get it shipped to home (Australia) and pay customs here on entry (when I order it on line). The issue is Australian customs charges around 17% of the value of the watch and since I am travelling, it would probably be better to buy it from Singapore on the outbound trip from the Duty Free, but that could only be possible if I could find that particular watch model within the duty free (in Singapore) and provided that they would have it for a similar price to the US website (which I think it would be unlikely).


depends on who is delivering the watch. if it is singpost (USPS) then the item will be held until GST is paid. there is no further admin fee levied, unlike courier companies (fedex, et al)... BUT singpost will take a couple of days to get the GST payment due notice to you. i would not take that route since you're only here for a few days.

even with courier admin fee ($10-$20) added in, your extra charges will not amount to 17% on a 4k watch. courier companies will be happy to bill you if you leave a valid forwarding address. i have paid singapore fedex by wiring money from my USA bank account to their singapore bank account before.

in general, duty free watch stores in singapore don't give good prices on luxury watches... (imo)

billyB is right - popular third party specialist insurers mandate a low value and non-brow-raising declaration. whether or not the shipper is willing to do this i cannot comment upon but i will acknowledge that it is a common practise.
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Postby zDave » Thu, 01 May 2014 9:35 pm

[quote="BillyB"]

Thanks again BillyB for the valuable info.

I checked these websites, it seems that they do not do Rado. I even checked DFS website, they do not have the model I a interested in...

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Re: Customs/import to Singapore

Postby zDave » Thu, 01 May 2014 9:38 pm

taxico wrote:
in general, duty free watch stores in singapore don't give good prices on luxury watches... (imo)



True; a couple of years ago, I bought (another) Rado from the duty free in Singapore without doing thorough research beforehand. The watch is great, but the value I paid what not.


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