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DVDs and other import related questions...

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mrjester
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DVDs and other import related questions...

Postby mrjester » Thu, 19 Jan 2012 7:02 pm

Hi all,

I know this has been covered in a few topics around here, but I couldn't find anything too recent, and a lot of the answers seemed quite vague and speculative. So, I thought I'd ask a couple of questions just to distill some answers if possible.

I'm moving to Singapore for work next month (have a job, rather than job-hunting). Though I'm sure I'll buy things out there, it's always nice to have some homely bits you invested. I'm just arranging a shipping company to collect things to deliver. So:

1) I have a pretty mega DVD collection (I like films, what can I say). The shipping companies haven't mentioned anything, but I noticed on one piece of info I was sent it says the Singapore Government may want to view all the DVDs for content/edit at quite a large cost. Looking around the internet the consensus seems to be "No one has a problem", though some have suggested not to bring banned films (the likes of Evil Dead, Hostel and so on). I have also seen something which said I need to contact the media wing of the government and tell them what DVDs I intend to bring. Does anyone have an actual answer on this? Is it a case of bring them and cross my fingers but be prepared to pay a hefty fine?

1a) On a similar one, the same as above, but for games (Playstation)

2) On another of the shipping info documents it implied that on everything I bring into the country, I'll have to pay GST on it's (current) value. E.g. if I bring my PS3, I can get about £50 in the uk on ebay... so will I pay (£50)$100+GST% and bring a set of cuttlery worth about $10, so $10+GST%? Or is that something that rarely happens? I'm just worried the more stuff I bring, I'll end up with a giant bill from customs.

3) I probably won't bring one, but for the benefit of others that may search for the same answers, I read that I need an import license to bring a microwave oven. I also read I can ask permission from the part of the government who deal with radiation... really?? I know they're reasonably cheap to replace, but thought I'd ask anyway.

I'm just weighing up the options of bring things/replace locally. Any insight would be great thanks.

Richard

PS I know my DVDs are UK region, I have a multiregion player ;)

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Postby BigSis » Thu, 19 Jan 2012 8:24 pm

oooh I didn't know that about microwaves.

Hmmm DVDS - well it was 10 years ago but we brought all of ours and mentioned on the shipment details that they were in there and didn't get them opened and looked at.

We also brought 36 bottles of wine, declared it and that didn't get looked at either.

Over the years we have had the odd DVD sent as a birthday/Christmas present taken and watched by the censors (and charged a few $$s for it) but I'm not sure if they're doing that these days. Someone on another forum said that they ordered DVDs from Amazon all the time and had never had this happen and I did an Amazon order myself before Christmas which included DVDs and it didn't get stopped. Nor did Christmas presents from family at home who'd put 'DVD' on the customs form.

So perhaps with things like apple TV and all that going on, they've given up on it. Maybe they're concentrating more on pirated stuff..........but it's all guessing - I really don't know what the score is any more I'm afraid.

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aster
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Postby aster » Thu, 19 Jan 2012 9:18 pm

Main rules are no copied/pirated discs and no porn. Shouldn't have trouble with regular, original movies though.

I order loads of stuff from Amazon and have never had a single problem.

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Postby nutnut » Thu, 19 Jan 2012 10:23 pm

We brought in a good 50 DVDs and never got noticed, same for books and cds.

Not sure about Microwaves, we had one in the condo.

I brought 2 bottles of malt whisky, I avoided bringing any more.

You could be fine, you may get taxed heavily, either way, it's up to you!
nutnut

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aster
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Postby aster » Thu, 19 Jan 2012 10:44 pm

Like I said, I don't think DVDs are a problem for anyone anymore, just make sure they're original and not of the "adult" variety (it's ok to watch porn in Singapore, just not that ok to bring it in). :)

This really is a casual and easy-going nation when compared to the general opinions out there of people who have never been or lived here. Heck, you can even pop open a can of Anchor and walk down the street with it on a hot day... something that would land you in handcuffs or get you a fine in the US or UK.

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Postby mrjester » Fri, 20 Jan 2012 8:08 pm

aster wrote:I order loads of stuff from Amazon and have never had a single problem.


Even with "banned" films? I don't mean porn, I saw some horror/thriller on a banned list somewhere.

EDIT: I haven't ever looked to see if Amazon do porn...

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Postby mrjester » Fri, 20 Jan 2012 8:12 pm

Question 2 worries me more if anyone knows about it...? Do they charge GST to everything you bring?

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 20 Jan 2012 8:33 pm

mrjester wrote:Question 2 worries me more if anyone knows about it...? Do they charge GST to everything you bring?


I've never had to pay for DVD's to be screened on relo/arrival.

No you don't pay GST on your household goods. Only on stuff that you are taking in to sell on, or perhaps stuff that is brand new (and hence you might seek to sell for a profit).

You'll see a caveat in the small-print that very roughly states something like personal household effects that you have owned for 90 days+ are not subject to GST. Suggest you look for it to get peace of mind.

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aster
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Postby aster » Fri, 20 Jan 2012 11:15 pm

mrjester wrote:Question 2 worries me more if anyone knows about it...? Do they charge GST to everything you bring?


There is also no GST applied when you order stuff from abroad (amazon.co.uk/.com/other stores) as long as the total value of the package including shipping (and insurance) does not exceed the equivalent of 400 SGD.

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Postby lyly00 » Sat, 18 Feb 2012 6:32 pm

I am also very interested on the GSt question. We arrived in Singapore 2 weeks ago letting some parcel to my familiy in Europe asking them to send me when we will have an apartment.

I have found the following information on sending items by post:
There is a 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST) levied on all goods, inclusive of new articles, personal effects, souvenirs, gifts, food preparations and dutiable products, imported into Singapore.
Internet Purchases/Postal Parcels


From what I understand even your personal effects are subjected to GST? I did not find any mention that remove this tax if the object are in your possession from a given amount of time... There is still the limit of 400$, but this one might easily be attained with my parcel if we consider the buying price and not the current resale price for used items.

There is also a procedure for people transfering their residence to Singapore: Transferring of Residence to Singapore (PRs and Returning Singaporeans and Foreigners)

This section provides a guide to returning Singaporeans/Permanent Resident of Singapore and foreigners transferring residence to Singapore on how to declare and clear their used household articles and personal effects imported in consignments.

These personal effects, other than liquors, tobacco products and motor vehicles, may be exempted from payment of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) upon importation. Customs duty and GST are levied on the import of liquors, tobacco products and motor vehicles.

...

Please also note that multiple importations are generally not allowed.


It seems that the procedure can only be undertaken by transporter, is it right? Did some one manage to get this applied on postal parcels?

Any advice on the question is welcome.


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