Singaporean tariff: How to classify products – and a outlook on HS 2022
Product Classification

Singaporean tariff: How to classify products – and a outlook on HS 2022

No import or export without Harmonized System Code. Find out more about classifications of goods in Singapore and the upcoming changes with HS 2022.

When you classify your products within the Singaporean tariff you will also find out about duties, VAT rates, licenses and possibly about duty reliefs.

What is the commodity code and why is it needed?

Commodity codes identify products or groups of products in international commerce. Customs authorities use these numbers to determine the duty and taxes for specific goods. But even though the Commodity Code builds upon the international harmonized system (HS), only the first six digests are applied worldwide.

Singapore then adopts the 8-digit HS Codes in the ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature (AHTN), which is based on the World Customs Organisation (WCO) 6-digit level HS Codes, for use by all ASEAN member countries:

  • First 2 digits: HS Chapter
  • Next 2 digits: HS Heading
  • Next 2 digits: HS Subheading
  • Next 2 digits: AHTN

If you rely on the commodity code from an overseas supplier, you’ll need to check if the treatment is the same and how much of the code applies in Singapore.

How to classify correctly

To assist you in your self-classification journey, you may use the following resources to obtain the HS code for your product, incl. the AHTN that is usually published shortly after HS-changes.

Note: The Harmonized System has six general interpretative rules that must be analyzed in strict order.

  1. Open the Singapore Trade Classification, Customs and Excise Duties handbook of 2018 (including the ASEAN Harmonised Tariff Nomenclature) and search the document.
  2. Open the TradeNet Portal of Singapore customs (SC). In the HS/CA Product Code Engine you can do a quick search for the HS codes, product codes and descriptions of a product within the Singapore Trade Classification, Customs & Excise Duties. If a product is subjected to control by any customs authority, you will see the name of the authority in the “Import”, “Export” or “Transshipment” columns of the search results. 

How to get a formal legally binding decision in Singapore

Singapore Customs provides a Customs Ruling Database. You can download this Excel list of commodities and their corresponding HS codes compiled from past Customs Rulings. You may refer to it when classifying your own products.

Note: This list is for general reference only. Singapore Customs assumes no responsibility for any action taken on the basis of the classification provided.

Still unable to find the HS code of your product? Then you can contact Singapore customs directly either by filling up this form or by submitting an Application for Customs Ruling on Classification of goods.

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Brief look at HS 2022

HS 2022, which is the seventh edition of the Harmonized System (HS) nomenclature, has been accepted by all Contracting Parties to the Harmonized System Convention. It shall enter into force on January 1, 2022. The new HS 2022 edition makes some major changes to the Harmonized System with a total of 351 sets of amendments covering a wide range of goods moving across borders.

Adaption to current trade through the recognition of new product streams and addressing environmental and social issues of global concern are the major features of the HS 2022 amendments. Here are some examples:

  • Electrical and electronic waste: HS 2022 includes specific provisions for its classification to assist countries in their work under the Basel Convention
  • Nicotine-based products and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs): New provisions shall simplify the classification of these products
  • Smartphones: They gain their own subheadings
  • Glass fibers and metal forming machinery: Major reconfigurations have been undertaken
  • Multi-purpose intermediate assemblies: there will be more products in their own right such as flat panel display modules
  • Focus on health and safety
  • Goods specifically controlled under various conventions have also been updated

The amendments will be effective from January 1, 2022.

WCO announcement about tariff changes

Overview of the changes – the accepted amendments to the HS (French/English)