Singapore Customs

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Singapore Customs
Kastam Singapura
Singapore customs crest.gif
Agency overview
Formed1 April 2003
Preceding agency
  • Department of Customs and Excise (CED)
JurisdictionGovernment of Singapore
Headquarters55 Newton Road, #10-01 Revenue House, Singapore 307987
Agency executive
  • Ho Chee Pong, Director-General of Customs
Parent agencyMinistry of Finance

Singapore Customs (Abbreviation: Customs; Chinese: 新加坡关税局; Malay: Kastam Singapura;) is a government agency under the Ministry of Finance (Singapore). Singapore Customs was reconstituted on 1 April 2003, after the Customs and Excise Department and the Trade Facilitation Division and Statistics Audit Unit of International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) were merged.[1]

The border function's at the land, air and sea checkpoints were also simultaneously transferred to Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA). Singapore Customs became the lead agency on trade facilitation and revenue enforcement matters. It is also responsible for the implementation of customs and trade enforcement measures including those related to Free Trade Agreements and strategic goods.

The headquarters is located in Revenue House along Newton Road, Novena.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) Refund for Tourists[edit]

The Customs of Singapore is assisting on behalf of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) to administer the GST endorsement for the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) at Changi Airport Terminals 1-4.


The Customs department was founded when Singapore was the British Empire's Straits Settlements and later Crown Colony. Established in 1910 under the name Government Monopolies Department, Customs is one of the oldest tax-collecting organisations in modern Singapore to increase the country's state coffers to help fund national programmes. Revenue collection began in December 1909 when the first import duty was imposed on hard liquors. In 1916, the tariff was extended to include tobacco and cigarettes. The collection of duty on petroleum was introduced in 1934. Motor vehicles are also subject to tax and excise duties. Effective 1 January 2012, compressed natural gas (CNG) for motor vehicles is subject to tax and excise duty.

The department has gone through many transitions, mergers and re-organizations in the last century under the government of Singapore. The department's responsibilities in securing Singapore's future are affected by worldwide globalization, market forces and changes in laws, tariffs, trading and traveling trends.

In April 2003, the department was re-constituted as Singapore Customs - a government agency transferred to the Ministry of Finance of Singapore - providing essential services for revenue collection and enforcement, trade documentation, trade facilitation and security functions as Singapore’s single authority on customs and trade regulatory matters.[2]

Primary roles and functions[edit]

Singapore Customs' primary roles and functions are:

  • collection of customs revenue;
  • protection of customs revenue by preventing the evasion of duties and taxes;
  • provision of one-stop service for trade and customs matters, such as issuance of permits, licenses and Certificates of Origin, and provision of classification and valuation advice;
  • facilitation of trade through simplification of customs procedures and administration of tax break schemes;
  • enforcement of trade requirements under the respective Free Trade Agreements (FTAs);
  • regulation of trade in strategic goods and strategic goods technology; and
  • enforcement against the illegal buying and selling of all kinds of duty-unpaid tobacco and liquors.

Organisational Structure[edit]

Singapore Customs is currently headed by a Director-General, who is assisted by a Deputy Director-General, 2 Senior Assistant Directors-General, 4 Assistant Directors-General, a Chief Human Resource Officer, and a Chief Information Technology Officer.

The work of Singapore Customs is performed by the Trade Division, Compliance Division, Human Resource Directorate, Policy & Planning Division, Checkpoints Division, Intelligence & Investigation Division, Corporate Services Division, and the Information Technology Directorate.

Each branch in a division is typically headed by a Chief Superintendent of Customs or a non-uniform equivalent.

The Internal Audit Branch reports directly to the Director-General of Customs.[3]

Senior Management
Appointment Rank Abbreviation Name
Director-General (Customs) Director-General DG Ho Chee Pong
Deputy Director-General (Corporate & Facilitation) Deputy Director-General DDG (C&F) Lim Teck Leong
Senior Assistant Director-General (Intelligence & Investigation) Senior Assistant Director-General SADG (I&I) Lee Tiow Yong
Senior Assistant Director-General (Policy & Planning) Senior Assistant Director-General SADG (P&P) Lee Boon Chong
Assistant Director-General (Checkpoints) Assistant Director-General ADG (CP) Sung Pik Wan
Assistant Director-General (Compliance) Assistant Director-General ADG (C) Mok Hei Chee
Assistant Director-General (Intelligence & Investigation) Assistant Director-General ADG (I&I) Yeo Sew Meng
Assistant Director-General (Trade) Assistant Director-General ADG (T) Lim Teck Leong (Covering)
Assistant Director-General (Corporate Services) Assistant Director-General ADG (CS) Winston Tay Wee Hua
Chief Human Resource Officer Assistant Director-General CHRO Karen Lim Shu Wen
Chief Information Officer N.A. CIO Yeo Beng Huay

Rank Structure[edit]

The rank structure of Singapore Customs is as such, in order of descending seniority:

Management Officers
Directors-General Director-General (DG)
Deputy Director-General (DDG)
Senior Assistant Director-General (SADG)
Assistant Director-General (ADG)
Superintendents Senior Chief Superintendent of Customs (SCSC)
Chief Superintendent of Customs (CSC)
Deputy Chief Superintendent of Customs (DCSC)
Senior Superintendent of Customs (SSC)
Higher Superintendent of Customs (HSC)
Superintendent of Customs (SC)
Officers of Customs
Chief Customs Officers Principal Chief Customs Officer (PCCO)
Chief Customs Officer (Special Grade I) [CCO (SG I)]
Chief Customs Officer (Special Grade II) [CCO (SG II)]
Chief Customs Officer (CCO)
Customs Officers Senior Customs Officer (SCO)
Higher Customs Officer I (HCO I)
Higher Customs Officer II (HCO II)
Customs Officer (CO)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Highway For Trade - Celebrating 100 years of Singapore Customs" (PDF). Singapore Customs / SPH Magazines. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  2. ^ "Home". Singapore Customs. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Singapore Customs Organisational Structure" (PDF). Singapore Customs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 January 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2011.

External links[edit]