GST To Be Charged On Low-Value Imports From 2023, Online Shopping Hauls May Cost More

GST To Be Extended To Imports Costing Below $400 From Jan 2023

If you’ve been guilty of many an online shopping spree since the Covid-19 pandemic arrived, listen up — you’ll soon have to pay Goods & Services Tax (GST) on your imports.

In the Budget 2021 announcement today (16 Feb), Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Heng Swee Keat revealed upcoming GST plans.

They won’t only affect your local shopping experience but your international ones too.

GST charge on low-value imports to start from Jan 2023

Seeing “free shipping” in the product description often sends you smiling all the way to checkout, as you only pay for what you purchase.

But that will change in Jan 2023, when the Government starts charging GST on low-value goods imported via air or sea.

Yes, that includes all your regular hauls from platforms like Taobao, ezbuy, Shopee and Lazada.


According to DPM Heng, these imports are currently not subjected to GST charges unlike their local counterparts. For imported goods, only those that cost $400 and above are chargeable.

Thus, to level the playing field, GST will also be charged on imports costing below $400 starting Jan 2023. The percentage is unclear for now, but we’ll update once more information is available.

GST hike to start some time between 2022 & 2025

Locally, while the previously announced GST hike will still be happening, the Government has pushed the commencement back.

Instead of a possible start date in 2021, they’ve narrowed the range down to between 2022 and 2025.

Regardless, they still aim to initiate the increase from 7% to 9% “sooner rather than later”, reports Channel NewsAsia (CNA).

Assurance Package will delay effects for several years

Even though this depends on the economic outlook, the authorities are still prepared to help Singaporeans cope with the changes.

An Assurance Package amounting to $6 bil will help households to cope with the increase for at least the next 5 years.

Lower-income households will receive more assistance, with those living in 1 to 3-room HDB flats getting offsets for about 10 years’ worth of GST expenses.

Spend wisely within your means

With all these changes due soon, we’d have to be mindful of our spending and ensure that it’s always within our means.

Having said that, we should continue to spend when the need arises in order to support our economy.

Let’s hope that the transition will be a smooth one, so we can adapt to the changes without much trouble.

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