Trade in Goods

Enhancing conditions for cross-border trading of goods

Goods refer to any merchandise, product, article or material that may enter an importing country under non-discriminatory conditions. They are generally bounded by measures such as tariffs, tariff rate quotas (TRQs) and quantitative restrictions (QRs).

Singapore’s FTAs cover preferential tariffs (customs duty) that are not inclusive of other internal taxes for goods. Preferential tariff elimination or reduction is either immediate or phased. Qualification for preferential tariffs largely depends on meeting the required Rules of Origin criteria stipulated by the FTA’s Legal Text.

Tariff commitments for goods are set out in each member’s schedules of concessions on goods. The schedules represent commitments not to apply tariffs above the listed rates.

Making your exports cheaper

In a typical pricing model, FTAs can potentially reduce one of the cost components – import duties.

This makes your exports more competitive than exporters from non-FTA partner countries.

Easier entry into your export market

FTAs give you preferred access to your export market with a freer flow of goods.

Beyond import duties, FTAs can allow for increased export quotas, granting you a greater advantage as an exporter from an FTA member country.

Ensuring business stability

Import duties are largely dependent on individual countries’ trade policies. Countries have the right to increase and reduce import duties when necessary. Such decisions can severely affect long-term exports into these markets.

However, FTA preferential rates are legally binding and signatory countries have to abide by the concessions offered. This ensures stability for exporters in the long run.

Example of volatile import duties:

Exports of Gold Dore Bars into India

January 2013 June 2013 January 2015 ASEAN–India FTA
Import duty 6% 8% 10% 0%
Export value $100,000 $100,000 $100,000 $100,000
Duties payable $6,000 $8,000 $6,000 $0

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