Customs Act

(Original Enactment: Ordinance 44 of 1960)

(30th March 1987)
An Act relating to customs.
[26th September 1960]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Customs Act.
Extent of operation
2.  This Act shall not apply to —
(a)such off-shore islands as the Minister may by notification in the Gazette specify, in respect of the importation, exportation, manufacture or use of petroleum; and
(b)subject to this Act or any other written law, any act or thing lawfully done or permitted to be done within a free trade zone.
3.—(1)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“agent”, in relation to a vessel, includes a chinchew and a comprador;
“aircraft” includes any kind of craft which may be used for the conveyance of passengers or goods by air;
“alcohol” means ethyl alcohol;
“beer” includes ale, stout, porter, shandy and all other fermented liquors made from malt, and cider and perry;
“bottle” includes any container for intoxicating liquors capable of being corked or sealed;
“bottled beer” means beer contained in bottles in which it has been released from customs control;
“bottling”, in the case of intoxicating liquors, includes blending, compounding and varying any intoxicating liquor with intent that the blend, compound, or varied intoxicating liquor so formed shall be sold for human consumption, but does not include any such blend, compound or varied intoxicating liquor prepared at the order of a purchaser, and for immediate consumption;
“bottling warehouse” means a warehouse licensed by the Director-General for the bottling, blending, compounding or varying of intoxicating liquor under section 66(1);
“captain of an aircraft” means every person having or taking command or charge of an aircraft;
“complete month” means the period from the first day of a month to the last day of the month, both days inclusive;
“customs airport” means any place which has been designated as a customs airport;
“customs duty” means any import or excise duty imposed by or under this Act;
“customs territory” means Singapore and the territorial waters thereof but excluding any free trade zone;
“deleterious substance” means any matter —
(a)which is unfit for human consumption; or
(b)the consumption of which is harmful to human beings,
as certified by the Director of Scientific Services;
“denatured” means rendered unfit for human consumption to the satisfaction of the Director-General;
“Director-General” means the Director-General of Customs and Excise appointed under section 4(1);
“Director of Scientific Services” includes the Deputy Director of Scientific Services, the Principal Scientific Officer, the Senior Scientific Officer and the Scientific Officer of the Department of Scientific Services;
“dutiable goods” means any goods subject to the payment of customs duty on entry into customs territory or manufactured in Singapore including any free trade zone and on which customs duty has not been paid and includes goods manufactured in a free trade zone from materials of a class dutiable on entry into customs territory for consumption within the customs territory;
“excise duty” means duty on goods manufactured in Singapore;
“export”, with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, means to take or cause to be taken out of the customs territory by any means or to place goods in any form of conveyance for the purpose of taking the goods out of the customs territory by any means to any place including a free trade zone:
            Provided that goods bona fide in transit, including goods which have been transhipped, shall not be deemed to be exported unless they are or become uncustomed goods;
“free trade zone” means any area in Singapore which has been declared to be a free trade zone under the Free Trade Zones Act [Cap. 114];
“goods” includes animals, birds, fish, plants and all kinds of movable property;
“Government warehouse” means a warehouse established by the Minister under section 49 for the deposit of dutiable goods;
“heavy oil or diesel oil” includes any liquid, other than petroleum as defined in this Act, which is or may be used as a fuel in the engine of a traction engine or motor vehicle;
“import”, with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, means to bring or cause to be brought into the customs territory by any means from any place including a free trade zone:
            Provided that goods bona fide in transit, including goods which have been taken into any free trade zone from outside the customs territory or transhipped, shall not, for the purpose of the levy of customs duties, be deemed to be imported unless they are or become uncustomed goods;
“importer” includes and applies to any owner or other person for the time being possessed of or beneficially interested in any goods at and from the time of importation thereof until the goods are duly removed from customs control;
“intoxicating liquor” means liquor of any description containing more than 2% of proof spirit which is fit, or intended, or can by any means be converted, for use as a beverage, but does not include toddy, bottled toddy or denatured spirit;
“in transit” means taken out or sent from any country and brought into Singapore by land, sea or air (whether or not landed or transhipped in Singapore) for the sole purpose of being carried to another country either by the same or another conveyance;
“licensed factory warehouse” means any place or premises licensed under section 50 for the warehousing of dutiable goods, which goods may be removed by a licensee for the purpose of manufacture of goods for export or otherwise before payment of the customs duty payable thereon, and also for the warehousing of finished and semi-finished products, partly or wholly manufactured from dutiable raw materials;
“licensed warehouse” means a warehouse or other place licensed for the warehousing of dutiable goods under section 51(1);
“local craft” means any junk, tongkang, prahu, or other similar type of vessel, and any steam or motor vessel under 75 net registered tons and includes any type of motor vessel whether fitted with inboard engine or outboard motor;
“manufacture”, with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions —
(a)in the case of intoxicating liquors, includes the process of distillation, fermentation and any process of converting raw materials into an intoxicating liquor, but does not include blending, compounding and varying of any intoxicating liquor;
(b)in the case of tobacco, includes the process of converting any raw or leaf tobacco into tobacco fit for smoking, snuffing or chewing and the making of cigarettes by power-operated machinery; and
(c)in the case of any other goods or substitutes thereof, includes any process of converting the raw materials or components of such goods or substitutes into a finished product;
“master” means any person (except a pilot or harbour master) having for the time being control or charge of a vessel;
“motor spirit” includes gasoline, petrol, motor fuel or any inflammable hydrocarbon liquid fuel for spark ignited engines;
“motor vehicle” means a mechanically-propelled vehicle primarily intended or adapted for use in the conveyance of goods or in the carriage of passengers (including any person driving the vehicle) on roads maintained at the public expense and includes any vehicle constructed to tow any other vehicle along such roads but does not include such vehicles as excavators, crawlers, bull-dozers, tractors and any similar vehicles which are not primarily intended for use on such roads;
“officer of customs” means —
(a)the Director-General;
(b)the Deputy Director-General, any Senior Director and any Director of Customs and Excise appointed under section 4(1);
(c)any Senior Superintendent, Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent of Customs and Excise appointed under section 4(4);
(d)any Chief Customs Officer, Senior Customs Officer or Customs Officer appointed under section 5; and
(e)any police officer;
“owner” includes a hirer under a hire-purchase agreement;
“petroleum” includes the liquids commonly known by the names of rock oil, Rangoon oil, Burma oil, kerosene and kerosene substitutes, paraffin oil, petrol, gasoline, benzol, benzoline, benzine, naphtha and any other like inflammable liquid, whether a natural product or one that is made from petroleum, coal, schist, shale or any other bituminous substance, or from any products thereof;
“preventive vessel” means any vessel employed for the prevention of smuggling or for any other purpose relating to this Act;
“prohibited goods” means goods the import or export of which is prohibited either conditionally or absolutely by notification under section 38 or by any other written law for the time being in force in Singapore;
“proof spirit” means that mixture of alcohol and distilled water which at the temperature of 11° Celsius weighs exactly twelve-thirteenth parts of an equal measure of distilled water at the same temperature;
“proper officer of customs” means any officer of customs acting in the fulfilment of his duties under this Act, whether such duties are assigned to him specially or generally or expressly or by implication;
“Registrar” means the Registrar of Vehicles or a Deputy Registrar of Vehicles or Assistant Registrar of Vehicles appointed under the Road Traffic Act [Cap. 276];
“senior officer of customs” means —
(a)the Director-General;
(b)the Deputy Director-General, any Senior Director and any Director of Customs and Excise appointed under section 4(1);
(c)any Senior Superintendent, Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent of Customs and Excise appointed under section 4(4);
(d)any officer of customs vested with the powers of a senior officer of customs under section 4(5); and
(e)any police officer having the powers of a senior officer of customs by virtue of section 7;
“tobacco” includes all tobacco other than growing tobacco, whether manufactured or not;
“toddy” means the fermented juice of the coconut or other palm;
“tourist” means any person whose entry into Singapore is dependent upon the presentation of a passport or other travel document and whose stay in Singapore does not exceed 6 months, and includes persons in transit and such other class of persons as the Director-General may specify by notification in the Gazette;
“uncustomed goods” means goods in respect of which a breach of the provisions of this Act or of any subsidiary legislation made thereunder has been committed.
(2)  For the purposes of this Act, goods shall be deemed to be under customs control while they are deposited or held in any Government warehouse, licensed factory warehouse or licensed warehouse, or bottling warehouse or post office or in any vessel, train, vehicle or aircraft or any place from which they may not be removed except with the permission of the proper officer of customs.