Companies engaged in export, import or transshipment activities in Singapore are required to register the company with the Singapore Customs as an importer, exporter, common carrier and others. The Singapore Customs will issue a Central Registration Number (CR No.). The central registration number is mandatory for Singapore companies/ organization engaged in trading activities.
The following categories of companies are required to be registered with Singapore Customs:
- TradeNet® users – A company requiring Customs permits for either itself or its clients for the import, export or transshipment of goods in Singapore.
- Participants of the Inter-Bank GIRO scheme – A company paying duties, Goods & Services Tax (GST) or other miscellaneous fees to Singapore Customs through the Inter-Bank GIRO
- Applicants of duty/GST exemption – A company applying for industrial duty exemption and other duty exemption or GST relief on goods other than used personal and household effects.
- Shipping agents/Airlines – A shipping agent/airline requiring Customs permits or claim duty exemption Operators of licensed warehouses and Zero GST (ZG) warehouses
From 1st January 2009, Singapore Customs has implemented the use of Unique Entity Number (UEN) to replace the Central Registration (CR/IA) Number used in transactions with Singapore Customs. UEN is a standard identification number for entities to interact with government agencies. The Accounting and corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) Registration Number, received at the time of company/ business registration is retained as the UEN for local Companies and Businesses. Other type of entities can obtain their UEN from the relevant Issuance Agency.
The Customs Account is valid for as long as the entity remains registered with the Issuance Agency. There is no need to renew registration. When company closes or ceases its operation the registration must be duly cancelled.