6 min article

Importation of goods into Singapore

Members importing goods into Singapore from another country, either by selling or buying items listed on eBay, are responsible for ensuring that the importation of that type of product complies with applicable Singapore laws. These laws often are complex, and issues will vary depending upon exactly what item is involved and the countries in which the buyer and seller reside.

Please note that eBay does not permit its users to do business with persons from certain countries - since eBay is a US company, all eBay users must respect the US rules in this area when doing business over eBay. For more information, please also see section on Embargoed Goods and Prohibited Countries.

Violations of this policy may result in a range of actions, including:

  • Listing cancellation
  • Loss of eBay fees
  • Limits placed on account privileges
  • Account suspension

Some Examples

Examples of some goods that might be subject to import restrictions:

  • Controlled goods: Amusement machines, coin or disc operated, including pin-tables, shooting galleries and cinematography machines, replication equipment for CDs, DVDs and VCDs.
  • Prohibited Goods: Cigarette Lighter in the shape of a pistol or revolver, firecrackers, chewing tobacco and imitation tobacco products, liquors and cigarettes marked with the words “Singapore Duty not Paid” on the labels, cartons or packets, and chewing gum.
  • Copyrighted goods: The owners of the copyrights in literature, music, movies, software, video games, and photos have certain rights under Singapore copyright law to prevent the importation of copyrighted goods. Legitimate parallel imports of goods manufactured with the consent of the copyright owner in the country of manufacture are allowed in Singapore.
  • Trademarked (branded) goods: The owners of the trademarks on branded goods have certain rights under Singapore law to prevent the importation of infringing and counterfeit goods. A registered trade mark in Singapore is not infringed by the use of the trade mark in relation to goods which have been put on the market, whether in Singapore or outside Singapore, under that trademark by the proprietor of the registered trademark or with his express or implied consent (conditional or otherwise).
  • Patented goods: The owners of the patents have certain rights under Singapore patent law to prevent the importation of goods which employ technology protected by a Singapore patent. Importation of such products into Singapore without permission may be an infringement. The import of any patented product or any product obtained by means of a patented process or to which a patented process has been applied, which is produced by or with the consent (conditional or otherwise) of the proprietor of the patent (including any foreign patent for the same or substantially the same product) or any person licensed by him, other than patented pharmaceutical products, is allowed in Singapore.

Examples of potentially infringing items:

  • Pirated Music CDs and Videos.
  • A ‘cracked’ video game player or software.

Additional Information

Some reasons members should check applicable laws before importing goods into Singapore:

  • Singapore Customs has the power to seize any goods in respect of which he has reasonable grounds for believing are illegal, and the member could be fined or face other liability because of the seizure.
  • The member could face legal liability from the owners of trademarks, copyrights, or other rights that might be involved.
  • The member could face other civil or criminal liability, depending upon the type of product involved.

eBay strongly recommends that members carefully review the Singapore Customs Web site and other sources of information concerning importation of goods into Singapore, and (if necessary) consult with an expert in this field before completing any transactions. The information and links provided below are a starting point so that members can quickly familiarise themselves with some of the regulations in this area.

  • Singapore Customs Web site at www.customs.gov.sg - opens in new window or tab
  • Regulation of Imports and Exports Act (Cap 272A) and its subsidiary Regulations
  • Copyright Act (Cap 63), Trade Marks Act (Cap 332) and Patents Act (Cap 221) and their subsidiary Regulations

Activity on eBay is required to follow this policy, the eBay User Agreement and all applicable laws, as well as respect the rights of third parties. If it doesn’t, eBay may take action consistent with applicable laws and the eBay User Agreement, and may even be legally required to do so. Such actions may include, as an example only: Removing the listing or other content, issuing a warning, restricting activity or account suspension.

Why does eBay have this policy?

eBay urges its sellers and buyers to comply with all governmental laws and regulations. Since the importation of goods is highly regulated by the Singapore government or may cause harm to eBay or its members, members should educate themselves on the laws governing the importation of goods prior to listing those goods on eBay.

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