In a recent post that went viral, a netizen who goes by the name of Hong took to Facebook to share how he was taxed an outrageous S$25.20 (RM75) for bringing in 7 boxes of face masks to Singapore.
Hong’s post garnered attention from many netizens, racking up over 1,000 shares as he criticised the government for taxing those who supposedly had ‘good intentions’.
However, a spokesperson from Singapore Customs recently clarified the post, saying that there was no such thing as additional restrictions on the import of hand sanitisers and face masks when entering Singapore.
The spokesperson added that all travellers are required to declare and pay GST only if the total value of goods imported for personal use exceeds the GST import relief. This tax also applies if the goods are used for commercial purposes.
In fact, Hong’s posting of the receipt and the customs signage came from two completely different places!
Singapore Customs clarified that the notice was put up by Singapore Cruise Centre when ferry passengers started hand-carrying mass quantities of surgical masks and hand sanitisers into the country. The notice was put up so travellers could be reminded that they should make GST payments first to minimise inconvenience.
Evidently, “the intent was misconstrued” in the viral post, said the spokesperson. As for the tax receipt, it was in a separate incident that another person was charged S$25.20 (RM75) at Tanah Merah Terminal because the masks were for commercial purposes so he didn’t receive any GST relief.
Now at a dangerous 75 recorded cases, Singapore ranks as the location with third-highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, just below the Diamond Princess cruise ship that has 356 infected patients.
So don’t worry, guys! You can still bring your virus protection gear when travelling to the otherside of the Causeway. Just make sure you don’t exceed the amount for personal use.
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