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Strategic Goods (Control) Regulations - Changes
to Transit and Transhipment Permit Exemptions
On 1 September 2014, Singapore Customs issued Circular 12/2014 notifying
Traders and Declaring Agents of changes to the permit exemptions under
Regulation 13(2) of the Strategic Goods (Control) Regulations ("SGCR"). From 1
January 2015, the permit exemptions under Section 13(2) will not apply to the
transhipment or the bringing in transit of strategic goods listed in the revamped
Fourth Schedule and the newly announced Fifth Schedule of the SGCR.
Circular 12/2014 Announcements in Context
Transhipment Permit Exemptions
Currently, under Section 13(2)(a), transhipment permit exemptions (subject to
certain requirements) are granted for any strategic goods listed in Parts I and II of
the SGCR. However, if the strategic goods in question are listed in the Fourth
Schedule of the SGCR, a transhipment permit is required.
Circular 12/2014 expands this Fourth Schedule to include further goods which will
now require a transhipment permit. The additional goods include:
Chemical or biological toxic agents, radioactive materials and related
Energetic materials and related substances (ML8);
Lithium isotope separation facilities (1B233);
Chlorine trifluoride (CIF3) (1C238);
Certain frequency changers or generators (3A225);
Certain machine tools and their specifically designed software (2B201,
Certain pressure sensors and their related technology (6A226, 6E201).
Notably, information security systems, equipment and their specially designed
inspection and production equipment under Category Codes 5A2 and 5B2 have
been removed from the Fourth Schedule.
Transit Permit Exemptions
Previously, under Section 13(2)(b), permit exemptions (subject to certain
requirements) were granted for the bringing in transit of any strategic goods listed
in Parts I and II of the SGCR. There were no specific exemptions previously
Circular 12/2014 now outlines a new Fifth Schedule which lists strategic goods ineligible for a transit permit exemption. These strategic goods include certain military goods and more sensitive dual-use goods such as ammunition (ML3), military vehicles (ML6), fissile materials (0C), certain pumps and valves (e.g., 1B230, 2A226, 2B350), and their related software and technology.
Other Key Points
We highlight some other key points to take note of:
The changes will apply with effect from 1 January 2015;
All other controls and prohibitions made under other domestic legislation remain unchanged;
If you have been notified, know, or have reasonable grounds to suspect an item is intended for, or likely to be intended for, nuclear, chemical or biological weapons purposes, or missiles capable of delivering these weapons, the item will fall under the "catch-all" provision of the Strategic Goods (Control) Act and the permit requirements will apply; and
Generally, the person who issues the through bill of lading or through air waybill, or the person acting on his behalf, is responsible for making the transhipment or transit permit application.
Preparation and Implementation
These changes will be implemented from 1 January 2015 as Singapore Customs looks to maintain Singapore's position as a trusted and secure trading hub with robust strategic goods control systems. In light of this, it is pivotal to engage in the following:
1. Re-evaluate and determine if you have a responsibility to obtain either a transit or transhipment permit under the proposed revisions.
2. Review your internal compliance processes to account for any changes required and adjust your supply chain controls accordingly.
3. If a permit is required, ensure that you submit the permit application in a timely fashion although it is provided that the application should be made at least five working days in advance of the goods leaving the departure port, it is recommended that a permit application be submitted well in advance in order to avoid any shipping delays or supply chain disruptions.
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