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Singapore Passes Law To Prevent Abuse Of Free Trade Agreements

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

13 November 2003


Singapore passed new legislation on Tuesday which aims to prevent traders from fraudulently taking advantage of the many double taxation and free trade agreements that the country holds with a network of nations.

The Regulation of Imports and Exports (Amendment) Bill is designed to ensure that only goods originating in Singapore receive preferential tariff concessions. The new law has come about in response to "legitimate concern that non-qualifying goods may enter via the FTA provisions", according to the Minister of State for Trade and Industry Raymond Lim.

One of the measures brought in by the new legislation will grant the authorities the right to sanction traders who change the labels on goods that have originated from an international port and are in transit through Singapore.

If convicted, offenders can be punished with a fine of up to $100,000 plus a two-year jail term for a first offence. Repeat offenders face a fine of up to $200,000 and a prison sentence of up to three years.


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