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Singapore Updates GST Guide For Biomedical Industry

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

14 November 2016


On November 11, 2016, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore released a third update to its e-Tax Guide explaining the goods and services (GST) treatment applicable to the biomedical industry.

The updated guide notes that from November 1, 2016, pharmaceutical products will be known as "therapeutic products" and will be regulated under the Health Products Act, while other types of medicinal products will continue to be regulated under the Medicines Act. The guide states that, notwithstanding this change, GST relief will continue to apply to: medicinal products and therapeutic products imported into Singapore for use in local regulated clinical trials; therapeutic products imported for re-export for overseas clinical trials; and medicinal products and therapeutic products imported for destruction/disposal in Singapore.

Next, the guide has been updated to summarize the benefits of the Approved Contract Manufacturer and Trader Scheme for Qualifying Biomedical Manufacturers. The Scheme is designed to relieve local contract manufacturers that have substantial business with non-GST registered overseas customers of the need to account for GST on value added activities performed on the goods of such customers. According to the guide, a qualifying biomedical contract manufacturer will enjoy the following GST benefits:

  • Not charge GST on the supply of value-added contract manufacturing services to overseas client;
  • Not charge GST on the supply of value-added contract manufacturing services to overseas client relating to failed or excess productions;
  • GST suspension on the import of the manufacturer's own goods and goods belonging to the manufacturer's overseas client; and
  • The ability to recover as input tax the GST incurred on goods purchased locally by overseas client and delivered to the manufacturer on which the manufacturer provides value added services under the ACMT scheme.

Finally, the guide has been updated to delete guidance on GST treatment on contract manufacturer's supplies and input tax entitlement prior to October 1, 2011, and Appendix 1 on tax treatment of research and laboratory testing services provided prior to October 1, 2009.

TAGS: compliance | tax | business | value added tax (VAT) | tax compliance | revenue guidance | law | goods and services tax (GST) | Singapore | enforcement | tax authority | manufacturing | trade | services | VAT goods & services classification | Tax

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