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Activating Customs Account in Singapore

Singapore's dominance in import/export trade, has led to well defined import/export procedures being put in place in Singapore. Any entrepreneur wanting to commence trading be it an importer or an exporter would have to incorporate a company first. All importers and exporters are required to activate their account with the Singapore Customs before they can import/export goods in and out of Singapore. Account activation is processed within 1-2 working days after submission of the application and the applicant will be issued a Customs Registration number (CR number). The applicant’s account is valid for as long as the company exists
Fast Facts
Activating Agency  
Singapore Customs
Cost Of Activation 
Free-of -Charge
Minimum Activation Processing Time
Same Working Day
When Should One Activate Customs Account with Singapore Customs
  • The applicant has to activate the Customs Account before it import/export goods in and out of Singapore.
  • Once activated, the company can use the account the next day for applying for import, export and transshipment permits/certificates through Trade Net.
Eligibility Criteria to Activate the Customs Account
All entities registered with their relevant Issuance Agency with a valid Unique Entity Number (UEN) can activate their Customs Account. For instance:
  • Businesses, Companies, Sole-Proprietors and Partnerships registered with the Accounting and  Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
  • Societies registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS)
Who is Not Eligible to Activate Customs Account
  • Individuals or entities that do not have a UEN cannot operate as traders.
  • One should register with the relevant issuance Agency to obtain a UEN. For e.g. individuals can register with ACRA as sole-proprietors.
What is Needed to Activate the Customs Account
  • To activate the account using the UEN, the applicant must have: (a) UEN and (b) Sing Pass
  • For businesses and companies, the UEN is the business registration number issued by the ACRA.
  • For other entities one needs to obtain a UEN from the Issuance Agency one is registered with. For e.g. for a society registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS), ROS would issue the UEN.
  • For anyone logging with the Sing Pass for the first time must be: (a) key personnel of the entity based on the Issuance Agency's records, or (b) an authorized person stated in Singapore Customs' records. 
For further details please visit:
UEN is the standard identification number of an entity. UEN shall be for registered entities, as NRIC is for Singapore citizens. The UEN uniquely identifies the entity. From 1 January 2009, all entities that are registered in Singapore, such as businesses, local companies, limited liability partnerships (LLPs), societies, representative offices, healthcare institutions and trade unions, will have a Unique Entity Number (UEN) as its identification number. The UEN shall be used for your interaction with government agencies.              
Sing Pass, which stands for "Singapore Personal Access", is the common password to transact with the Government online. Some of these online services that one can access with the Sing Pass include viewing the CPF Statement of Account, registering the company and filing the income tax. Crimson Logic is appointed by the Government through an open tender to manage the operations of Sing Pass which includes managing the system, website, hotline and customer services.
What is the Activation Fees
Activation is free. The Customs Account is valid for as long as the registration with the Issuance Agency remains valid.
Conditions for Registration
The registration of an entity with the Director-General of Customs (the Director-General) under regulation 37 of the Regulation of Imports and Exports Regulations (“RIER”) is subject to the following conditions imposed by the Director-General under regulation 37(6) of the RIER:
  • The entity must make its application for registration through a person who is a key personnel of the entity, and whose particulars have been filed with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) (for businesses, limited liability partnerships and companies) or with the Issuance Agency of the Unique Entity Number (“UEN”) of the entity (for other entities).
  • The entity must, in its application for registration, appoint personnel who are authorized to update the particulars of the entity registered with the Director-General or to terminate the registration (“authorized personnel”).
  • The entity must inform the Director-General of any change to any of its particulars registered with Director-General, and of any change of its authorized personnel, through Singapore Customs’ website at
  • The entity shall identify itself by using its UEN in every application made by it for a permit, license, certificate or other document under the Regulation of Imports and Exports Act (Chapter 272A) and the Regulations made there under. The entity shall not use another entity’s UEN.
  • The entity shall not permit a third party to use the entity’s UEN to apply for a permit for goods not belonging to the entity.
  • The Director-General may at any time vary or add to these conditions. When the Director-General has notified the entity of any such varied or additional condition, that varied or additional condition shall form part of these conditions, and the entity shall be bound by that varied or additional condition. 

Breach of Conditions
Under regulation 37(9) of the RIER, the Director-General may suspend or remove from the Register under regulation 37(1) of the RIER the name of any entity which has contravened any provision of the Regulation of Imports and Exports Act (Chapter 272A) or any Regulations made there under, or which has breached any condition imposed by the Director-General under regulation 37 of the RIER. It is also an offence (under regulation 37(8) of the RIER) to breach a condition imposed by the Director-General under regulation 37 of the RIER. 

A UEN may be used to submit applications for permits and other documents (as provided for under the Regulation of Imports and Exports Act (Chapter 272A) and any Regulations made there under) through the Trade Net® System from the next working day after the UEN is issued.
Things To Remember
  • If the applicant has never imported/exported before then the applicant must refer to the Import/Export section to learn about the processes and regulations.
  • If the applicant is transacting with Singapore Customs for the first time, then the applicant may want to visit the Singapore Customs website for additional information.

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