All companies that are engaged in exporting and importing goods into and out of Singapore as well as transhipment activities are required to register with the Singapore Customs. Pre-2009, registered companies will be issued a Central Registration Number (CRN). This CRN is necessary when engaging in trading activities. However, from 1st January 2009, the Singapore Customs has shifted to using the company’s Unique Entity Number (UEN) to replace the CRN. The UEN is issued to the company upon the company being registered/ incorporated. This does not mean that the company does not need to register with the Singapore Customs. The registration is still necessary. The customs account will remain valid for as long as the entity remains registered with the Singapore Customs. There is no need to renew the registration. When the company closes and ceases to trade, the registration must be cancelled by the company.


To understand when you need to register a customs account, if your company falls into the following categories, you will need to register your company for a customs account with the Singapore Customs.


If your company requires customs permits for its own trade or for its clients. These trades pertain to the import/ export or transhipment of goods in Singapore.


If you are a shipping agent requiring customs permit or you need to claim duty exemptions under the Zero-GST Warehouse Scheme (ZGS) or as operators under the Licenced Warehouse Scheme (LW Scheme).

For more of such schemes you can refer to these links:


LW Scheme:


If your company is applying for duty exemptions or GST reliefs on goods other than used personal and household effects.


If your company is paying GST, duties and fees to the Singapore Customs through Inter-Bank GIRO.



If you require assistance with opening a customs account, you can drop us an email at [email protected].



Yours sincerely,

The editorial team at