1. The Ministry of Finance and Singapore Customs are seeking public feedback on the draft Customs (Amendment) Bill 2011. The draft Bill sets out the proposed legislative amendments to the Customs Act. The amendments mainly relate to customs enforcement and administration. The Bill also contains technical amendments that seek to clarify the law with no changes in policy or practice.
2. We invite you to contribute comments on the proposed amendments to improve the draft legislation with regard to its clarity or its implications for businesses and the general public.
Scope of the Consultation Exercise
3. The draft Customs (Amendment) Bill 2011 covers changes to existing customs policies and administration resulting from on-going reviews of the Customs Act. The main changes are summarised as follows:
(a) Changes to enhance the customs enforcement regime:
(i) Enhance penalties for contraband tobacco offenders to increase deterrence;
(ii) Extend liability to the person who furnishes incorrect information to another person for making customs declarations;
(b) Changes to facilitate the sharing of information among domestic public agencies:
(iii) Allow disclosure of information collected under the Customs Act to domestic public agencies for the investigation and prosecution of offences under domestic laws and to safeguard national security, public health and safety;
(c) Changes arising from ongoing reviews of the customs regime that seek to improve customs administration or to clarify existing customs legislation:
(iv) Introduce a summons system for minor customs offences;
(v) Allow appointment of agents for the recovery of duties to reduce administrative costs and aid timely recovery;
(vi) Allow retention of trade documents in image systems instead of retaining paper documents; and
(vii) Miscellaneous changes to give greater legal clarity and to align provisions within the Customs Act with current
4. The summary table lists and explains the proposed changes to the Customs Act.
5. We would appreciate your support to ensure that the consultation exercise is productive and successful. Respondents are requested to follow these guidelines:
(a) Please identify yourself as well as the organisation you represent (if any) so that we may follow up to clarify any issues, if necessary;
(b) Please give clear and concise comments;
(c) Please use the feedback template provided to help us understand your feedback better;
(d) Comments should focus on how the legislative amendments can be better written to make them clearer or on how the policies can be improved; and
(e) Please explain your points with illustrations, examples, data or alternative formulations of the amendments as far as possible.
6. This draft legislation is released only for the purpose of consultation and should not be used for individual or business decisions as it does not represent the final legislation or regulations. All comments received during the consultation exercise will be reviewed thoroughly and, if accepted, will be incorporated in the Bill for introduction in Parliament.
Period of Consultation
7. The draft Customs (Amendment) Bill 2011 is available for public consultation from 2 September 2011 to 23 September 2011.
8. We encourage all interested participants to submit your comments via our online submission form. Using this online submission form is the easiest and quickest way for your comments to reach us. You can also send us your comments, using the feedback template, through any of the following channels:
Fax: 6337 4134; or
Post: Ministry of Finance
100 High Street, #10-01
Summary of Response
9. We will publish on this website a summary of the main comments received and our responses after reviewing the feedback. The summary will not disclose the identity of respondents, and will not separately address or acknowledge every comment received.
Documents to Download
10. For your convenience, the relevant documents relating to this public consultation exercise can be downloaded for reference here.