SINGAPORE: Amendments to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill passed on Monday may attract more refiners and gold traders to Singapore.
The amendments include a GST exemption on the import and supply of investment—grade gold and precious metals, and a new Approved Refiner and Consolidator Scheme to relieve their cash flow.
The changes also allow claiming of input tax incurred for consolidating and refining scrap materials into investment grade precious materials.
Nominated MP Teo Siong Seng, who is the president of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI), welcomed the amendments.
The Singapore Jewellers Association and Diamond Exchange of Singapore are among SCCCI’s trade association members.
Mr Teo also suggested the government introduce certain measures to propel Singapore into a dynamic jewellery hub, in addition to being a gold trading hub.
He said: "Following the implementation of GST in 1994, the Singapore jewellery landscape has been dealt a rather heavy blow. As jewellery is a luxury item, the additional cost burden attributed to GST is very significant.
"It has made us uncompetitive in pricing, with the result that Singapore has trailed far behind Hong Kong. Traders and buyers also find the GST to be a deterrent."
Minister of State for Finance and Transport, Mrs Josephine Teo, said: "In Singapore, we have a broad based GST system with few exemptions. Nonetheless, our retail scheme remains competitive and attractive to international retailers.
"As an example, according to Global Blue, a world leader in tax refund services, Singapore is now the top destination in the world for Chinese tourists to shop for luxury watches and jewellery."
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