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GUIDE: How to Claim GST Refund in Singapore Airport

how to refund gst in singapore

Planning to shop in Singapore? Make sure that you will claim GST if you shop in participating retail establishments with the Premier Tax Free logo.

*Almost all malls in Singapore are part of this program. Ask the store staff or cashier about GST when you pay for your purchases.

All tourists who will buy goods or avail of services in participating shops in Singapore, whether on an ordinary day or during The Great Singapore Sale, is entitled to a refund of the goods and services tax (GST) portion of the purchase amount, provided that the minimum amount is SGD 100.

You can combine receipts (max of 3) as long as the purchases are from the same store or retailer and bought on the same day.


  • Receipt No 1 from OG Department Store toy section – SGD 15
  • Receipt No 2 from OG Department Store bags section – SGD 128.20

Total purchases: SGD 143.20

The GST refund is 7%. Qualified tourist must leave via Changi Airport, Seletar Airport, or cruise terminal. Not included in this program are payment for hotel or hostels, and services such as car rental and tour charges. Read the full Terms and Conditions.

BUT please take note that the GST will be reduced a bit due to the “service processing fee” that will be charged by the store to process your GST. Different stores, different service fee.


  1. OGG Shopping Mall service fee to process GST for purchases worth $143.20 was SGD 2.37.
  2. Charles and Keith (Plaza Singapura) service fee to process GST for total purchase amount of $110.80 was SGD 3.25
  3. Tag Heuer (Paragon Mall) service fee to process GST for $1,800++ is SGD 19.

The final amount that tourists can claim may be small, but that is still some savings. You can even buy more chocolates or souvenirs from the Singapore GST refund.

What You Need To Refund GST

  • Passport
  • Receipts
  • Credit Card or Debit card – this will be used to lodged your refund. You can pay in cash, and assign a credit card or debit card to connect to your purchases. In the airport, you can claim the refund in cash or credit back to credit or debit card.

How To Receive the Refund in the Airport

  • Cash – 1Pisofare.com recommends that you go for cash refund so there are no delays.
  • Credit back to credit card or to debit card

Here is the process to claim GST Refund from your purchases in Singapore:

Step 1: Pay for the goods or services, and tell the cashier you want to claim GST refund.

Step 2: The cashier will ask for your passport and a credit card/debit card to connect to your purchase. The card will be used as ‘token’ to store your purchase details. (If you paid the goods using your credit/debit card then that card will be used to process the refund). After successful transaction, you will get a eTRS or Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme ticket with the net refund amount reflected on the slip.

See this sample eTRS ticket of goods purchased in Singapore

GST Refund claim Singapore


Step 3:  When you leave Singapore, make sure to drop by the airport GST Refund counter and submit your eTRS notification slip.

In Terminal 1 of Changi Airport, there are two GST counters. You can find the first counter on the far left as you enter. The second GST counter is for Cash Refunds located in the Departure Transit Area after you clear immigration. Ask an airport staff for location if you can’t find it.

The recommendation is that you do not check-in your bags yet, since you will bring all the purchased goods with you when you claim the refund. Just in case customs officers will want to check the goods versus the items on the receipts.

However, some tourists say it’s not needed as long as the amount purchased is very minimal, and thus GST refund is minimal too. But what is minimal amount? 1Pisofare team is not sure. The decision to check-in bags or not prior to refunding is up to you.

*The items for the Plaza Singapura + OG Mall was not checked. Only the item from Paragon Mall was inspected by a customs officer.

Now, as you queue in the refund counter near the airport entrance, a custom officer will check your receipt. If you bought expensive items, you will be advised to file your refund at the 2nd GST counter, which is located in the departure transit area of the airport AFTER passing Immigration check.

Why are they doing this? 1Pisofare admins believes that this is to make sure that the expensive goods are really purchased by a tourist, and that there are no “ninja moves” with the transaction. Some unscrupulous individuals based in Singapore may ask their friends traveling as tourist to Singapore to buy the goods they want in their friend’s name to claim GST refund. To avoid this scenario, the custom officers has to see that you (the tourist) brought in the expensive good and will fly out of their country together with it.

The Paragon Mall eTRS was processed and claimed in the 2nd GST counter in the departure transit area, after passing immigration and inspection by a custom officer. GST refund was claimed in cash.

The other Electronic Tourist Refund Ticket was processed in the 1st GST counter, but claimed in the 2nd GST counter because preferred refund method was cash.

*For minimal purchases and you want to receive refund via credit back, you can process in 1st OR 2nd GST counter.

*For minimal purchases and you want to receive cash refund, you will claim the cash at the Cash Refund Counter in Departure Transit Area after clearing Immigration.

*For expensive items, claiming in cash or credit back, will be processed in the 2nd GST counter (after clearing immigration).

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  • ETRS Central Refund Agency Hotline number is 1800 – TAXFREE (8293733)

This tax-free treat for tourists in Singapore is under the Premier Tax Free program. Other countries implementing this program includes Austria, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, and more.

BUY GOODS In the Departure Transit Area – GST amount is already deducted

After checking in and clearing immigration and you still have some spare Singaporean dollars, you may want to buy more items inside Changi Airport. The GST amounts are already deducted from selling prices. The cashier will ask to see your boarding pass and passport.

The Great Singapore Sale runs from June 9 August 13, 2017. Book a promo fare from Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia, JetStar, Singapore Airlines and fly to the Lion City.

Enjoy Shopping in Singapore tax-free for tourist!

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