Singapore Removes Spot Pricing Requirements for Precious Metal GST Exemptions

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By: Dezan Shira & Associates

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has removed spot pricing requirements for Investment Precious Metals (IPMs) seeking GST exemptions. IPMs generally include bars, ingots, wafers, and other highly valued precious metals that can be traded on the international bullion market and are used as a form of investment. Outlined under Circular No:09/2016, issued on August 25th, the changes have taken effect as of September 1st.   

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Understanding the Removal of Spot Pricing

Under previous MAS guidelines, IPMs were required to base their pricing off of commodity spot prices in order to qualify for exemption from national GST. This assessed the value based entirely on the metal content and was criticized for overlooking the characteristics of individual pieces, which may have attracted additional value in foreign markets. With many metals following the downward trend in commodities in recent years,  the value of IPMs often surpasses the value of the GST exemption threshold.

Updated Guidance: Under revised guidelines, those trading in IPMs may set pricing independent of the spot price and retain access to GST exemptions. 

Qualifying for Exemptions : In addition to meeting Singapore’s existing standards, MAS guidance has emphasized that IPMs must be permitted to trade on the international bullion market in order to qualify for GST exemption. This has by default eliminated certain IPMs that have defects, preventing them from being traded. 

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Implications for Investment

With spot pricing requirements eliminated, it is likely that Singapore’s stature as a destination for IPM trading will increase as investors look for ways to diversify their portfolios. For additional information on qualifying for IPM GST exemptions or general assessments of Singapore’s tax environment, please email asean@dezshira.com or visit www.dezshira.com.


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Asia Briefing Ltd. is a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. Dezan Shira is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN. For further information, please email asean@dezshira.com or visit www.dezshira.com.

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