Singapore Removes Spot Pricing Requirements for Precious Metal GST Exemptions

Posted by Reading Time: 3 minutes

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.   

Professional Service_CB icons_2015 RELATED: International Tax Planning Services from Dezan Shira & Associates
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. 

Related-Reading-Icon-Asean Link RELATED: Singapore Overtakes Hong Kong as Asia’s Top Financial Hub
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 or visit


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 or visit

Stay up to date with the latest business and investment trends in Asia by subscribing to our complimentary update service featuring news, commentary and regulatory insight.


Related-Reading-Asean Book Title

Annual Audit and Compliance in ASEANASEAN Audit and Compliance
For the first issue of our ASEAN Briefing Magazine, we look at the different audit and compliance regulations of five of the main economies in ASEAN. We firstly focus on the accounting standards, filing processes, and requirements for Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. We then provide similar information on Singapore, and offer a closer examination of the city-state’s generous audit exemptions for small-and-medium sized enterprises.

The_Trans-Pacific_Partnership_and_its_Impact_on_Asian_MarketsThe Trans-Pacific Partnership and its Impact on Asian Markets
The United States backed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) includes six Asian economies – Australia, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, while Indonesia has expressed a keen willingness to join. However, the agreement’s potential impact will affect many others, not least of all China. In this issue of Asia Briefing magazine, we examine where the TPP agreement stands right now, look at the potential impact of the participating nations, as well as examine how it will affect Asian economies that have not been included.

An Introduction to Tax Treaties Throughout Asia
In this issue of Asia Briefing Magazine, we take a look at the various types of trade and tax treaties that exist between Asian nations. These include bilateral investment treaties, double tax treaties and free trade agreements – all of which directly affect businesses operating in Asia.