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4. Major Exporters Scheme (MES)
Major Exporter Scheme (MES) is designed to ease the cash flow of businesses that import and export goods substantially. Under normal rules, the businesses have to pay GST upfront on imports and subsequently obtain a refund from IRAS after submission of their GST returns. This can create cash flow problems for businesses that export goods substantially as no GST is collected from the zero- rated supplies to set-off their initial cash outflow on imports. Businesses granted the MES are able to import non-dutiable goods with GST suspended. Effective from 1 Jul 2006, such businesses also enjoy GST suspension on goods removed from a Zero GST warehouse.
Your MES status can only be used when you:
1. Import your own goods in the course or furtherance of your business;
2. Import goods belonging to your overseas principal for sale in Singapore or
re-export on behalf of the overseas principal, in the course or furtherance of
the business;
3. Import goods belonging to your overseas principal which will later be re-
exported; or
4. (From 1 Jan 2015) Re-import goods which you previously sent abroad for
value-added activities, belonging to your local customer or GST-registered overseas customer.
For (2) and (3) above, you must ensure that:
• Your overseas principal is not registered for GST;
• You keep separate records for goods belonging to your overseas principal;
• You have control over the custody and possession of the goods owned by
your overseas principals at all times; and
• You treat any subsequent supply of goods as being made by you:
a. When you sell the goods locally, you should standard-rate the supply; and
b. When you export the goods and maintain the required export evidence, you may zero-rate the supply.
Eligibility Criteria:
In order to qualify under MES, the following conditions must be satisfied:
• Your business must be GST-registered
• Your business must be active and financially solvent
• You have been importing or will be importing goods for your business purpose
• Your zero rated supplies must account for more than 50% of the total supplies, or the value of your zero-rated supplies is more than S$10 million for the past 12 months
• You maintain good internal controls and proper accounting records
• You maintain good compliance records with IRAS such as:
• Filing GST and income tax returns on time
• Paying GST, income tax, property tax and withholding tax on time
• You maintain good compliance record with Singapore Customs
• You comply with other conditions that Comptroller of GST may impose from time to time

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