Shipping companies in Singapore aim to make the transport of merchandise for trading companies, a smooth sailing. Based on the available data, Singapore is a key import/export performer in the global marketplace, shipping companies are an investment with an edge.
The number of shipping companies that are in operation in Singapore at present exceeds 5000. Around 7 percent of the island-state’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) comes from the shipping industry.
Singapore belongs to the league of the largest marine centers in the world. This makes the country an ideal base for setting up a shipping company.
As per the law, the first step needs to be a company incorporation in Singapore. It is essential to set up a new company in Singapore. The process is both, simple and fast. However, specific statutory regulations should be adhered to. To know more, see how to start a business in Singapore.
The second step is to identify a suitable place to build your shipping company’s office. Singapore is full of rental choices that can be can be appropriate for any specialized that will suit any specific business demands.
Employees are appointed to work on the ship or at the respective office. This is the reason that certain rules and regulations must be complied with:
1. Employees working on the ship are required to get a valid Port Limit Manning Licence, which will be discussed further in this article.
2. To appoint shipping office employees, it is essential to abide by Singapore’s guiding principles for the employment of foreign and domestic labor, which is elaborated in the MOM’s (Ministry of Manpower’s) work passes and permits for a foreign domestic worker.
Certain business operations and activities make it mandatory to apply for the required permits and licenses. These are as follows:
· Harbor Craft Licence – Is a license that allows operation of ships within Singapore’s port
· Port Clearance Certificate – A mandatory requirement for operating ships outside the Singaporean ports
· Ship Registration Certificate – A mandatory certification for transportation of passengers or shipment
· Port Limit Manning Licence – A mandatory requirement for members of the crew to work on the ship
· Permit to Introduce a New Vessel – A mandatory requirement to launch in the port, a new vessel more than 15 meters in length
· Ship Station Licence – A mandatory license for installing and using radio-communication equipment on the Singapore registered vessel
· Ship Sanitation Control Certificate – This is required as a certification of the ship’s sanitation condition for transportation of cargo
· Permit essential for releasing, loading and/or transition of hazardous items and dock vessels transporting such dangerous cargo
· Additional requisite permits and licenses for associated operations
There is no way a business can stay away from getting a GST registration it has reached a turnover that is higher than S$1 million per year. In case the earnings are lower than S$1 million, voluntarily registration is possible.
Navigation of vessels or ships in Singapore’s port waters requires specialized licenses, inclusive of approval for operations linked with such vessels.
Having a registration is an obligation for all ships. A local ship can be registered under the ‘Singapore Flag’ and a foreign ship can be registered under a ‘foreign flag’. The Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) will agree to take registration of every kind of vessels with the Singapore flag.
The MPA (Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore) releases a Harbor Craft License that is a fundamental requirement to use a vessel for commercial operations in the Port of Singapore. A variety of vessels and objective-defined types are in place for bum-boats, tankers, ferries, barges, cruise ships, tugboats, mine-layers, etc.
Acquiring a Harbor Craft Licence is a compulsory provision. It is made available by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, to permit vessels to ply for business purposes in the waters of Singapore.
Harbor Craft Licenses are classified in terms of the kind of vessel and the line of business it is being used for. Different types of vessel license categories are classified for, barges, tugboats, bum-boats, U-boats, tankers, ferries, cruise ships etc.
· Every member of the crew aboard the harbor vessel is required to possess a legitimate Port Limit Manning Licence. Various kinds of crewmembers get different types of licenses.
· Every crew member must essentially submit a completed Port Limit Manning Licence Application Form to the MPA’s One Stop Document Centre, as well as every crew member’s supporting documents, like:
· Passport (for foreigners) and Identity Card/NRIC (for locals)
· Certificate of Competency or Result Slip from MPA’s Maritime and Port Training Section
· Work Permit / Employment Pass (for foreigners only)
· Certificates of relevant additional courses attended
· The SGD 10 license fee has a validity of five years. The MPA will allocate the Port Limit Manning Licence only after receipt of the form, paperwork and fee, not before it.
Note: Owners of Singapore registered vessels are required to conform to certain least manning conditions.
· The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore issues a ship station license, which is a mandatory requirement for operating radio-communication equipment that is fitted aboard a vessel that has a Singapore registration.
· The IDA’s Telecom Licencing System can be used for online application of this license. This is done by the submission of an online application form and the supporting paperwork, which is inclusive of:
· A Radio Operator’s Certificate of Competency (where relevant)
· Certificate of Registry or MPA Harbor Craft Licence
· Safety Radio Certificate (as required)
· One must be ready to pay SGD 100 per ship station license while applying.
· For this five-year license, it will take the IDA seven working days to process the application. Once it has received all the relevant documents and charges, it will go ahead and issue the license.
After a company completes its registration formalities and processes with the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, it must acquire specific permits and licenses to get its operations underway as a shipping company.
The Maritime and Port Authority has put into place a significant number of incentives to give a boost to the growth of Singapore’s shipping industry.
For further knowledge on incentives for shipping companies and to help you start a shipping company in Singapore, you may contact our experts.
The Singapore Registry of Ships makes it easy and fast for you to register your ship in Singapore. Once all relevant documents have been submitted, ship registration will be completed within two hours, and there will be various benefits if registered as a Singapore ship. Relevant Act ∙ Regulation - Merchant Shipping Act - Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) 1996 Procedure for ship registration Step 1. Check eligibility for ship registration in Singapore Step 2. Prepare application form - Approval for vessel's name - Apply for vessel’s official number and call sign / signal letters Step 3. Submit the relevant documents for provisional or permanent registration Step 4. Pay the initial registration fee and annual tonnage tax Step 5. Vessel Registered Prerequisites for registration Owner Only the following persons may be registered as owners of Singapore vessels: 1. Citizens / Permanent Residents (PRs) of Singapore 2. Companies incorporated in Singapore A vessel may be registered under the ownership of a foreign, or a locally owned, Singapore incorporated company 1) A foreign owned company is a company incorporated in Singapore in which more than 50% of its equity is owned by non-citizens of Singapore 2) A local owned company is a company incorporated in Singapore in which more than 50% of its equity is owned by citizens of Singapore, or by another local owned company Vessel Generally, ships less than 17 years would be considered for registration Provisional registration The Provisional Certificate is valid for a maximum period of one year with no possibility of extension. The vessel must be transferred to the permanent register before the end of this period. Documents to be submitted for Provisional Registration: - Application Form - Business Profile reported to Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) Appointment of A Manager Owners must appoint a manager whose residence is in Singapore. All communications relating to the vessel will be directed to the manager. The manager will be responsible for the operations of the vessel for all matters related to the crew, safety and prevention of pollution. ∙ An individual owner may appoint himself as the manager. ∙ A corporate owner may appoint a person in the company to be the vessel’s manager. ∙ If a company is appointed as the vessel’s manager instead, the name of the person in the company with the ultimate responsibility for the vessel and his status in the company must be clearly indicated. If there is any change in the manager, the owner must complete a new appointment of manager form and submit it to the Registrar within 7 days of the change. Evidence of Ownership - (New vessel) A copy of the Builder’s Certificate - (Existing vessel) A copy of the Bill of Sale or the transcript of its former registry, or any other similar document that can demonstrate its ownership Value of the Vessel The owner must declare the value of the vessel in Singapore dollars under the company’s letterhead if this is not already reflected in the other documents submitted (i.e. Bill of Sale). Tonnage Certificate All vessels must have their tonnages determined in accordance with the provisions of the Merchant Shipping (Tonnage) Regulations (which gives effect to the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969 (TM 69)). A tonnage certificate may be issued by the MPA’s Shipping Division or any of the classification societies authorized by the MPA (Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore) to do so. Class Certificate Class certificate may be accepted as evidence of seaworthiness. - (New vessel) Interim class certificate or Statement of entry - (Existing vessel) Statement of class maintained Tax benefits of SRS (Singapore Registry of Ships) To encourage companies to develop businesses in Singapore, ship registry offers benefits to Singapore-registered vessels. Withholding Tax (WHT) Exemption To further promote the growth of the maritime sector, qualifying shipping enterprises will enjoy automatic WHT exemption on interest and related payments made in respect of arrangements obtained to finance the purchase or construction of vessels, or the purchase of containers and intermodal equipment. Tax exemption Profits derived from the operation of a Singapore vessel are exempt from Singapore income tax. Singapore shipping industry Singapore registry of ships Source: MPA (Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore) BY NUMBER BY '000 GT 2008 3,843 43,702 2009 3,950 45,632 2010 3,978 48,783 2011 4,111 57,360 2012 4,232 65,018 2013 4,379 73,615 2014 4,595 82,249 2015 4,739 86,300 2016 4,717 88,023 2017 4,578 88,808 2018 4,456 90,944 2019 Jan 4,468 92,133 Feb 4,469 92,486 Mar 4,472 93,075 Apr 4,471 93,926 May 4,465 95,411 Jun 4,460 95,808 Jul 4,461 96,234 Aug 4,447 96,116 Sep 4,446 96,885 Oct 4,463 97,736 Vessel Arrivals Source: MPA (Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore) BY NUMBER BY '000 GT 2008 131,695 1,621,065 2009 130,575 1,784,669 2010 127,299 1,919,408 2011 127,998 2,120,282 2012 130,422 2,254,353 2013 139,417 2,326,121 2014 134,883 2,371,107 2015 132,922 2,504,155 2016 138,998 2,662,695 2017 145,147 2,799,585 2018 140,768 2,791,966 2019 Jan 11,678 248,250 Feb 10,275 214,560 Mar 11,509 229,405 Apr 11,243 226,032 May 11,697 235,454 Jun 11,138 227,457 Jul 11,554 238,851 Aug 11,739 236,774 Sep 11,547 244,462 Oct 12,026 250,282 ▶ The largest container ports worldwide in 2018, based on throughput (in million TEUs) Largest container ports worldwide - by volume of cargo handled 2018 The port of Shanghai was the largest container port in 2018, handling containers with a capacity of 42 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU). In 2018, nine out of the ten busiest container ports were located in Asia. The world's largest container ports The busiest container ports in Asia include Shanghai, Singapore, and Hong Kong. In the United States, the neighboring ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach form the largest container hub in the country. The cities of Rotterdam, Hamburg, and Antwerp are home to the largest ports in Europe. The world's largest container terminals Singapore’s PSA International is ranked among the world’s leading marine terminal operators, followed by Hutchison Port Holdings, which is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. PSA International operates several ports around the world, generating about four billion Singapore dollars in revenue in 2018. If you have any questions about Singapore company incorporation and investment, please contact us via Contact Us page. We will provide you with a variety of solutions for efficient business operations as well as practical advice on legal requirements.read more
The Employment Pass (EP) is a work permit scheme aimed at skilled overseas employees with professional expertise, managers, and company directors who want to work and live in Singapore. This article spreads out specific information on the EP, including the overall perspective, criteria to apply for employment pass and registering a company and applying for an employment pass. Employment Pass – The Overall Perspective The Employment Pass (EP) is meant for expats who work as officers, managers and qualified experts in Singapore. First-ever applicants may get an EP for the first two years, following which it can get a renewal for a maximum of three years at one go. The EP is assigned to persons having employment offers, inclusive of a monthly salary of at least SG$3,600 (US$2.629). Aspirants with higher experience are offered more salaries so that they are eligible for this work visa. Nominees that have been offered a salary of SG$6,000 (US$4,383) or more per month, qualify to apply for a dependent’s pass for their legitimate spouse and unmarried children below the age of 21 years to be with them in Singapore. Applicants keen on bringing their parents, common-law spouse, or stepchildren should file an application for the Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP).The requirements are similar to those for dependent’s pass, nevertheless, only those with a minimum fixed monthly salary of S$12,000 (US$8,768) are eligible to get their parents into the country. No foreign employee tax or quota is allowed for this particular work permit. Additionally, it takes a maximum of 5 weeks to process EP applications. This process takes three weeks if done online. Conditions to Apply for Employment Pass Employment Pass in Singapore - Eligible or Not You qualify to file an application for an Employment Pass for Singapore, provided you fulfil all the conditions given below: You will work as a manager, an executive or a professional. You will fulfil the least Employment Pass salary conditions: If your work experience is less or you are a fresh graduate, your salary must be at least S$3,600. If you are older and more experienced, the EP lowest monthly salary benchmark will be higher. It is compulsory to be sufficiently qualified, such as having a university diploma, special competencies, or specialized skills. The Ministry of Manpower takes a call on whether an applicant fulfils the conditions of a Singapore Employment Pass. There are no approved institutes where you can take up work. Rather, the MOM considers other standards to determine your eligibility to get the EP, for instance, your employer’s ratings and labor standards, or your own requisite skills. If you are considering applying for the EP, you may undertake an assessment test the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) on MOM’s website for determining whether you qualify or not. Fill in your details, your employment track record, education, and your prospective salary. The tool will let you know if you fulfil the requirements for the Employment Pass or any other pass. Documents Required for the Employment Pass While applying for a Singapore Employment Pass, the following supporting documents are a must: Filled Application Form for Employment Pass that can be downloaded from the MOM’s website. It must have yours (the foreign employee) and your employer’s (or an authorized person from the company) signatures. It must have the hiring company’s stamp. Photocopy of your passport’s personal information page and the issue/expiry date. Your academic certifications, like diplomas and degree qualifications. Corroboration for your academic certifications and paperwork, available at Dataflow or other worldwide verification authorities. At times, a notary certificate is not sufficient. If you are a Chinese citizen, a verification from China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center or China Academic Degrees & Graduate Education Information will suffice. The latest resume. Fresh passport-size photograph, according to the Singapore photo criterion. Copy of your prospective employer’s business profile. A narrative of your job responsibilities/duties. Letter of Support or Registration from a Registration Agency, Professional Body, or Accreditation Agency. On the basis of occupation, these letters of support can be availed from the following professional associations: Singapore Medical Council (Doctors) Singapore Dental Council (Dentists) Allied Health Professions Council (Diagnostic radiographers, Occupational therapists, Physiotherapists, Radiation therapists, Speech therapist) Singapore Nursing Board (Nurses) Singapore Pharmacy Council (Pharmacists) Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board (TCM Practitioners) Legal Services Regulatory Authority (Lawyers) Sport Singapore (Football player or coach) For the staff members of an eatery setup: A copy of the license from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA). Additional Documents Required In addition to the already mentioned documents, when you apply to get your Employment Pass issued, you will need to present: Your passport details. Details about your Short-Term Visit Pass or immigration pass. Your address of residence in Singapore. Your Embarkation/Disembarkation Card. If required: A medical examination form or a health declaration form. (As mentioned in the IPA letter, you will require a medical checkup. This must be done in Singapore.) Your IPA letter. Remember that those who process your application have the right to ask for further papers after they have the application. Documents in a language other than English are required to be translated into English. A scheme for registering a company and applying for employment pass Company Establishment + Employment Pass Application Service In the case of foreigner business professional inclined to start a company and move to Singapore to manage its operations, the following criteria need to be met: 1. Incorporation of a Singapore company 2. Acquiring a Singapore Employment Pass work visa Singapore Company Setup Requirements · A local registered office address · 1 resident director · At least 1 shareholder · 1 company secretary · A paid-up capital of at least S$1 In the case of foreigner business professional inclined to start a company and move to Singapore to manage its operations, the following criteria need to be met: 1. Pearson & Partners can help you set up your Singapore company and we can help you hire a resident nominee director as a provisional solution, till you get your Employment Pass 2. Submit your Employment Pass application 3. Transfer the directorship after receiving your Employment Pass 4. Move to Singapore and initiate your business Conclusion So essentially, the Employment Pass (EP) is a primary form of work visa that the Singapore government has for qualified professionals, executives, managers, owners and directors keen on taking up specialty positions in Singapore. We are a registered filing agent who provides custom-build solutions to new businesses in Singapore. If you are employing foreign workers and if you have questions regarding Singapore work visa, contact us for further info. We can help you with all company registration issues, in addition to applying for a work pass without you being physically present in Singapore.read more