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Blindsided: Woman fined $2k for under-declaring value of curtains and blinds to Singapore Customs

Blindsided: Woman fined $2k for under-declaring value of curtains and blinds to Singapore Customs

Just because you’re not carrying illicit goods like narcotics or firearms into Singapore doesn’t mean you have nothing to worry about while cruising through customs. Even something like not declaring the correct value of the curtains you are bringing into the country can earn you a massive fine, as one woman learned the hard way recently.

In a cautionary message posted to the official Singapore Customs Facebook page on Friday, the agency notes that travelers often under-declare the value of household items such as curtains and blinds in order to pay less on their Goods and Services Tax (GST) — often because they are planning to sell said items and attempting to maximize their profit margins.

The post presents as an example the case of a woman who was caught at one of Singapore Custom’s land checkpoints “… under-declaring the value of three sets of curtains and one set of blinds by more than half of the actual value. She was issued with a composition sum of $2,055 (US$1,500).”

“Composition sum” is, of course, a euphemism for a fine, one likely far greater than the value of the curtains and blinds the woman brought in. As the Facebook post notes, “Under the Customs Act, any person who fails to declare or makes an incorrect declaration of taxable goods may be issued with a composition sum of up to 10 times the amount of duty and/or GST evaded, or charged in Court.”