Prior to the introduction of eTRS, tourists had to fill in different forms from participating retailers if they wanted a GST refund on their purchases. In addition, they had to queue at a Singapore Customs’ counter for their goods to be inspected, before proceeding to a different queue at the Central Refund Agencies’ (Global Blue and Premier Tax Free) counter in the airport to receive their refund.
Today, with the adoption of eTRS, tourists can enjoy hassle-free and secure tax-free shopping in Singapore.Introduced by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) in 2011, the eTRS is a cutting-edge digital refund scheme that allows tourists to claim their GST refunds using a seamless, digital refund system. It is also the first government system in the world that allows retailers and multiple GST refund agencies to operate on a common platform.
SELF-HELP FOR FASTER AND EASIER REFUND CLAIM
Tourists can now claim their GST refund using self-help kiosks located at airport terminals and cruise centres before leaving the country. At the self-help kiosks, tourists can conveniently retrieve details of their purchases using the eTRS tickets or credit cards (if they have used the card as tokens to link all their purchases). Tourists no longer have to queue at Singapore Customs, unless there is a need for goods inspection
SINGLE PLATFORM FOR GREATER CONVENIENCE
Designed with a single-platform to link up GST-registered retailers, Central Refund Agencies and the Central Refund Counter Operator, eTRS reduces tourists’ contact points at the airport and time spent on making a refund.
From the point of purchase at GST-registered retailers, tourists’ purchase details in Singapore are transmitted to the Central Refund Agencies, before they are sent to IRAS’ eTRS Central Database. For independent retailers that are not affiliated with any Central Refund Agency, purchase details are transmitted directly to the eTRS Central Database