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Bunkering - Specific Business Sector GST


Bunker Fuel Delivered Directly on Board Foreign Bound Vessel

You can zero-rate the supply of bunker fuel delivered in Singapore if you deliver or arrange for your supplier to deliver the fuel directly on board a vessel which is bound for a destination outside Singapore i.e. foreign going vessel.

To support the zero-rating of the supply to your customer, you are required to maintain the following documents:

Purchase order from your customer. The purchase order should indicate the name of the vessel, date of departure and next destination from Singapore;

Written instructions from your customer to deliver the bunker fuel to the vessel (this may be included in the purchase order);

Sales invoice to your customer;

Bunker delivery note endorsed by the Master/Chief Engineer of the vessel; and

Evidence of payment from your customer.


Bunker Fuel Delivered to Local Customer

You may receive an order from your customer who takes delivery of the bunker fuel from you in Singapore to supply to another person(s). He delivers the bunker fuel directly to the foreign going vessels.

In this instance, you cannot zero-rate the supply of bunker fuel to your customer as you no longer have custody of the bunker fuel after the bunker fuel has been delivered to him and you have no control over the subsequent delivery of the bunker fuel to the foreign going vessel(s). Hence you cannot be certain that the bunker fuel will be exported. 

Lease of Bunker Tanker/Transport of Fuel or Marine Waste

(a) Lease of a bunker tanker without captain, pilot or crew. The customer takes possession and has exclusive use of the vessel.

The supply is treated as a lease of bunker tanker

The supply can be zero-rated under section 21(3)(o) of the GST Act.

The following components performed substantially in Singapore will be standard-rated if included in the supply:

i.    Transport of passengers;
ii.   Accommodation;
iii.  Entertainment;
iv.  Catering of food or beverage;
v.   Education.  

(b) Lease of a bunker tanker with captain, pilot or crew. The customer has authority over the operation and movement of the tanker including the crew supplied by the owner.

The supply is treated as a lease of bunker tanker only if there is written contractual agreement stating that the supply is that of a lease of bunker tanker.

Otherwise the supply is regarded as a provision of services by the owner/operator of the vessel.

If the supply is that of a lease of bunker tanker, the treatment follows that of situation (a).

Otherwise, the services provided by the owner/operator can be zero-rated if the services fall under situation (c).

(c) Transport of fuel carried in or removal of marine waste from a qualifying ship

Transportation of fuel

The transportation of fuel (carried in a qualifying ship) in the following scenarios would qualify for zero-rating under section 21(3)(l) of the GST Act:  

– From local oil terminal to ships anchored at local anchorage
– From bunker tanker to ships anchored at local anchorage
– From local oil terminal to another local oil terminal

Removal of marine waste from ship to offshore island also qualifies for zero-rating under section 21(3)(l) of the GST Act.

The transportation of fuel (carried in a qualifying ship) in the following scenarios would qualify for zero-rating under section 21(3)(a)(ii) of the GST Act:  

– From local oil terminal to ships anchored outside Singapore
– From oil terminal located outside Singapore to ships anchored outside Singapore 

“Qualifying ship” is defined under section 21(4)(a) of the GST Act as any ship (including an oil rig) but does not include any ship:

i. that is licensed under the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Act (Cap 170A) as a passenger harbour craft or pleasure craft;
ii. in respect of which a vessel permit has been granted by the Public Utilities Board under regulations made under the Public Utilities Act (Cap.261); or
iii. that is designed or adapted for use for recreation or pleasure and is so used within Singapore (unless the use within Singapore is for such purpose that is incidental to its use outside Singapore as the Comptroller may allow).

Loan of Fuel

Bunker suppliers and barge owners may engage in mutual arrangements involving the temporary use of fuel. Under such arrangements, the lender allows the borrower to borrow fuel with or without consideration for the use of the fuel. The borrower returns the same type of fuel to the lender within a short time. Fuel on loan is still recognised by the lender as assets of the lender. 

For GST purposes, the lender need not account output tax for the loan of fuel if no consideration is received. However, should circumstances change (e.g. termination of lending arrangement) and the lender treats the fuel on loan as sold to the borrower, GST is chargeable on the sale of fuel. The borrower is allowed to claim the GST incurred as input tax credit on the purchase of fuel subject to normal input recovery rules. 

[IRAS]