With effect from 1 Oct 2012, the importation and supply of IPM in Singapore are exempt from GST. The supply of IPM which is exported continues to be zero-rated. However, only precious metals in the form of a bar, ingot, wafer and coin which meet certain criteria can qualify as IPM. To provide certainty, precious metal coins that qualify as IPM are prescribed in the GST Act. Precious metals which do not meet the criteria cannot qualify as IPM and the supply of non-IPM continues to be taxable. Examples of non-IPM are jewellery, scrap precious metals, numismatic coins and precious metals which are refined by refiners who are not on the “Good Delivery” list of the London Bullion Market Association or the London Platinum and Palladium Market.
Criteria for IPM bar, ingot and wafer
To qualify for GST exemption, the precious metal must meet all of the following criteria:
(a) It is gold of at least 99.5% purity, silver of at least 99.9% purity or platinum of at least 99% purity.
(b) It is capable of being traded on the international bullion market.
A precious metal bar, ingot or wafer refined by a refiner with the following accreditation/ endorsement is regarded as meeting this criterion:
(i) For gold and silver, a refiner in the current or former “Good Delivery” list of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA)
(ii) For platinum, a refiner in the current or former “Good Delivery” list of the London Platinum & Palladium Market (LPPM)
(iii) A refiner who intends to be in the “Good Delivery” list of the LBMA (for gold and silver) or LPPM (for platinum) and is endorsed by the International Enterprise (IE) Singapore. Refiners with such endorsement will be published on IRAS website.
It is based on LBMA and LPPM accreditations because the precious metals produced by refiners with such accreditation are widely recognised by the industry as having the requisite quality to be traded on international bullion markets and they are readily accepted for delivery on many international commodities exchanges.
(c) It bears a mark or characteristic that is internationally accepted as guaranteeing its quality.
An example of such a mark is the hallmark of a refiner in the “Good Delivery” list of the LBMA/ LPPM stamped on the bar, ingot or wafer.
(d) It trades at a price based on the spot price of the metal it contains.
How to determine if a precious metal bar, ingot or wafer qualifies as IPM?
Typically, the following details will be reflected on the surface of the precious metal:
(a) the name of the refiner and/or the refiner‟s hallmark;
(b) the purity of the precious metal; and
(c) the type of precious metal (e.g. gold, silver or platinum).
Criteria for IPM coin
IPM coin is exempt based on criteria similar to those for IPM bar, ingot and wafer. Coins that qualify for GST exemption must be gold of at least 99.5% purity, silver of at least 99.9% purity or platinum of at least 99% purity; and is or was a legal tender in its country of origin. To provide certainty to businesses, coins that can qualify as IPM will be prescribed under the Fourth Schedule to the GST Act. They are:
List of qualifying gold coins
(i) America Buffalo
(ii) Australia Kangaroo Nugget
(iii) Australia Lunar
(iv) Austria Philharmoniker
(v) Canada Maple Leaf
(vi) China Panda
(vii) Malaysia Kijang Emas
(viii) Mexico Libertad
(ix) Singapore Lion
List of qualifying silver coins
(i) America Eagle
(ii) Australia Kookaburra
(iii) Australia Koala
(iv) Australia Lunar
(v) Austria Philharmoniker
(vi) Canada Maple Leaf
(vii) China Panda
(viii) Mexico Libertad
List of qualifying platinum coins
(i) America Eagle
(ii) Australia Koala
(iii) Australia Platypus
(iv) Canada Maple Leaf
Coins that are not in the prescribed list cannot qualify as IPM. Examples of non-IPM coins are proof and numismatic coins that are usually traded at prices largely determined by their rarity, finishing and beauty. The importation and supply of such non-IPM coins continue to be taxable.