Before I answer your question, let us first define the differences between duty-free and tax-free shopping in Singapore. Some visitors may not be too familiar with these terms and might get confused. Duty-free means the goods are sold minus the excise and customs duties levied on imported items. Tax-free means the goods are sold minus the consumption tax, known in Singapore as Goods and Services Tax (GST). Singapore has a Tourist Refund Scheme that allows tourists to claim GST refunds on goods purchased at participating stores while inside the country. These refunds can be claimed at the airport before departure. On the other hand, duty-free shopping applies to travelers, both residents and tourists, and can be availed at specific duty-free shops. Below is a list of places where you can buy duty-free products in Singapore.
At the city center
You don’t have to go to Changi Airport to buy duty-free products in Singapore. T Galleria by DFS is located right in the heart of the Orchard District. It’s a stand alone mall that exclusively offers duty-free goods. You can find most of the top luxury brands here selling cosmetics, perfumes, bags, accessories, jewelry, wines, spirits, food and gift items. Simply present your passport and departure ticket when you shop to avail of the duty-free prices.
At the ferry terminals
Before you sail away to one of Singapore’s offshore islands, you can do your last-minute duty-free shopping at DFS outlets at the Harbourfront Cruise Center or Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. Just make sure you have your travel documents with you to enjoy hassle-free duty-free shopping.
At the airport
There are several duty-free retailers operating at Changi Airport. DFS Changi Airport has shops at Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
The Shilla Duty Free is a Korea-based travel retail company that set up its only foreign location at Changi Airport. The Shilla primarily sells top brands of perfumes and cosmetics like SK-II, Estée Lauder, Dior, Chanel, La Prairie, Origins, and L’Occitane. The Shilla Duty Free can be found in all 4 terminals of Changi Airport.
Lotte Duty Free, another Korea-based duty-free retailer, was recently awarded the tobacco and liquor concessions at Changi Airport. Lotte Duty Free prides itself as Asia’s top duty-free company. It has begun operating at Terminals 1 and 3 while renovation works continue at their stores at Terminal 2 and Terminal 4.
If you don’t want to spend so much time walking around a store to do your duty-free shopping, then iShopChangi is for you. It’s Changi Airport’s tax and duty-free shopping website that is open to both travelers and non-travelers. You can browse through hundreds of popular brands across various categories like fashion, accessories, beauty, wines & spirits, health & wellness, sports & lifestyle, and electronics.