Service of Documents

Service of Singapore Court Documents to Foreign Countries

Where a writ or other originating processes and/or any other Court documents need to be served on a defendant or other party residing or working outside Singapore, leave for service of such documents outside Singapore (“service out of Singapore”) must first be obtained in accordance with Order 11 of the Rules of Court.

Service out of Singapore via the Court is carried out through diplomatic channels and the following documents will have to be filed to Court:

  • Request for Service of Documents out of Singapore;
  • Order of Court for Service of Documents out of Singapore;
  • Copies of Documents for Service on the Party concerned; and
  • Copies of Translations, if required.

As service out of Singapore through diplomatic channels may take some time, parties requesting such service are required to keep the Registry informed of the progress of the case, e.g. whether the case has been settled or discontinued, so that the Registry can keep the relevant authorities informed as to whether service out of Singapore is still required. It is preferable for service out of Singapore to be carried out through private agent(s) in the foreign country, where permissible. 

Some of the applicable fees which may be relevant to service out of Singapore are as follows:

 

Document to be filed / prepared for service out of Singapore

 

Court fees payable where the value of the claim does not exceed S$1 million

 

Court fees payable where the value of the claim is more than S$1 million

 

Request for Service of Documents out of Singapore

 

S$100.00 per party per place of service

 

S$200.00 per party per place of service

 

Certificate of Process of Court

 

S$20.00

 

S$50.00

In addition, fees incurred by the relevant authorities for service out of Singapore are also payable.   


Service of Foreign Process into Singapore

Service of any process required in connection with proceedings pending before a court or tribunal of a foreign country (“foreign process”), on a person in Singapore (“service into Singapore”) shall be in accordance with Order 65 of the Rules of Court.

Foreign process can be validly served in Singapore where:

(a) service is effected by the court’s process server pursuant to a letter of request from a foreign court or tribunal;
(b) service is effected by a method of service authorised by the Rules of Court for the service of an analogous form of process issued by the Singapore courts; and
(c) service is effected by the court’s process server pursuant to a letter of request issued by a consular or other authority of a country with whom Singapore has a Civil Procedure Convention providing for service of process of the courts and tribunals of that country in Singapore.

For (a), effecting service by the court’s process server pursuant to a letter of request from a foreign court or tribunal, please refer to Order 65 rule 2.  The letter of request from the foreign court or tribunal will usually be transmitted via official channels to the Minister for Law in Singapore. If the Minister for Law considers that the request should be acceded to, the letter of request will be forwarded to the Court with a note to that effect. The letter of request should be accompanied by 2 copies of the process to be served. If the letter of request and/or the process to be served is not in English, the corresponding number of copies of the translated documents in English should be provided.

For (c), effecting service by the court’s process server pursuant to a letter of request issued by a consular or other authority of a country with whom Singapore has a Civil Procedure Convention providing for service of process of the courts and tribunals of that country in Singapore, please refer to Order 65 rule 3.  The letter of request should be accompanied by a copy of the process to be served. If the letter of request and/or the process to be served is not in English, copies of the translated documents in English should be provided.

For (a) and (c), the court’s process server will provide an affidavit of service stating the attempt(s) made at service, the outcome thereof, and the costs incurred. A certificate will also be issued by the Registrar of the Supreme Court to certify the outcome of the attempts at service and detailing the costs of effecting or attempting to effect service. The requestor should submit a statement of the costs incurred in effecting service or attempting to effect service to the Registrar of the Supreme Court, who will certify the amount properly payable in respect of those costs. Payment of such costs shall be made promptly to the “Registrar, Supreme Court”.

For (b), effecting by a method of service authorised by the Rules of Court for the service of an analogous form of process issued by the Singapore courts, such service must be effected in accordance with Orders 10 and 62 of the Rules of Court as well as paragraph 32 of the Supreme Court Practice Directions. If service is effected by private means (e.g. by a Singapore solicitor or a solicitor’s clerk or otherwise), the Registrar of the Supreme Court will not issue a certificate to certify the outcome of the attempts at service.