Singapore FreePort is a high-security facility for storing precious metals and other collectibles of the wealthy that opened in 2010. Designed by Swiss architects, engineers and security experts, the 270,000-square-foot facility is part bunker, part gallery: It was designed by contemporary designers Ron Arad and Johanna Grawunder. The steel doors that barricade the vaults may weigh seven tons but still look stylish. Most of the vaults are temperature and humidity controlled.
Singapore FreePort boasts of security features that are comparable to the world’s most impregnable building that is the depository of the United States’ bullion reserves : Fort Knox. Visitors must pass through two checkpoints and undergo a full body scan before they can go inside the building, and staff need to key in passwords and pass a biometric check to access different parts of the complex.
Located adjacent to the Changi Airport, goods flown into Singapore can be securely transported to the FreePort via internal airport roads. Its close proximity to the airport also offers international investors convenient access to their stored valuables.
The facility enjoys free trade zone status. Hence, clients who store their valuables on its premises need not pay duties or taxes on their assets as long as they stay within the FreePort.
Singapore Customs, in collaboration with the Economic Development Board and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority, granted FreePort certain facilitation for customs formalities to ensure the smooth flow of operations.
While FreePort tenants and licensed logistics operators will maintain their own inventories, they won’t be required to hand over lists to customs or immigration authorities regularly. Inventory lists won’t be disclosed, or crates opened, unless police or customs are conducting a particular investigation.
The FreePort adds momentum to two major parts of Singapore’s development strategy: to become Asia’s regional arts hub—and a global center for wealth management.