1 TARIFF MEASURES
of the tariff schedule
Singapore adopted the Harmonized
Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) on 1 January 1989 and
the HS 96 nomenclature on 1 January 1996. Singapore applies a nine-digit
nomenclature based on the Harmonized System and a parallel seven-digit
statistical coding system based on the Standard International Trade Classification
Rev.3. The tariff schedule has three columns showing the full and
preferential duty rates as well as the rates of excise duty. The
latter rates, however, are only applicable to locally produced goods and
are the same as the full customs duty for imported goods.
- Singapore, Trade Classification
and Customs Duties, 1994, published by the Customs and Excise Department,
Customs House, Maxwell Road, Singapore 0106. Current information
on Customs related matters is either available from the Customs and Excise
Department or the Trade Development Board, 1 Maritime Square, 03-01
Word Trade Center, Singapore 0409.
- Bundesstelle für Aussenhandels
information, Zoll Und Handels information, January 1989.
- International Customs Tariff
Bureau, The International Customs Journal, No. 26, 12th ed., April 1989.
||Goods such as motor vehicles
and petroleum products are levied Ad Valorem duties ranging up to 46%.
MFN duty rates (defined in
the tariff as full rates) are set on 5,843 lines at the HS-9 digit
level. The majority of tariff lines are duty free (99.9%).
MFN rates apply to imports
of beer such as stout and porter at S$ 1.70 per litre, other beer including
ale S$0.80 per litre, Samsoo (medicated) and Samsoo (other)
S$8.00 per litre of alcohol. A 5% rate is levied on goods such as
sugar confectionery, pastrycook products, babies' bibs, shoulder pads,
aprons, life jacket, gloves, leather clothing accessories, textiles and
textile articles, headgear, imitation jewellery, accumulator plates, cathodic
lamps, office equipment and furniture. On motor vehicles, 7%
for taxis, 12%, for motor cycles and scooters, and 31% for
As a result of the Uruguay
Round and WTO Information Technology Agreements, Singapore has bound 70.5%
of its tariffs. Of a total 5,843 lines at the HS-9 digit level, 4120
lines are bound, of which 4,065 lines (69.6% of the tariff)
have ad valorem rates, while 55 lines or 0.9% of the tariff carries
specific duties. In the year 2000 on an overall average of 4,065
bound lines, agriculture items (HS 01-24) carry 838 lines bound at
the rate of 15.4%; 779 lines are set in the Uruguay Round definition
of agriculture 779 lines at the rate of 16.0%; and 3,227 lines of
industrial products (HS 25-97) bear the rate of 7.4%
Local industries that use
dutiable raw materials in the manufacturing process may be eligible for
duty exemptions from the Customs and Excise Department. Currently,
exemptions are granted for imports of Samsoo used by three food industries.
In the context of duty reduction scheme, there are two programs of tariff
reductions; with the fast track program, tariffs on 15 product categories
above 20 per cent were reduced to an even 20% as
of 1 of January 1998 and further reduced to between 0% and 5%
or less by 1 of January 2000. The 15 product categories
are vegetable oils, chemicals, fertilizers, rubber products, pulp and paper,
wooden and rattan furniture, gems and jewelry products, cement, pharmaceuticals,
plastics, leather goods, textiles, ceramics and glass products, copper
cathodes, and electronics.
Preferential duties under trade agreements
||Under the Agreement on Global
System of Trade Preferences (GSTP) among Developing countries of 1989,
the tariff concessions granted by Singapore consist of ceiling binding
of 5% on imports of hand tools, though they are in practice imported
into Singapore duty-free on an m.f.n. basis. This commitment applies
to all countries which are parties to the GSTP Agreement.
||Singapore is a member of the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) together with Brunei,
Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
ASEAN aimed at promoting economic, social, cultural and scientific ties,
as well as trade and monetary policies. Other areas of cooperation
among ASEAN members, include harmonization of standards, reciprocal recognition
of tests and certification of products.
In 1992, members called for
the formation of an ASEAN Free Trade Area. In this regard, Singapore, Brunei,
Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, began implementing the
Asean Free Trade Area on 1 of January 2002, bringing the reduction in tariff
rates to 5% or less on all goods made at least with 40 percent of ASEAN
goods, which tariff rates will be reduced to 0% by 2010, and quantitative
restrictions and other non tariff barriers removed. As for latecomers,
Vietnam joined ASEAN in 1995, and began implementing AFTA on 1 of January
2003, Burma and Laos joined the group in 1997 and will complete the tariff
reduction by 2007; in the year 2015, final reductions will be achieved
by these 4 countries. Tariff rates on imports from non-ASEAN countries
will continue to be determined individually.
Consequently, since 1 of January
2003, the ASEAN countries have announced the abolishment of tariffs on
60 per cent of traded goods and the introduction of a 5% on import tariffs
within its six original members, i.e. Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia,
the Philippines and Thailand. Products affected essentially by this
measure are electronic products, machinery items and petrochemicals.
And good excluded from the tariff-reduction agreement are goods of key
industries in some of the member countries; for example, Indonesia and
the Philippines will delay the 5% cap on sugar and petroleum, and Malaysia
will shelve the cap on car imports, until 2005. As for Cambodia,
Myanmar, Lao People's Democratic Republic and Vietnam, the four ASEAN's
latecomers, will introduce the 5 per tariff cap only in 2010.
the above arrangements, since 1 January 2001, Singapore accords tariff-free
access for all ASEAN goods under the Common Effective Preferential Tariff
(CEPT) Scheme for the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA).
The eigth ASEAN summit was
held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from 4 to 6 November 2002. During this
meeting, several free trade plans were developed involving 14 Asian countries,
i.e. the 10 Asean members such as Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia,
Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, with Vietnam, China,
India, Japan and the Republic of Korea. The objectives of these free-trade
plans are to quicken the pace of trade liberalization and foster multilateralism
in the region.
With the ASEAN Industrial Cooperation
Scheme AICO, final products as well as raw materials, and semi-finished
goods may be imported at a preferential rate of maximum 5%.
Singapore is also a member
of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) along with Australia,
Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Rep. of
Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines,
Russia, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam. APEC is a multilateral
forum formed in 1989 so that Asian and Pacific economies can promote economic
cooperation and mutual assistance in developing key economic sectors, including
trade and investment. On 15 of November 1994, member countries agreed
to implement open and free trade among themselves by 2020, with advanced
industrialized nations realizing the trade liberalization goal by 2010.
At their 1997 meeting in Vancouver,
APEC leaders agreed on Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization (EVSL) to
take place in 15 sectors, and the tariff elements of nine sectors were
identified under the "accelerated tariff liberalization" (ATL)
package i.e. chemicals, energy, environment, fish and fish products, forest
products, gems and jewellery, medical equipment and instruments, and toys,
as well as a mutual recognition agreement concerning telecommunications.
The ATL initiative is aimed at achieving a zero target for almost all the
sectors by 2008.
In addition to intra-ASEAN
trade and ties, ASEAN aims at strengthening links with other preferential
trade regimes in the region, for example, the high-level task force between
the AFTA and the Closer Economic Relations (CER, i.e. a trade agreement
between Australia and New Zealand) established to study the feasibility
of settling an AFTA-CER free-trade agreement by 2010. ASEAN is pursuing
similar agreements with other regional groupings such as the Southern Common
Market (MERCOSUR), and the Southern African Development Community
||Singapore through the framework
of ASEAN, maintains a commercial and economic cooperation agreement with
the European Union. The agreement provides for most favoured-nation
treatment and studies to remove trade barriers, create new trade patterns,
and recommend trade promotion measures.
An agreement between Singapore
and New Zealand on a Closer Economic Partnership (ANZSCEP) was signed on
14 November 1999. The ANZSCEP is a comprehensive agreement covering
trade in goods, services, investment, and government procurement, among
others; the agreement reflects the two countries's commitment to maintain
the momentum of trade liberalization in the Asia Pacific and an reinforcement
to WTO's efforts to bring down trade barriers globally.
In line with the comprehensive
agreement, Singapore and New Zealand signed a free trade agreement on 14
of November 2000, with the goal of eliminating tariffs on goods between
the two countries.
On 13 of January 2002, Singapore
concluded with Japan, a free trade agreement subject to review every five
year; the agreement aims at eliminating tariffs on mutually traded goods.
Singapore signed with the European Free Trade Association which comprises
Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, a free trade agreement
which was due to take effect on 1 of January 2003.
Singapore is discussing other
free trade possibilities with Canada, Mexico, and the United States of
The Singapore-Australia Free
Trade Agreement (SAFTA) signed on 17 February 2003 is intended to boost
and open trade between the two countries. The agreement covers tariff-free
access for goods and trade facilitation measures in key areas such as standards
and customs procedures.
A new trade initiative between
the ASEAN and the U.S.A. has been set up as the Enterprise for Asean Initiative
(EAI), which objectives aim at developing the Southeast Asian Region, and
enhance close U.S. ties with ASEAN. The EAI offers bilateral free
trade agreements (FTAs) between the United States and individual ASEAN
countries, by determining jointly the launching of FTA negotiations.
ASEAN members and China leaders decided in Brunei on November 2001 to work
on creating a free trade area within the next ten years.
||A licence fee of S$ 20 is
levied per licence. However, in the case of motor vehicles and partly
in that of ozone depleting substances, the actual cost of licences is much
higher as these are only issued through competitive bidding and attributed
to the highest bidder.
A surcharge of 0.5% on the
CIF value is levied on licence applications for import of goods originating
from Albania, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Mongolia, and Vietnam.
Licence applications for imports
from Albania, Laos, Mongolia and Vietnam are subject to a surcharge of
0.5 percent on the CIF value.
||Fees linked with health and
sanitary requirements are levied at specific rates, on the inspection of
plants, crops and plant products and on the endorsement of phytosanitary
Internal taxes and charges levied on imports
||A flat 3% tax is levied
on most goods and services irrespective of whether domestically produced
or imported. It is levied both at the border in the case of imports,
and internally at all stages of production and sale.
The GST or goods and services
tax was due to be increased as of 1 of January 2003 and levied then, at
||Excise duties are charged
on the following four categories of products, i.e. alcohol, tobacco, petroleum
products and motor vehicles (86 tariff lines at the HS-9 digit level)
regardless of whether imported or locally produced.
||Singapore operates a very
detailed system of internal taxes and fees on motor vehicles. These
charges include a registration fee of S$5 to S$7,000 per unit and an additional
registration fee ranging from 5% to 150% of the c.i.f. value.
An additional charge of S$
10.000 is levied on imported second hand cars.
PRICE CONTROL MEASURES
and Anti-dumping Duties Act, was passed by Parliament in October 1996.
Under the provisions of the Act, the Minister for Trade and Industry may
impose countervailing or anti-dumping duties on an import if it is determined
that the export price of the good is less than the normal value, in the
case of dumping, or that a countervailable subsidy is being provided;
and that the import, through the effects of the subsidy or dumping, causes,
or threatens to cause, material injury to Singapore industries producing
like goods, or retards the development of such domestic industry in Singapore.
||Since 23 of January 1998,
anti-dumping duties have been imposed on reinforcement steel bars originating
in Malaysia and Turkey. And, as of 1 of July 2000, the levy is set
at S$ 30 per tonne against import from Turkey.
AUTOMATIC LICENSING MEASURES
||Unlike rice covered by the
Rice Stockpile Scheme, licences for other grades of rice are issued automatically.
||Imported food products must
be registered with the Food Control Department of the Ministry of Environment,
40 Scotts Rd., Singapore 1024; upon arrival in Singapore. Imported
drugs are subject to registration with the Ministry of Health, 16 College
Rd, Singapore, 0316.
QUANTITY CONTROL MEASURES
Licensing under the
authority of Trade Development Board, 1 Maritime Square, 03-01 World Trade
Center, Singapore 0409.
Most goods are freely importable
into Singapore under open general license. A few imports are controlled
or prohibited for health, safety, or security reasons.
||All dutiable items require
a customs permit when moving into customs territory.
||A special import authorization
(endorsement) of a designated governmental institution is required
for imports of specific air conditioners for motor vehicles, coffee, rice,
toy guns and walkie-talkie toys.
Goods manufactured with duty
exempted raw materials may be re-imported under Customs endorsement.
Singapore has added to the
list of products requiring non-automatic import licensing, Chinese proprietary
medicines, scheduled chemicals under the Chemical Weapons Convention, controlled
equipment, materials or substances useful for the manufacture of controlled
drugs and merchandise, and products containing a photograph, drawing or
design resembling, or used on Singapore currency notes and coins.
||The Agri-Food and Veterinary
Authority is the body under which is undertaken since 1 of July 2000, the
import of agricultural products and processed foods, i.e. meat and meat
products, poultry, plants, plant products, fish and other seafood, and
fresh fruits and vegetables.
||Under the Sale of Food Act
(Chapter 283) & Food Regulation 1988, and the Fisheries
(Import, Export & Marketing) Rules of the Fisheries Act (Chapter
111), Revised Edition 1985, food items, artificial sweetening agents, irradiated
foods and Ginseng roots are subject to control by the Food Control Department,
Ministry of the Environment or the Primary Production Department, respectively.
And from 10 December 1999, meat products and fish products intended for
human consumption are subject to import licensing procedures, under wholesome
Meat and Fish Act 1999.
Chewing gum, as pharmaceuticals
require permits or endorsements from specified government agencies.
Licensing requirement with
the Center for Pharmaceutical Administration for cosmetics classified as
type I which includes eye products, lip products, hair-dyes containing
phenylenediamine, and oral and dental hygiene products.
||Imports of animals, birds
and products thereof, fishes and other marine life, meat and meat products,
veterinary medicaments, skimmed milk powder (coloured for animal feed),
require a veterinary's endorsement from the Primary Production Department
for sanitary reason in conformity with the Animals and Birds Act
(Chapter 7), Revised Edition 1985.
Special permit from the Director
of primary production is required before the importation of animal fat
i.e, edible and inedible fat of animal origin or products containing such
||In conformity with the Control
of Plants Act 1993, the Control of Plants (Import of
Fresh Fruits & Vegetables) Rules 1994, Control of Plants
(Cultivation of Plant) (licensing and Certification) Rules
1994, the Control of Plants (Registration of Pesticides) Rules 1994
and the Control of Plants (Plant importation) Rules 1994, insects,
soil, plants, flowers, seeds, plants for further propagation, fruits and
vegetables originating in Brazil, Caribbean Islands, Columbia, Costa Rica,
Guatemala, French Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru,
El Salvador and Venezuela require an agriculture endorsement from the Phytosanitary
and Plant Quarantine Section, Primary Production Department, Ministry of
||Prior approval (endorsement)
for environmental protection reasons is required for radio-active materials
and irradiating apparatus, poisons and hazardous chemicals in accordance
with the Radiation Protection Regulations 1974, the Radiation Protection
Act (Chapter 262), Revised Edition 1985, the Radiation Protection
(Non-Ionising Radiation) Regulations 1991, and the Poisons Act (Chapter
234) and its Rules.
Licensing for scheduled chemicals
under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and controlled equipment.
A prior approval from the Pollution Control Department, Ministry of the
Environment and Trade Development Board, Ministry of Trade and Industry
is required as well for the importation of certain ozone depleting substances
(imports for re-exports) i.e. Halon 1211 and fire extinguishers using Halon
1211, Halon 1301 and fire protection systems using Halon 1301; Halon 2402;
Carbon tetrachloride; 1,1,1-trichloroethane (methyl chloroform);
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) 11, 12, 113, 114, 115 as a refrigerant in new
air conditioning and refrigeration equipment except for automotive air
conditioners in vehicles registered before 1 January 1995 and domestic
refrigerators; Other CFCs such as CFCs 13, 111, 112, 211-217; Hydrobromofluorocarbons
||Prior approval is required
for imports of goods protected by the Convention of International Trade
in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), such as live wild
animals, hides, skins, leather and furskins of wild animals, zoological
collectors pieces, fish for aquaria and ginseng in conformity with the
Endangered Species (Import and Export Act) (Chapter 92A), Revised
Edition 1985, and the Wild Animals and Birds Act.
||Under the Poisons Act (Chapter
234), the Medicine Act (Chapter 176 and its subsidiary legislations,
and the Misuse of Drugs Act (Chapter 185) and Misuse of Drugs Regulations
1973, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, medicaments and medical supplies require
a special approval (endorsement) by the Drug Administration Division.
In addition, Chinese proprietary medicines, are subject to licensing, as
well as materials or substances useful for the manufacture of controlled
drugs and merchandise.
||In accordance with the Factories
Act (Chapter 104), industrial safety helmets and other industrial safety
items require an endorsement of the Ministry of Labour.
||Under the Arms and Explosives
Act (Chapter 13) Revised Edition 1985, an endorsement is required from
the Arms and Explosives Branch, Singapore Police Force, Ministry of Home
Affairs, for the importation of cellulose nitrates, matches, axes, SOS
shrill alarms, handcuffs, Christmas crackers, articles of clothing intended
as protection against attack, including bullet-proof vests, steel helmets,
and toy guns including pistols and revolvers. Importation requirement
applies as well to products containing a photograph, drawing or design
resembling, or used on Singapore currency notes and coins.
is subject to control by the Telecommunication Authority of Singapore in
conformity with the Telecommunication Act 1982 (Chapter 323), the Telecommunication
Authority of Singapore Act 1992 (No. 12 of 1992), and the Telecommunications
(Dealers) Regulation 1994.
Under the Import, Export and
Transshipment (Endorsement), Amendment Order 1983, and the Private Lotteries
Act, Imports of fruit or jackpot machines are controlled by the Commissioner
of Estate Duties.
Cypher equipment requires an
endorsement of the trade Development Board under the Control of Imports
and Exports Order (1990 ed.).
Under the Undesirable Publications
Act (Chapter 338), Revised Edition 1985, prior approval (endorsement) for
moral or political reasons is required for imports of publications, pre-recorded
cartridges and cassettes as well as gramophones records and tapes.
Under the Film Act (Chapter
107) Rev. Edition 1985, cinema and video films are subject to control by
the Board of Film Censors. Imported films, video tapes and video
discs are subject to control by Films and Publications Department, Ministry
of Information and the Arts.
As of 17 April 1998, a permit
is required for imports of mastering equipment for CDs, CD-ROMs, VCDs,
DVDs and DVD-ROMS. The same requirement from the same Trade Development
Board, applies to Scrambler or encryption hardware or software capable
of re-arranging the signs, signals, writing, sounds or intelligence for
the purpose of secrecy.
||Specific licenses from the
Trade and Development Board of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, are
required for rice, irrespective of the country of origin, and for goods
originating in or consigned from Albania, the Lao People's Democratic Republic,
Mongolia and Vietnam.
||Singapore issues import quotas
for chemicals under Schedule 1 of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
The release into free circulation of substances controlled by the 1987
Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, CFCs and
Halons, alone or in mixtures, imported from State that is a Party to the
Protocol, is subject to quantitative limits, effective through the Control
of Imports and Exports (Montreal Protocol) (Chlorofluorocarbons) Order
of 1989, and its Amendments of 1991 and 1993.
||Imports of medicines containing
amidopyrine, noramidopyrine, amygdalin, danthron, pangamic acid and suprofen
and cosmetics containing prohibited substances of additive included in
the above mentioned products are prohibited. As of 1 April 1995,
motor vehicles components or spare parts containing asbestos, are prohibited.
The import of the following
products is prohibited: intoxicating liquors exceeding 70 proof, including
beer, cider, stout gin, and rum.
It is prohibited to import
meat and meat products containing estrogen compounds such as diethylstilbestrol,
hexoestrol, or dienoestrol. The prohibition is set on all food products
containing detectable antibiotics.
Import prohibition of bovine
meat and meat products, offal and by-products from European countries not
free from BSE, bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The measure is in
conjunction with the possible link between BSE in cattle and a new variant
Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease in humans and the long incubation period of five
years and more for BSE.
||The Primary Production Department
has set as of 29 March 2000, an import ban on beef from Japan, and since
September 2000, on pork and pork products from Kwazulu-Natal province in
the Republic of South Africa; these measures are meant to safeguard animal
health and the Foot-and-Mouth disease free status of Singapore.
In order to prevent the introduction
of the foot-and-mouth disease virus into Singapore, an import ban has been
set on beef and mutton products from the State of Rio Grande do Sul in
Import ban on beef and mutton
products from Uruguay to safeguard animal health and the Food-and Mouth
Disease free status of Singapore.
Import prohibition of meat
and meat products of sheep, goats, pigs and game except of game of avian
origin, from the Netherlands and Ireland, in order to prevent the entry
of the foot-and-mouth disease virus into Singapore.
The import of pork and pork
products from France is prohibited for reasons of foot-and-mouth disease
Import prohibition of bovine
meat and meat products, offal and by-products from European countries not
free from BSE, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy.
||Under the Agricultural Pests
(Plant Importation) Rules of 1989, imports of palm oil plants from Colombia,
Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago are prohibited. Prohibition
is extended to all origins for any live plant infected with a pest.
Imports of plants with soil except from West Malaysia are prohibited.
Import prohibition is set as well on plants of rubber, cocoa, coconut and
oil palm from Central and South America and West and Central Africa.
||The following products are
subject to import prohibition: PCB and its substitutes, asbestos brakes
and clutch linings in vehicles registered after 1 April 1995, asbestos
in the form or crocidolite, amosite and amphiboles and products containing
these forms of asbestos, asbestos in the form of chrysotile except for
manufacturing of gaskets, aerosols products except medical aerosols, and
used motor vehicles of more than 3 years old. Furthermore in accordance
with the Control of Imports and Exports of Montreal Protocol, on Chlorofluorocarbons
Order of 1989, and its Amendment Order 1991, the imports of certain ozone
depleting substances meant for local distribution or consumption and non-pharmaceutical
aerosols and polystyrene sheets containing these substances are prohibited
from the countries non-signatories of the Montreal protocol. And
as of January 1994, imports of ozone-depleting halons are prohibited.
This affects the importation of chemical substances such as methylchloroform,
methylbromide and tetrachlorocarbons (list B of the Montreal Protocol).
Imported motor vehicles fitted with airconditioners using chlorofluorocarbons
are prohibited. And under the Poisons Act (Amendment of Schedule),
and the Poisons (Hazardous Substances Amendment) Rules 1994, imports of
monomethyltetrachloro diphenyl methane, monomethlyl-dichloro diphenyl methane,
and monomethyl-dibromodiphenyl methane are prohibited.
||Imports of the
following items are prohibited: rhinoceros horn, whether worked, unworked
or prepared, its waste and powder; Ivory for commercial consignents, and
||Import prohibition is set
on cigarette and table lighters in the shape of a pistol or revolver,
fire-crackers, volcanic rock aggregate not exceeding 40 mm, and chewing
||It is prohibited to import
toy coins and currency notes, controlled telecommunications equipment such
as scanning receivers, military communication equipment and call diverters.
||Imports of goods originating
or consigned from Iraq are prohibited, except for imports of petroleum
and petroleum products under the UNSCs "Oil for Food" programme which are
||Under the Control of Imports
(Licensing Order 1974, licences for "stockpile" (food) grades of rice are
issued only to importers who participate in the Rice Stockpile scheme.
For the major part of goods,
Singapore's technical regulations are in conformity with the Trader's Manual
for ASIA and the Pacific, Singapore, 1988 published in Economic and Social
Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Government Gazette, No.
45 of 23 September 1988 respectively.
National standards in Singapore
are promulgated by SPRING Singapore, known as Singapore Productivity Standards
and Innovation for Growth Board. Items such as electrical, electronic,
gas appliances, sanitary and building products are subject to standards
||Fats of animal origin and
products containing such fats require a veterinary certificate confirming
the compliance with the rules of production, processing and preservation.
A certificate of origin and authenticity is required for mineral waters.
A certificate of age must accompany brandies and whisky. Fog lamps
for motor vehicles must comply with EU-standards.
Standards are imposed on processed
foods as well as meat and meat product for human consumption, as for their
composition, use of additives and preservers, type of container, etc...
The Food Control Department,
Ministry of the Environment has proposed as of 1 of April 2002, to allow
the use of the following additives, in keeping with the international recommendations/practices:
Lysozyme, also known as lysozyme hydrochloride, as a preservative in cheese;
ferric ammonium citrate as a nutrient supplement; zinc sulphate as a nutrient
supplement; magnesium chloride as a general purpose food additive.
In the same context, as of 15 March 2001, to allow the use of potassium
ferocyanide as an anti-caking agent in food (maximum permissible level:
10ppm), sodium ferrocyanide as an anti-caking agent in food (maximum permissible
level: 10ppm); Diacetin as a solvent for flavouring agents (Under good
manufacturing practice); Methanol as an extraction solvent (maximum permitted
residual level 5ppm); Pentosanase (xylanase or hemicellulase) (under good
manufacturing practice); Alpha-acetolactate decarboxylase (under good manufacturing
practice); Beta-glucanase (Under good manufacturing practice).
Imported irradiated food products
are subject to a certificate stating that the irradiating treatment meets
the Codex Recommended International Code of Practice for the Operation
of Radiation Facilities used for the treatment of foods and, that of the
Codex Geneeral Standards for Irradiated Foods.
Imported drugs and cosmetics
require the Ministry of Health registration, and are subject to a certificate
of free sale as pharmaceuticals. In addition a registration requirement
with the Center for Pharmaceutical Administration in the Ministry of Health,
is set on pharmaceutical products, and vitamins containing certain high
dosage nutrients. They must be accompanied by a free sale certificate
and evidence of good manufacturing practice. The same requirement
applies to cosmetics classified as Type I, including eye products, lip
products, hair-dyes containing phenylenediamine, and oral and dental hygiene
Registration requirement with
the AVA, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, for the importation of
agricultural products, processed foods, meat, and meat products, poultry,
plants, plant products, fish and other seafood, and fresh fruit and vegetables.
Food regulations applying to
food products have been enforced through specific product definitions such
as ingredient standards. The food regulations cover the use of food
additives as caking agents, antioxidants, artificial sweetening agents,
chemical preservatives, coloring matter, emulsifiers, stabilizers, flavoring
agents, flavour enhancers, humectants, nutrient supplements, sequestrants,
general purpose additives, and gaseous packaging agents. Food regulations
also rule pesticide residue levels, antibiotics, estrogen, toxins, and
Genetically modified organisms
and food products containing GMO required the approval of the Genetic modification
Advisory Committee which has established a register of approved GMO.
Food products labelled as "pure"
should not contain any added substances and their composition must meet
quality and strength requirements set in the Food Regulations.
||A health certificate is required
for the importation of meat and meat products, poultry and pork, high-risk
shellfish such as live and frozen oysters, frozen cooked prawns, and forzen
cooked crab meat, and bottled water.
Import registration for the
following food additives: Potassium ferrocyanide as an anti-caking agent
in food (maximum permissible level: 10ppm); sodium ferrocyanide as an anti-caking
agent in food (maximum permissible level: 10ppm; diacetin as a solvent
for flavouring agents (under good manufacturing paractice); methanol as
an extraction solvent (maximum permitted residual level: 5 ppm); pentosanase
(xylanase or hemicellulase) (under good manufacturing practice); alpha-acetolactate
decarboxylase (under good manufacturing practice); Beta-glucanase (under
good manufacturing practice).
||Imports of animals and animal
products are subject to certification practices including sanitary certificates,
certificates of health, exports permits from the exporting country and
certificates of origin. In particular a veterinary health certificate
is required for imports of bovine meat and meat products, offals and by-products
stating that the country has been free from BSE six years prior to the
date of slaughter of the bovine animals. Veterinary requirements
apply as well to imports of horses from South Africa, and to imports of
Effective 1 of May 2001, microchip
identification code of imported dogs must meet with ISO Standards 11784
or Annex A to ISO Standard 11 785.
||The importation of potted
plants, plant propagation materials, plant intended for planting, seeds,
mushroom spawn and ornamental foliage and branches is prohibited unless
the consignment if accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate when originating
in the American tropics.
||The Singapore Green Label
Scheme launched in 1992 by the Ministry of the Environment is currently
administered by the Singapore Environment Council. 29 product categories
are covered by the scheme; the scheme which is voluntary, is available
for a number of products except for food, beverages, and pharmaceutical
||Crash and industrial safety
helmets as well as other industrial safety items such as belts, harness,
life lines and nets must comply with safety standards.
In accordance with the new
safety standard entered into force in 1993, all new trucks over 8 tonnes
must be equipped with low-fitted bumpers and special fittings on the sides.
The new standard also applies to new trucks in the range from 3.5 tonnes
to 8 tonnes since 1994.
Registration requirement of
accessories for electrical fittings used in electrical installation, upon
certificates of Conformity (COCs) issued by CABs or MRA partners, all designated
by SPRING Singapore.
||Pharmaceutical products are
subject to marking, labelling and packaging requirements set out in the
Singapore Drug Registration Rules administered by the Pharmaceuticals Department
of the Ministry of Health.
||Compulsory marking "free of
radiation" requirements are set on most imports of food items from European
countries, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand.
Accessories for electrical
fittings used in electrical installation are required to be marked with
the SAFETY Mark before placing them in Singapore Market.
||Pre-packed foods are subject
to labelling requirements concerning the contents of the package, operational
warning as well as information on the origin and the local importer.
Health warning labels and labelling of tar and nicotine content are imposed
on tobacco products, in accordance with the Smoking-Control of Advertisements
and Sale of Tobacco, Labelling Regulations 1993. Labelling requirements
are also set on paints containing lead compounds, in order to provide information
about the lead content and the precautions to take in using such paints,
effective through the Poisons Act (Amendment of Schedule) Notification
1992, and the Poisons (Labelling) Order, 1992.
All imported goods should
be labelled in English. The following food product are subject to
labelling requirements: flour, bakery, and cereal products, aerating ingredients,
meat and meat products, fish and fish products, edible fats and oils, milk
and milk products, ice cream, frozen confections, and related products,
sauces, vinegars and relishes, sugar and sugar products, tea, coffee, and
cocoa, fruit juices and fruit cordials, jams, alcoholic and non-alcoholic
beverages, salts, spices and condiments, flavouring essences and extracts,
flavour enhancers; special purpose foods as infant foods and diabetic foods,
miscellaneous foods as custard powder and edible gelatin, and rice; and
specification of vitamins and minerals.
The following goods should
be labelled to indicate their country of origin: medicines, edible and
non-edible animal fats, paints, and solvents.
Labelling of cosmetic products
must state the product name, list of ingredients, name and address of the
importer, batch reference, and applicable precautions. Product composition
of vitamins and supplements must be labelled.
One of the following warnings
to be periodically rotated in turn, must be labelled on cigarette packs:
"Smoking causes cancer", "Smoking harms your family", or "Smoking kills".
Use of colour additive such
as "Tartrazine ", "Colour (102)", "Colour (FD & C Yellow No.5)" must
be stated in the list of ingredients of food products. The labels
of goods containing aspartame must show the words "phenylketonurics, contains
phenylalanine; in any case the use of artificial sweeteners must be properly
indicated. As for products containing royal jelly, a warning declaring
that the product is not suitable for asthma or allergy sufferers must be
placed on the label; "treated with ionising radiation" or "irradiated"
in letters not less than 3 millimeters high must be stated on labels of
irradiated foods and products containing irradiated ingredients.
Expiration date preceded by
"use by", "sell by", "expiry by", "best before" or a similar term must
be labelled on food products; the date must include the day and month for
products with a short shelf life, such as pasteurised dairy products juice,
soybean products, vitamin fortified fruit juice and drinks, vegetable juice
and drinks, flour, salad dressing, mayonnaise, raisins and sultanas, chocolate,
and chocolate confectionery products with chocolate or cocoa as the characteristic
ingredient, breakfast cereal, except in cans, infant foods, edible cooking
oils and products that require refrigeration other than fresh fruits and
vegetables; other food products must be dated with the month and year.
Raw produce must be labelled with the packaging date, packages of dressed
birds such as duck or chicken with the date of slaughter. Information
on labels must be printed in characters not less than 3 millimeters high.
Food labels showing pictorial
representation, or a recipe must include appropriate"serving suggestion".
Indications "low in calories",
"source of protein" or "sugar free" must be supported by additional information
on the label.
In addition food nutrients
must be expressed per 100 grams, i.e. energy in kilojoules or kilocalories;
sodium, potassium and cholesterol in milligrams; protein, fat, and carbohydrates
in grams. Food labels should not claim any specific health benefits
but be in compliance with the Food Regulations e.g. for vitamin and mineral
contents according to the products. The country of origin, the name
of the manufacturer, the trade description of animal fats or products containing
animal fats, their nature, must be indicated on the labels; and in capital
letters, the following "NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION" must appear on labels
of inedible animal fats.
The Agri-Food Veterinary Authority
of Singapore requires that all meat and meat product packings be labelled
with all details according to the sanitary certificates of the goods.
Labelling of the following
food additivies is mandatory for import registration purposes: potassium
ferocyanide as an anti-caking agent in food (maximum permissible level:
10 ppm); sodium ferrocynide as an anti-caking agent in food (maximum permissible
level: 10ppm); Diacetin as a solvent for flavouring agents (under good
manufacturing practice); Methanol as an extraction solvent (maximum permitted
residual level: 5 ppm); pentosanase (xylanase or hemicellulase) (under
good manufacturing practice); alpha-acetolactate decarboxylase (under good
manufacturing practice), beta-glucanase (under good manufacturing practice).
The declaration of the above products must include; description of the
product; brand name of the product, or the word "unbranded" if the product
is without a brand name: country of origin of the food product, quantity
and units; arrival date, importer's name, address and contact telephone
number, and declarant name, code and NRIC number.
||Packaging regulations and
prescribed quantities of pre-packed goods are set out for the following
essential commodities: butter, margarine, edible oils, rice, white sugar,
wheat flour, milk powder, cooking salt and powdered detergents.
||Denatured ethyl alcohol and
poppy seeds are subject to product composition tests at the time of entry.
Imports of most food items from European countries and, Hong Kong,
Philippines and Thailand are subject to sample a testing that they are
free of radiation. Cosmetics must be free from lead or its compounds.
Animals, birds, meat and meat products, live plants, fodder of animal origin,
coloured skimmed milk, animal fertilizers, veterinary medicaments and veterinary
biologics are subject to sanitary or phytosanitary control.
A certificate of analysis is
required for imported milk, butter other milk derivatives subject to decomposition.
Processed foods and pharmaceuticals
are subject to inspection by the Ministry of Health prior to release from
As of 1 January 1994, condoms
are subject to quality control in conformity with Quality of Condoms (Specification
and Prohibition) Order 1993 and the Import of Condom Regulations 1993.
Animals for slaughter imported
from any country, other than Malaysia, are subject to a ten-days quarantine
Cosmetics classified as Type
I, i,e., eye products, lip products, hair-dyes containing phenylenediamine,
and oral and dental hygiene products are subject to control by the Center
for Pharmaceutical Administration.
equipment requires type approval by for Pharmaceutical Administration.
equipment requires type approval by the Telecommunications Authority; electrical
goods are checked by the Public Utilities Board before installation; and
paints and solvents are controlled by the chief inspector of factories
in the Ministry of Manpower.
Compulsory inspections by the
AVA, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, of all imports of processed
foods, meat, and meat products, and poultry; random inspections may be
conducted as well by the same Authority, of other agricultural shipments,
including plants, plant products, fish and other seafood, and fresh fruits
Effective 1 May 2001, in addition
to the current veterinary requirements for the importation of dogs
and cats into Singapore, the entry of dogs will be subject to a microchip
identification code in its accompanying health documents as well as certification
that the dog was examined at the time of shipment.
||Electric household appliances
as well as radio, television and video apparatus are covered by the Consumer
Safety Scheme and require testing of each new model to be sold in Singapore
by the SPRING, the Singapore productivity, Standards, and Innovation for
Growth Board which administers the Consumer Protection safety requirements
through registration scheme,
or an authorized laboratory.
Under the Consumer Protection
Regulations 1991, the following seventeen products that have the potential
to be hazardous must be registered and declared safe and must receive the
Consumer protection Act mark before they can be sold in Singapore; they
include cooking ranges, electric irons, gas cookers, LPG systems, hair
dryers, microwave ovens, televisions, video display units, video cassette
recorders, table fans, high-fidelity equipment, immersion water heaters,
kettles, refrigerators, rice cookers, room air-conditioners, vacuum cleaners,
and washing machines. The CPA mark is a compulsory stamp of approval
given by the Singapore Productivity and Standards Board (PSB), to ensure
that consumers are safe from hazards such as fires, explosions, and electrical
shock when using these appliances.
As of 1 of April 2003, remaining
prescribed Articles of the Public Utilities (Electricity) essentially accessories
for electrical fittings used in electrical installation will be transferred
to SPRING Singapore as controlled goods under the Consumer Protection Safety