Introduction to Chemical Regulations in Singapore

Little Pro on 2018-02-02

Currently, there is no REACH-like registration or new chemical substance notification requirement in Singapore. However, that does not mean that you can freely import all chemical substances to Singapore without doing anything. In this article, we would like to give you an overview of industrial chemical regulations in Singapore and how to comply.

Overview of Chemical Regulations in Singapore

In Singapore, industrial chemicals are mainly controlled by the following regulations:

Regulations Authority & Requirement
  • Environmental Protection and Management Act (EPMA)
  • Environmental Protection and Management (Hazardous Substances) Regulations
  • Environmental Protection and Management (Ozone Depleting Substances) Regulations
  • Authority: National Environment Agency (NEA)
  • These regulations authorize NEA to control certain enviromentally hazardous substances 
  • Any person who wishes to import, sell, export, purchase, use and transport any controlled hazardous substance may need to obtain a Hazardous Substances Licence or Permit or Transport Approval.
  • Work Safety and Health Act
  • SS 586 on Specification for Hazard Communication for Hazardous Chemicals and Dangerous Goods 
  • Authority: The Ministry of Manpower
  • These regulations require employers to communicate chemical hazard info to workers and reduce chemical exposure. 

Note: Flammable petroleum products are controlled under the Fire Safety Act by the Fire Safety & Shelter Department (FSSD). Radioactive substances are controlled by the Centre for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Science (CRPNS).

Management of Controlled Hazardous Substances

The list of controlled hazardous chemical substances are those that:

  • Pose a mass-disaster potential
  • Are highly toxic and polluting
  • Generates waste which cannot be safely and adequately disposed of

Examples of controlled hazardous substances include 1,2-dibromoethane (EDB), acetic acid, ammonia and ethylene oxide. There are 2 tables of controlled hazardous substances. Table  1 gives chemical name and exclusions. Table 2 gives chemical names and quantity limits triggering transport approval.

There are 3 types of approvals for controlled hazardous substances. You will need to apply for the approval from NEA depending on your role in the supply chain and which table your substance is included in.

Approval Type Who to Apply
Hazardous Substances License
  • Any person who wishes to import, sell or export any controlled hazardous substances listed in table 1.
Hazardous Substances Permit
  • Any person who wishes to purchase, store and/or use any controlled hazardous substances listed in (table 2
Transport Approval
  • Any person who wishes to transport any hazardous substance in quantities exceeding the limits specified in (table 2

Note: If you export a controlled chemical substance to Singapore, you must ensure that your importers possess both Hazardous Substances License and transport approval (if applicable).

Work Safety and Health Act and GHS

Under the Work Safety and Health Regulations which are administered by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), chemical suppliers must provide SDS for their hazardous chemical products, and any occupier of a workplace must label the containers of hazardous substances. The law has recently been amended by making reference to SS 586 on GHS.

Read more about GHS in Singapore


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 Tags: Topics - SingaporeREACH-like Regulation and Registration