Overview of the different labeling and marking requirements, including any restrictive advertising or labeling practices and where to get more information.
The labels are required on imported food, drugs, liquors, paints and solvents and must specify the country of origin.
A food label should contain core information such as the prescribed food name, list of ingredients, mandatory warning, advisory statements or allergens declarations, net weight or volume, date mark, nutritional information panel, instructions for use or storage, country of origin, the name and address of the business and manufacturer and importer. Repackaged foods must be labeled to show (in English) the appropriate designation of food content printed in capital letters at least 1/16 inch; whether foods are compounded, mixed or blended; the minimum quantity stated in metric net weight or measure; the name and address of the manufacturer or seller; and the country of origin. Illustrations must accurately describe the true nature or origin of the food. Foods having defined standards must be labeled to conform to those standards and be free from added foreign substances. Packages of food described as “enriched”, “fortified”, “vitaminized” or in any other way that implies that the article contains added vitamins or minerals must show the quantity of vitamins or minerals added per metric unit. More information can be found at the website of the Singapore Food Agency.
In March 2020, Singapore’s Ministry of Health published a fact sheet explaining the Nutri-Grade system that will rate pre-packaged, non-alcoholic beverages as “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” based on levels of sugar and saturated fat. The labels will be mandatory for beverages in categories “C” and “D”, and advertising will be prohibited for category “D” beverages. This grading system will take effect at the end of 2021.
There are two levels of labeling requirements for medicinal products. Administrative labeling requirements are not statutory requirements and are specified in the Health Sciences Authority’s Guidance Documents for Therapeutic Products in Singapore. Compliance is checked during the product registration process, prior to granting of marketing approval. For legal labeling requirements, these are stipulated in the legislation related to therapeutic products regulation in Singapore and are subject to the Health Sciences Authority’s surveillance program. The labeling requirements include the name of the active ingredient, quantitative, product license number and name and address of the dealer. More information may be found in Chapter 176 Section 44 of the Medicines Act.
Labeling and advertising legislation also applies to the sale of vitamins and dietary supplements. Generally, labeling laws require that: 1) the composition of the products is disclosed in English, 2) labels/packaging materials not contain any references to diseases/conditions as specified in the schedule to the Medicines (Advertisement and Sale) Act, the advertising/sale promotion of the product in the public media be approved by the Health Sciences Authority.
As the national safety authority for 33 categories of Controlled Goods as well as the Weights and Measures Authority, Enterprise Singapore administers two marks, namely, the SAFETY Mark and the ACCURACY Label.
The “SAFETY Mark” is intended for selected electrical and electronic products as well as gas appliances which are sold to consumers for use in Singapore households. The “SAFETY Mark” helps consumers to identify registered Controlled Goods. All registered Controlled Goods must be tested to specific international and national safety standards and certified safe by designated product certification bodies. The products are individually marked with the “SAFETY Mark” either on the product or the packaging. The “SAFETY Mark” is unique and traceable to the registrant and the registered models. More information on the registration for the SAFETY Mark can be obtained from Enterprise Singapore.
The Consumer Protection (Consumer Goods Safety Requirements) Regulations (CGSR) aim is to enhance the safety of general consumer goods in the household. Such consumer goods include toys, children’s products, apparel and furniture. These regulations bring the safety of Singapore’s consumer goods in line with internationally accepted standards. There is no approval needed from the Safety Authority. The authority carries out regular market surveillance to protect consumers against unsafe consumer goods.
The “ACCURACY Label” covers weighing and measuring instruments intended for trade use. In Singapore, all weighing and measuring instruments used for trade purposes (like price computing scales in supermarkets, baggage weighing machines at airports and seaports as well as fuel dispensers at petrol stations) are regulated under the Singapore Weights and Measures Act and Regulations. Before an ACCURACY Label can be affixed on the instrument, it will first need to be pattern registered with Enterprise Singapore. Thereafter, every individual weighing or measuring instrument will need to be verified fit for trade use and affixed with a tamper-proof seal and the ACCURACY Label by Enterprise Singapore-appointed Authorized Verifiers (AVs).
Competent private sector bodies such as manufacturers, installers, suppliers and repairers of weighing and measuring instruments may apply to be designated by Enterprise Singapore to handle the verification of weighing and measuring instruments for trade use. More information on the ACCURACY Label can be obtained from Enterprise Singapore.
Telecommunication equipment imported for use in Singapore is subject to “Type Approval” by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) of Singapore.
For the construction industry, the Building and Construction Authority uses the Construction Quality Assessment System (CONQUAS) to objectively rate building works.