Cosmetic Control Unit in Singapore

In 2008, Health Sciences Authority (HSA) established the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive (ACD) for cosmetic products in Singapore. This is enforced as the Heath Products Act, a subsidiary legislation of the HSA’s Health Products Regulation 2007. The HAS set up the Cosmetic Control Unit of Singapore to regulate cosmetics.

Singapore defines a cosmetic product as any substance or preparation intended to be placed in contact with the epidermis, hair, nails, lips, eyes, external genitals, teeth and oral mucous membranes to cleanse, perfume, improve appearance, correct body odors, protect or maintain good condition. Cosmetic products include skin care, makeup and bath and shower categories.

Labeling of cosmetics according to the act is required. No person shall sell or supply any cosmetic product unless the product’s label establishes the name of the cosmetic product, its function and usage instruction (unless such features are clearly evident from the product's presentation), the ingredient listing and materials used to manufacture the formulation such as solvents, perfume carriers or aromatic compositions. The ingredient listing does not have to include impurities in raw materials used and ancillary technical materials used in the preparation but not present in the final product. Other details required are the ingredients’ weight/volume in the immediate container or outer packaging expressed in the metric system, batch number, name and address in Singapore of the responsible entity placing the product in the market, country of origin, precautions during usage, expiration date where the durability of the product is less than 30 months and date of manufacture except when the expiration date of the cosmetic product has been specified on the label.

The Health Product Act necessitates that any person or company who intends to sell or place a cosmetic product in Singapore is required to notify HAS before doing so. The compliance requirements are detailed in the ACD.

Prior to importation, the responsible parties must notify HAS. Declaration in the import permit application must be completed with a description of the product and a brand name. The necessary documents are to be completed in accordance with the ACD guidelines.

The necessary procedures and further information can easily be obtained from HSA’s website, Singapore actively participates in the alert system, where once an ASEAN member country reports a problem with a particular product, HAS issues a notice to the public informing them of product responsible and advising them on necessary steps to be taken. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the product owner to fulfill the requirements pertaining to the safety of the product when placing it on the Singapore market.

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