This market research report is one of a series produced by the U.S. Commercial Service with practical information for U.S. companies about standards and conformity assessment issues affecting U.S. exporters in specific sectors, to improve their ability to access foreign markets. Existing standards-related market research such as the Country Commercial Guide standards sections offers a good introduction to the major standards and conformity assessment institutions. These reports build on this information by delving into conformity assessment procedures as they pertain to specific sectors in specific national markets.
The following report was prepared to address the latest trends in conformity assessment in Singapore. Specific focus has been given to the following sectors: telecommunications equipment, computer hardware and software, medical equipment, cosmetics and toiletries, and aircraft and parts.
In Singapore, compliance to Singapore Standards is voluntary. However, they become mandatory when used by government bodies in regulations or administrative requirements for safety, environmental and health issues. All Singapore Standards are reviewed once every five years to consider whether they should be confirmed, revised, amended, archived or withdrawn. However if the need arises, Singapore Standards may be reviewed before the five-year period. Requests for the development or review of a standard may come from the public, industry, academia or government. Singapore has signed a number of multilateral mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs/MLAs).
Singapore’s national standardization program is administered by SPRING Singapore, the national standards authority. It establishes and publishes Singapore Standards, by notification in the Government Gazette. The Standardization Division in SPRING Singapore represents Singapore in regional and international standards activities and promotes the alignment of national standards to international standards.
SPRING Singapore coordinates the Singapore Standardization Program under the guidance of an industry-led national Standards Council, which comprises representatives from the private and public sectors. The Standards Council formulates the strategies and direction for the standardization program. The standards partners, with the Standardization Division providing secretariat support to the Council, its various standards committees, technical committees and working groups appointed to draft standards, carry out all standardization work.
Besides being the national standards authority in Singapore, SPRING is also the national accreditation body. SPRING manages the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC). The SAC's primary function is to accredit conformity assessment bodies based on international standards. Accreditation is an endorsement of an organization's competence, credibility, independence and integrity in carrying out its conformity assessment activities. This endorsement is manifested in the use of the SAC mark of accreditation when it accredits an organization or on test reports and calibration.
SPRING Singapore is the country’s representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). SPRING has been actively involved in both the policy and technical levels of the ISO. Singapore is also a member of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) through the Singapore National Committee of the IEC.
SPRING Singapore represents Singapore’s interest in regional standards and conformance by participating actively in regional standardization such as in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Sub-Committee on Standards & Conformance (SCSC), the ASEAN Consultative Committee for Standards & Quality (ACCSQ) and the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC).
Product Certification Process
The Consumer Protection (Safety Requirements) Regulations 2002 mandates that 45 categories of electrical, electronics and gas home appliances and accessories be registered before they can be advertised, traded or displayed for sale in Singapore. They include: adaptors, LPG systems, cooking ranges, electric irons, gas cookers, 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. SPRING has registered more than 40,000 models of controlled goods.
As part of the ASEAN Economic area, mutual recognition agreements (MRA) are effective for compulsory standards of certain electrical products traded between Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Eligible products for MRAs must meet the IEC or its equivalent standards.
By Chia Swee Hoon