According to estimates provided by industry sources, the cosmetics and toiletries retail sector in Singapore was approximately US$400 million in 2007. The economy has rebounded significantly in the last two years and the general sentiment among the population is a positive one. Based on statistics from the Singapore Department of Statistics, overall retail sales (excluding motor vehicles) rose by 6% in May 2007 over May 2006.
The domestic retail market is sophisticated with various market segments, from those with high disposable income who seek premium and high-quality products, to mass-market consumers who are more price-sensitive. Besides the affluent, local resident population, Singapore is also home to over one million foreigners, with a significant expatriate population that enjoy a high-quality lifestyle.
Singapore is also viewed as a springboard into the fast-growing South East Asian market and serves as a showcase for the neighboring countries. U.S. companies seeking to expand into the region should consider using Singapore to launch and showcase their products and services. For the cosmetics and toiletries sector, more than 80% of all imports are re-exported, making Singapore an ideal gateway into the region.
The controlling authority for the regulation and licensing of cosmetic products use is the Health Sciences Authority, Ministry of Health. The Cosmetics Control Unit (CCU), which was set up in November 1995, is responsible for the administration of the regulations for cosmetic products.
Product Certification Process
Effective January 1, 2008, the HSA implemented the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive (ACD) under the Health Products Act for the regulatory control of cosmetic products. The new subsidiary legislation “Health Products (Cosmetic Products – ASEAN Cosmetic Directive) Regulations 2007” supersedes the previous legislation governing the control of cosmetic products under the Medicines Act.
By Chia Swee Hoon