Can I bring health supplements into Singapore?

How Are Health Supplements Regulated in Singapore?

As ingredients used in health supplements are generally well-established through the experience of safe use and are not intended for medicinal purposes, health supplements do not require approval and are not evaluated by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) before they can be sold locally. This approach is similar to that found in regulatory systems of developed countries such as the USA.

Dealers (which include manufacturers, importers, wholesalers/distributors, re-packers and retailers) are responsible for the safety and quality of their health supplements. They also have to ensure that their products meet HSA’s stipulated safety and quality standards. Additionally, the dealers have to ensure that the product claims on labels are not false or misleading and that their product advertisements do not make claims for treatment or prevention of diseases. They must ensure that:
• Products do not contain prohibited ingredients
• Products do not make claims to treat illnesses or diseases
• Product claims are accurate and truthful
• Product labels and packaging contain sufficient information for consumers to review when purchasing and consuming the products
• Information is printed in a clear and legible manner

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In line with the approach adopted in the regulatory systems of developed countries, there is a post-market surveillance programme in place to monitor the safety of health supplements and to initiate timely product recalls when necessary. The programme includes risk-based surveillance to sample products in the market, and adverse reaction monitoring, which draws on HSA’s network of healthcare professionals and international regulatory partners to pick up signals of adverse reactions to products.

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