Import of Surgical Masks , Respirators and Thermometers to be regulated



Singaporeans are scrambling to get their hands on surgical masks.



It is a fact that whenever masks are available at the retail outlets, there will be long queues and the stocks would be snapped up in a flash.

Many had turned to order online and faced the risk of scams. There are many who had paid exorbitant prices for masks and in some instance did not even see the goods delivered. We even managed to uncover an online seller scam. Read our Exposé on an online scam website selling surgical masks here

With so much uncertainty, one might resort to import masks directly or purchase masks from overseas.


Do note that from Feb 14, such purchases are regulated (these include those masks you purchase online from overseas seller or those who import such masks to sell). HSA (Health Science Authority) had announced that any import of  Masks, Thermometers and Protective Gear for personal use or for commercial purpose or other purposes are required to notify HSA of the import.



Source : HSA





















The announcement can be found here

This applies specifically to the following products

  • Surgical Masks
  • Particulate respirators
  • Thermometers for measuring human body temperature
  • Any Protective Gears

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You have to complete an online form here.
There are separate forms to fill for import for commercial supply, donation, workplace use and import for personal or family use.

What does it mean?

Can you still purchase from overseas?
You can continue to import such cases, however, you would need to notify or the goods may not be released from Customs. You can seek clarifications from HSA here.

Can I purchase from online-resellers?
Should you purchase any such products from online re-sellers, do ask for a notification acknowledgement if they state that the goods would only arrive a later date for proof of purchase.  This would protect yourself from a potential scam. In any case, it is better to buy from a reputable business instead of an individual or retailers that do not have prior sales for medical products.

Can I purchase from Lazada /Qoo10?
If you are using a freight forwarder to import these devices, you have to forward the notification acknowledgement to your freight forwarder to follow up on the importation.  For purchases online via Lazada or Qoo10 through an overseas retailer, it is unsure who would have to put up the notification, it is better to check with the retailer before purchase

Can I take masks back from an overseas trip?
This is a tricky one. It may not be possible to declare before you make the purchase unless you know specifically the place and item you would purchase. It is best to clarify this with HSA. You can contact them here

In any case, if you exceed the value of GST relief, you have to declare your purchases regardless if it is mask or otherwise. It is a tax on GOODS imported and NOT on masks.

GST Relief as follows
Time spend away from Singapore ( 48 hours or more) - Value of Goods Granted relief $500
Time spend away from Singapore ( Less than 48 hours) - Value of Goods Granted relief $100

Can I still sell masks?
Yes, if you notify the right way. However, if you would import and sell for 500% profit, you are no better than a scammer!

In a nutshell

  1. This is NOT a restriction on Mask imports
  2. You can still import masks, just have to notify when you are doing it. 
  3. No GST charge on masks import if CIF Value ( Cost, Insurance and Freight) falls below $400  (Refer to guidelines here)
  4. No Limits are indicated on HSA notification 


For full details and procedures, do head to HSA website for verification.

Related Post

Beware of fake mask website





Fake Surgical Mask: Have I been Scam?





2 comments:

  1. Misleading article. Thermometers and face masks were subject to more strict regulations before this. For example, thermometer needed a review of safety data and HSA licenses with good distribution practice certification. Now they have lowered the regulatory requirement by allowing import by only notification. Please correct this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The source is quoted. The report is base on the current announcement. I did not speculate nor comment on what happened in the past. How is this misleading? Please clarify which part is misleading and we would gladly change it if it is verified.

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