SPRING Singapore is currently seeking feedback on proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection (Safety Requirements) Regulations (CPSR) and the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board (Conformity Assessment) Regulations (SPIBR).

The current public consultation covers the following proposed changes:

  • Amendments to the CPSR to broaden the scope of Controlled Goods;
  • Amendments to the CPSR to reduce the number of categories of Controlled Goods;
  • Adoption of a tiered-risk conformity assessment framework in the CPSR; and
  • Amendments to the SPIBR to accept Certificates of Conformity from Conformity Assessment Bodies in the EU.

Under the CPSR, 45 categories of household goods and appliances have to meet specific safety standards and obtain a safety mark from SPRING before they can be sold in Singapore. These are known as Controlled Goods under the CPSR.

The three proposed amendments to the CPSR aim to ensure that the regulations account for new products and technologies in the market.

  • Broadening the scope of Controlled Goods

The scope of Controlled Goods regulated under the CPSR will be broadened to cover new products. For example, the existing product category ‘hair dryer’ will be reclassified to ‘hair care appliances’, to include hair straighteners, stylers, and curlers.

  • Reducing the number of categories of Controlled Goods

The number of categories of Controlled Goods will be reduced from 45 to 33, as SPRING proposes to remove obsolete products and streamline product categories. For example, obsolete product categories such as "videocassette recorder (VCR)" will be removed, while product categories such as "audio product", "laser disc set" and "television or video display unit" will be reclassified as "audio and video products".

  • Tiered-risk conformity assessment framework

SPRING Singapore has proposed a tiered-risk conformity assessment framework. The risk level (remote, low, medium, or high) will be used to determine the conformity assessment for each product category of Controlled Goods.

In particular, the proposed amendments will enable suppliers to issue a Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity for low-risk Controlled Goods. Unlike the current uniform conformity assessment framework, the new tiered-risk framework will allow low-risk Controlled Goods to reach the market more quickly, and can result in savings in certification costs for low-risk Controlled Goods.

  • Amendments to the SPIBR to accept Certificates of Conformity from Conformity Assessment Bodies in the EU

The main proposed amendment to the SPIBR is to allow Certificates of Conformity, issued by a SPRING-designated Conformity Assessment Body (CAB), located in countries that are parties to the European Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA), to be accepted for registration of Controlled Goods. This would give local suppliers importing products from EU more flexibility in choosing CABs to test their products.

The four-week long consultation will end on 14 September 2017. Going forward, it will be interesting to see if the current scope and categories of Controlled Goods remains unchanged thereafter. In the meantime, business owners would be prudent to ensure that they are cognisant of the proposed changes to the CPSR and the requisite safety standards that apply to Controlled Goods.