Import procedures in Singapore are very liberal. Most goods can enter the Singaporean territory without any restriction. Only a few products, such as chewing gum and weapons are banned. There is a license system required for about 6% of the total amount of imports and concerns fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, meat, animals, medicines, broadcasting products (automatic licenses) and also some sensitive products likely to represent a risk for health or the State (non automatic licenses). These licenses are generally issued by the International Enterprise Singapore
. Some other institutions may be involved such as the Ministry of Health.
The marketing is carried out mainly by salesmen, trade companies and distributors agents.
Singapore may represent a front door for commercial deals with ASEAN countries (Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Burma, the Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam) but is characterised by a high standard of living and a stiff competition between the local companies.
Industrial standardisation is managed by the Institute of technical standards and industrial research (SPRING) that depends of the Parliament. This institute issues national certificates such as the SS ISO 9000. Other authorised institutes are The Public Utilities Board (PUB) for technical and electric products, the Ministry of the Environment for food and drinks and the Department of primary products for fish, meat, fruits and vegetables.
Singapore is member of the International Organization of Standardisation (ISO) and the international electrotechnics Committee (IEC) and adheres to the technical standards of the GATT.