Chemical Safety

Hazardous Substances

Hazardous substances controlled by NEA have mass-disaster potential, are highly toxic and pollutive, and/or generate toxic wastes that are difficult to dispose. The agency controls environmentally hazardous chemicals under The Environmental Protection and Management Act (EPMA), The Environmental Protection and Management (Hazardous Substances) Regulations and the Environmental Protection and Management (Ozone Depleting Substances) Regulations.

The list of controlled substances is available here. The list of HS Codes and Product Codes assigned to NEA's controlled hazardous substances are sorted in alphabetical (chemical names) order. 

Hazardous substance requirements

Any person who wishes to import, sell or export, any hazardous substance controlled under the EPMA must obtain a Hazardous Substances Licence.

Any person who wishes to transport any hazardous substance in quantities exceeding those specified in The Environmental Protection and Management (Hazardous Substances) Regulations must possess a valid Hazardous Substances Licence before applying for transport approval. The requirements for the transport approval are available here.

Applications for Hazardous Substances Licences and Permits can be submitted online. Please review the guidance notes when filling out the applications.

Enhanced Control of Batteries (including button cell)

Batteries (including button cell) containing mercury that exceed the stipulated limit of 0.0005% (5ppm) by weight per cell are not allowed to be manufactured, imported or exported after 31 March 2018. However, existing stock of such batteries manufactured or imported prior to 31 March 2018 will be allowed for sale until the stock is depleted. 

A template of the declaration letter to be submitted can be found here.

Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE)

6 Restricted Hazardous Substances (HS)Allowable Concentration LimitsControlled EEE
Lead (Pb)Maximum 1,000ppm (0.1% by weight)

Currently, the types of EEE identified for control are:

  • mobile phones,
  • portable computers,
  • refrigerators,
  • air conditioners,
  • panel TVs and
washing machines

Mercury (Hg)
Hexavalent Chromium (Cr VI)
Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBBs)
 Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers(PBDEs)
 Cadmium (Cd) Maximum 100ppm (0.01%  by weight)

These controls are implemented at the import stage. Controlled EEE which exceed the allowable concentration limits for the 6 HS, are not allowed to be imported for local use and distribution after 1 June 2017. However, existing stocks of the controlled EEE imported prior to 1 June 2017, will be allowed for sale until these stocks are depleted.

For more information, please refer to the FAQ on the implementation of RoHs in the controlled EEE. A template of the declaration letter to be submitted can be found here.  

Control of Mercury Added Products

With effect from 1 Jan 2020, the manufacture, import and export of the certain mercury-added products will not be allowed. More information about the control of mercury-added products can be found in the circular here.

Additional information

NEA regulates and controls hazardous substances, which excludes genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not part of the hazardous substances controlled by NEA. Any person who wishes to import and handle GMOs should consult the Genetic Modification Advisory Committee (GMAC).

More information on GMAC can be viewed here.