Singapore Government Press Release
Media Relations Division, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts,
MITA Building, 140 Hill Street, 2nd Storey, Singapore 179369
Tel: 6837-9666

 

IMPORTATION AND SALE OF CHEWING GUM WITH THERAPEUTIC VALUE UNDER THE US-SINGAPORE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT

In response to media reports, the Singapore Ministry of Trade & Industry would like to issue the following release.

Under the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA), Singapore agreed to allow the importation of chewing gum with therapeutic value for sale and supply, and may subject such products to laws and regulations relating to health products. The provision is not intended to overturn the ban on chewing gum.

After negotiations over the USSFTA were substantively concluded in Nov 2002, Chief Negotiator Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh informed the media that gums with therapeutic value would be allowed for sale through prescription by doctors and dentists.

Subsequently, Wrigley applied for some of their products to be sold by pharmacists over the counter. Singapore considered this request and agreed that Orbit and Orbit White can be sold by pharmacists over the counter, subject to the condition that buyers� particulars are recorded. Orbit (containing calcium lactate and xylitol) is a dental hygiene product, while Orbit White (containing sodium hexametaphosphate) is a tooth whitening product. Other regulations applicable to medicinal products approved for sale by pharmacists over the counter would also apply to Orbit and Orbit White. In particular, the packaging and advertising for both products must pertain only to therapeutic, not recreational use, and must match the approved claims. Advertisements will require a permit from health regulatory authorities.

To prevent gum litter from becoming a serious problem again, Singapore will be introducing stiffer penalties for littering involving the indiscriminate disposal of used gum.

 

MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY

12 JULY 2003