The Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed its intention to table the Health Information Bill (Bill) in the second half of 2023. Through the Bill, the MOH seeks to enable the collection of patients’ selected health data from healthcare providers and to allow healthcare providers to share patient information with one another in a safe and secure manner.
Following the implementation of the Healthcare Services Act in phases since January 2020, the Ministry of Health announced the first and second reading of the Healthcare Services (Amendment) Bill (Bill) on 6 February 2023 and 6 March 2023 respectively. If passed, most of the amendments as set out in the Bill will be implemented together with the second phase of implementation of the Healthcare Services Act in mid-2023.
The Carbon Pricing (Amendment) Act 2022 (“Act”), which came into force on 7 March 2023 and amends the Carbon Pricing Act 2018, seeks to advance Singapore’s transition towards net-zero.
The Act aims to encourage emitters of greenhouse gases to proactively reduce emissions by:
(a) progressively increasing carbon tax rates;
(b) introducing an industry transition framework to provide transitory allowances to companies in Emissions-Intensive Trade-Exposed sectors;
(c) setting up an International Carbon Credits framework; and
(d) revising the list of greenhouse gases and their Global Warming Potential Values.
On 31 May 2021, the Personal Data Protection Commission received a complaint that RedMart Limited was collecting images of the physical National Registration Identity Card and other identification documents of suppliers making deliveries to its warehouses.
From 31 January 2023, the Info-Communications Media Development Authority implemented the full SSIR regime. All organizations that use short message service (SMS) with sender identification are required to register their Sender IDs with the Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry. Non-registered SMSes have been labelled as “Likely-SCAM” and will be blocked from later this year. Organizations are encouraged to register their Sender IDs if they have not done so.
On 20 February 2023, the Health Sciences Authority announced that it had seized over 737,000 units of illegal health products worth SGD 640,000 in 2022 through enforcement raids and covert purchases. Illegal health products include unregistered or counterfeit health products, as well as products with potent medicinal ingredients and/or banned substances illegally added to them.
From end-2023, freshly prepared beverages with high sugar and saturated fat content will be required to display ‘Nutri-Grade’ labels. The ‘Nutri-Grade’ labelling requirements that presently apply to retail settings will also be extended to apply to non-retail settings such as workplaces, schools and healthcare institutions.
On 13 February 2023, the Singapore Food Agency published a media release in relation to a licensed food importer’s failure to arrange for the inspection, examination and certification of its imported food consignments. The food importer proceeded to sell the imported food consignments prior to the inspections and was fined SGD 13,500 by the court.
The Environmental Public Health Amendment Bill, introduced in Parliament on 9 January 2023, has proposed revisions to the cleaning business license regulatory framework in a bid to drive capabilities and raise public health standards of cleaning businesses. The existing framework, which was introduced in September 2014, only provides for one type of cleaning business license. However, the revised framework, which is intended to come into force from 1 January 2024, will provide for three different classes of cleaning business licenses.
The Electric Vehicles Charging Act 2022 that seeks to regulate the provision of safe and reliable charging of Electric Vehicles and the expansion of the EV charging infrastructure in Singapore was passed by Parliament in January 2023. The Act is expected to take effect in the second half of 2023. Notably, the Act sets out a licensing regime for EV charging operators and also prescribes certification requirements that all EV chargers would have to meet before the chargers can be installed and used in Singapore.