$500 fee to import a $10 medical device?

Posted by on April 23, 2012

~ By Leong Sze Hian ~

I refer to the article “Has HSA bitten off more than it can chew?” (Sunday Times, Apr 15).

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) recently also introduced a $500 fee for the import of medical devices. The $500 fee applies on a per shipment basis, regardless of the value of the medical devices imported.

For example, a medical device sample valued at $10 or a million-dollar value shipment, would attract the same $500 fee. This increases the cost of doing business, particularly for smaller companies.

Ultimately, the additional costs may be passed on to consumers. This may also dampen the growth of the medical devices sector, and discourage smaller entrepreneurs from entering this industry. Some smaller traders may even have to leave the business altogether.

I understand that no other country in ASEAN imposes such a high fee. How much will the HSA collect in such fees in a year? Finally, why is the fee imposed even for goods that are meant for re-export from Singapore, since there is no need to monitor or control such re-exports?

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.