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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Sep 05, 2019 (Newsletter Issue 12/19)
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Tobacco Plain Packaging Law Published

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has introduced a subsidiary legislation to implement the new packaging and labeling requirements for all tobacco products in Singapore. The Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) (Appearance, Packaging and Labelling) Regulations 2019 were published July 1, 2019, (SP Regulations) and will come into operation 12 months from that date.

Thus, all tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, beedies, and other roll-your-own tobacco products sold in Singapore, must have standardized packaging and enlarged graphic health warnings (SP Measures) from July 1, 2020, onwards.

Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers may face a jail term of up to six months and/or a fine of up to SGD 10,000 (USD 7,235), should they fail to conform to the new law as first-time offenders. Repeat offenders will face heavier penalties.

SP Regulations and SP Measures mandate that logos, colors, images, and any promotional information associated with the brand are not allowed on the packaging. Product and brand names will instead be presented in a standardized font style and color. The minimum size of graphic health warnings (such as warnings about gum disease) on packaging will be increased from the current 50 percent to 75 percent of the packaging surface.

A three-month transition period will be provided from April 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020, to allow tobacco products that comply with either the current Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) (Labelling) Regulations 2012 or the SP Regulations to be imported into, or distributed, sold, offered for sale, or possessed for sale in Singapore. The transition period will help tobacco manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers to prepare for the full implementation of the SP Regulations from July 1, 2020, onward.

Source:; INTA Bulletin, August 15, 2019, Vol. 74, No. 14