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SCCCI monitoring compliance costs weighing on Singapore SMEs

THE Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI) on Monday highlighted instances of compliance costs from regulatory requirements that are weighing on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

"The effects of economic restructuring are still being felt in all areas of the economy; in particular local SMEs are feeling the brunt as they continue to cope with increasing manpower and rental costs," it said in a media statement.

"On top of these major cost items, compliance costs arising from regulatory requirements add to the existing high business costs."

The SCCCI said it continues to monitor such compliance costs, and recently organised briefing sessions for its trade association members and businesses affected by changes in government regulations.

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On Nov 13, the Ministry of Health spoke with SCCCI's trade association members and tobacco retailers on the proposed guidelines to ban the display of tobacco products at sales counters by the end of 2016.

"The display ban is aimed at protecting non-smokers from the advertising and promotion effect of point-of-sale display. However, the display ban would incur additional compliance costs for SMEs, and give rise to practical implementation issues on the ground," SCCCI said in a media statement.

Separately, on Nov 21, SCCCI members were in dialogue with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) over SCDF's move to stop issuing temporary permits for the placement of freezer and storage containers at private, HDB and JTC factories since Nov 1, 2014, to prevent fires.

"Businesses in the F&B sector expressed anxieties about this decision, as they typically require additional cold storage space during the festive period. At the session, SCDF shared the available options that affected businesses could adopt to meet their business needs, without compromising on fire safety."