Who We Are

1. Mission / Vision

To ensure national biosafety and biosecurity are safe-guarded, with minimum hindrance to the development and growth of bio-industries in Singapore.

2. Organizational Chart

Org Chart Sept 2014

3. Brief History

The Biosafety Branch was established in 2005 to account for all biosafety matters in a sustainable and organized manner. It aims to promote high standards of biosafety in the research and biomedical community, establish the framework and guidelines for biosafety training, promote links with the international biosafety community and prevent bioterrorism by controlling the use of high-risk biological agents. It is strategically set up under the Operations Group as it works closely with the Communicable Diseases Division and Preparedness & Response Division to facilitate implementation of containment measures in the event of laboratory accidents of public health significance.

The Biosafety Branch is responsible for administering the Biological Agents and Toxins Act (BATA), which came into force on 3 January 2006. The Biosafety Branch also serves as the secretariat for the National Biosafety Committee, and the three Technical Working Committees, namely, Select Agents List, Biosafety Training and Biosafety Standards.

4. Roles & Functions

  1. Administer and enforce the Biological Agents and Toxins Act which regulates laboratory facilities, possession, import, transhipment, transfer and transport of scheduled biological agents and toxins through:
    1. Carrying out the necessary audits/inspections and enforcements as required by the Act and its supplementary legislation;
    2. Maintaining the national inventory of high-risk biological agents;
    3. Developing and updating the select agent lists, MOH-approved certification bodies and training providers;
    4. Processing and evaluating applications for use, possession, import, and transhipment of the scheduled agents;
    5. Coordinating containment measures and investigating laboratory accidents of public health significance with the assistance of other branches of Operations Group.
  2. Represent the Ministry of Health as the National Authority (NA) for Biological Agents and Toxins, in which, the responsibilities include:
    1. Reviewing legislations under the charge of NA from a security perspective;
    2. Making recommendations and review of policy directions;
    3. Studying and implementing any policy review on the control of strategic goods;
    4. Reviewing the current security control measures required for new strategic goods including licensing requirements;
    5. Monitoring enforcement effort;
    6. Making recommendations to the Ministry of Environment for the revised Science guidelines for schools;
    7. Streamlining the accreditation process of high containment facility between Ministry of Health and other agency such as the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority.
  3. Promote biosafety awareness and nurture biosafety culture in Singapore through coordinating and monitoring training programmes in Singapore and the region, when appropriate.
  4. Act as a resource and coordination centre for all biosafety and biosecurity issues in Singapore.
  5. Provide secretariat support for the National Biosafety Committee, including appointed technical committees.
  6. Develop policies, procedures and guidelines for biosafety emergencies and response.
  7. Keep abreast with the latest biosafety and biosecurity development, and to review and update existing policies to ensure policies are always kept in line with the emerging biosafety and biosecurity trends.

5. Location

Biosafety Branch
King Edward VII Hall
12 College Road
Singapore 169852

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6. Contact Us

Mailing AddressBiosafety Branch
College of Medicine Building
16 College Road
Singapore 169854
Telephone no.+65 6325 9220
Fax no.+65 6325 4679
Internet Websitehttps://www.moh.gov.sg/biosafety