1. General

Possession, in relation to the Biological Agents and Toxins Act (BATA), include activities such as owning, handling and using First, Second and Fifth Schedule biological agents and toxins.

Under the Biological Agents and Toxins Act, facilities who are interested to possess First, Second and Fifth biological agents and toxins must apply for an approval to possess from the Ministry of Health.

2. Scheduled Agents List

The List of Biological Agents and Toxins is available on the biosafety website. Please note that the list is non-exhaustive and will be updated from time to time.

3. Requirements

It is a pre-requisite that the facility must be registered with the Ministry of Health before they can apply for possession.

The table below gives a summary of the requirements which the facility has to satisfy prior to the application.

Schedule Requirements for Possession
Certified facility Protected Place Special Approval
to handle
First Schedule Part I Yes No No
First Schedule Part II Yes Yes No
Second Schedule Yes Yes Yes
Fifth Schedule No Yes No

However, under Section 6(3) of the Biological Agents and Toxins Act, an operator of an uncertified facility may be granted an approval to possess a First Schedule biological agent if the Director of Medical Services is satisfied that any activity involving the use of the First Schedule biological agent will be carried out at such facility in a safe and proper manner.

For more information on working with First Schedule biological agents in an uncertified facility, please contact MOH or proceed to the FAQs for more details.

4. Procedure

The facility must satisfy the pre-requisite below:

  • The facility has to be registered with the MOH.
  • Requirements for the particular schedule must be satisfied (e.g. protected place, certified facility or a special approval to handle)
  • You must have a CorpPass account.
  1. Login to the BiosIS using your CorpPass account.
  2. Go to e-services and select "Application to Possess for First-Time Use of Agent" and follow the instructions given on filling up the application and attach all the necessary documents
  3. The application will be routed to the Biosafety Branch once the "submit" button is clicked.

You can check the status of your application by logging into the BiosIS and checking under "My Application Status".

5. Fees

Currently, the Ministry of Health does not charge any fees for the application or processing of an application to possess First, Second and Fifth Schedule biological agents and toxins.

6. Processing Time

The processing time for an application to possess will depend on the accuracy of the data in the application and the completeness of the supporting documents which may be necessary for the application.

An application for possession may be approved within 2 working days provided that all the criteria and/or requirements for application for possession has been satisfied. The validity of an approval to possess will be tied to the validity of the registration of the facility. However, the Ministry of Health, at its discretion, may at any time, revoke the approval given.

7. Apply for Large Scale Production

Facilities who are interested in large scale production of First and Third Schedule biological agents should contact MOH prior to submitting an online application.

8. FAQ

The FAQs page of the biosafety website provide answers to commonly asked questions on biosafety.

Click here to go to the FAQ - Possession.