Back in September 2019, the Ministry of Public Health issued a notification to reclassify alcohol-based hand sanitizers with an alcohol concentration of 70% or greater as medical devices whose detailed descriptions must be notified to the authority (“September Notification”).

Due to the spread of COVID-19 and the public’s concerns that there will be a shortage of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, the Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Public Health (“FDA”), has just released a notification repealing the September Notification with effect on 11 March 2020. This new notification will revert the classification of alcohol-based hand sanitizers with an alcohol concentration of 70% or greater back to the category of a cosmetic product as before.

The above changes will enhance product circulation in the market as well as lightening importation process and thus increase products availability locally.

Additionally, to ensure only products of high standard and quality are available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers with an alcohol concentration of less than 70% are prohibited from being manufactured and imported.

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