Photo by Shivendu Shukla on Unsplash

Gov't requires all firms hiring foreign construction workers to register under CRS

Amongst the requirements to register is a minimum paid-up capital of $50,000.

The Ministry of Transport will introduce changes to the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Contractors Registration System (CRS) to better prepare the construction industry for future transformation.

In a speech at the Parliament,  Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said the CRS will shift from being a public sector registry to a nationwide registry of construction firms.

“We will now require all firms hiring foreign construction workers to be registered under CRS,” Lee said, adding that the CRS will become the sole gateway for construction firms to access foreign construction workers.

Apart from CRS, Singapore has two other gateways BCA’s Builders Licensing Scheme (BLS) and the Singapore Contractors Association-managed Singapore List of Trade Subcontractors (SLOTS).

“Today, the entry requirements to CRS, BLS, and SLOTS are uneven. This means that some firms may find it easier to access foreign construction workers under certain gateways,” Lee said.

“Now, while we recognise the need for foreign construction workers in the sector, the firms that are allowed to hire them should meet the same minimum standards. This should apply equally to firms, regardless of whether they undertake public or private sector projects,” Lee added.

To mitigate the impact of the change on firms and construction projects, Lee said the government will adjust the CSR entry requirements to “keep pace with current tender prices and construction costs.”

“To be registered, we will require a firm to have a minimum paid-up capital of fifty thousand dollars and a track record of three hundred thousand dollars in total over the past three years, or about one hundred thousand dollars per year on average,” Lee said.

“We will give our firms time to meet these new requirements. BCA will announce further details of the changes, including the implementation timeline, later this year,” Lee added. 

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