Do table-to-table tissue packet sellers at food centres pay licensing fees to NEA?

No, they do not have to pay any licence fee to NEA. Under the Street Hawking Scheme, a licence is given to hawkers who sell their goods at fixed locations...


Coffeeshop mock

No, they do not have to pay any licence fee to NEA.

Under the Street Hawking Scheme, a licence is given to hawkers who sell their goods at fixed locations in public spaces without paying any rent. Hence, activities such as peddling illegal goods or soliciting donations illegally would be considered as illegal hawking.

For more information, NEA has also posted a clarification on their website:

A very small number Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, who had met stringent eligibility criteria, had been given street hawking licences under the Street Hawking Scheme. They sell specific approved items, such as newspapers, lottery tickets, ice-cream, nuts, crackers, canned drinks, costume jewellery, phone cards, toiletries, and tissue paper; and are required to display their licences when conducting their businesses. They are also required to peddle their wares at fixed locations in public places, with the support of Town Councils, which decide on the designated locations in order to ensure that street hawking activities do not adversely affect residents, businesses and other stakeholders in the vicinity. Since the Scheme’s introduction 14 years ago, the annual licence fee has remained unchanged at $120 a year (or $10 a month).

Street hawking may not always be the best solution for someone trying to make a living. In the long run, such persons could be better off picking up new skills through the various government-funded training programmes and seeking employment, or getting a proper stall in a hawker centre or other retail premises to secure a more stable repeat clientele. Any Singaporean who wishes to embark on hawking may rent a hawker stall from NEA. There are monthly tender exercises, and the lowest successful bids have been as low as $1 in some centres.

Local illegal hawkers in genuine financial difficulties are referred to social service agencies, Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) and self-help groups. They can approach Workforce Singapore (WSG) Career Centres located island-wide for career and training advice and services to enhance their job search skills and employability. NEA also provides assistance with the stall application process if they wish to bid for a hawker stall.

This article is accurate as of Apr 2014.


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