For years, the Merlion Symbol formed the Corporate Logo for what-was-then the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board (STPB). A new corporate logo was subsequently developed with the renaming of STPB to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in 1997. However, the Merlion Symbol continues to be a symbol protected under Section 24 of the Singapore Tourism Board Act (Chapter 305B). The Merlion Symbol has also become well-known through its wide usage and has come to be identified with Singapore.
Use of Merlion Symbol
STB promotes the use of the Merlion Symbol as a symbol of Singapore appearing in works incorporating the Merlion Symbol or a symbol or representation resembling it (e.g. commercial products, etc.). Any individual, organisation or company ("User") may apply to STB for permission to use the Merlion Symbol or a symbol or representation resembling it. For viewing Merlion photographs and images, please visit Singapore Content Platform.
For the avoidance of doubt, STB administers the statutory protection of the Merlion Symbol under Section 24 Singapore Tourism Board Act. Except where commissioned by STB, STB does not own any copyright in works which are variations of the Merlion Symbol, and does not own copyright in any work which incorporates such variations. Further, users shall be solely responsible to obtain any other approvals, permissions and licences as may be required under law, e.g. Copyright Act (Chapter 63).
Criteria for permission to use Merlion Symbol
STB grants any User permission for use of the Merlion Symbol subject to the Conditions of Use of Merlion Symbol set out below and without the need for any application in the following uses:
- Any product intended for use primarily as a souvenir, i.e. key chains, cup coasters, letter openers, paperweights, refrigerator magnets, bookmarks and similar commercial products do not require application; or
- Any photograph or film intended for use in a manner that does not represent or cause perception of association with, endorsement by or promotion of any commercial product or event, i.e. photography with the Merlion statue for a family album does not require application.
This grant of permission may, in writing, be withdrawn or modified, whether by imposition of further conditions or otherwise, at the sole discretion of STB. Please check these conditions regularly for the latest updates.
STB is unlikely to grant permission for use of the Merlion Symbol in the following situations:
- Any application for exclusive use of the Merlion Symbol or of a particular symbol or representation resembling it.
- Any application that seeks to use the Merlion Symbol or a symbol or representation resembling it for the purpose of a trademark or as part of a logo (e.g. in the letterhead of the business), or use the Merlion Symbol in a manner that may cause the Merlion Symbol to be confused or associated with the applicant rather than STB or Singapore. Please note that STB has various trademark protections over the Merlion Symbol and the word “Merlion”.
- Any application that seeks to use the Merlion Symbol or a symbol or representation resembling it with other National Symbols (e.g. the Lion Head Symbol, Singapore Flag etc.), unless the application is supported by prior approval from the National Heritage Board.
- Any application that seeks to use the Merlion Symbol in relation to any fresh food, medical product or any other product for which there may be substantial potential risk to consumers.
- Any application for use that may breach any of the Conditions of Use of Merlion Symbol set out below.
Conditions of Use of Merlion Symbol
Any grant of permission by STB to a User for use of the Merlion Symbol or a symbol or representation resembling it as incorporated into any work ("the Approved Symbol") is subject to the Conditions of Use set out below:
- The User shall ensure that the Approved Symbol is used only for the purpose and manner for which permission has been granted.
- The User shall ensure that the Approved Symbol is used in good taste. Any question as to whether a use is in good taste shall be referred by the User to STB, and shall be decided at the sole discretion of STB.
- The User shall ensure that the Approved Symbol is reproduced in full in the identical form for which permission has been granted.
- The User shall ensure that the Approved Symbol is not joined with, blocked by or superimposed with words, graphics or similar objects for which no permission has been granted.
- The User shall ensure that the Approved Symbol is not used in a manner that represents or is perceived as association with, endorsement by or promotion by STB or Singapore in respect of any commercial product or event unless otherwise agreed in writing.
- The User shall ensure that the Approved Symbol is not used in a manner that represents or is perceived as association with, endorsement by or in promotion of activities which are illegal or likely to bring into disrepute or otherwise reduce or diminish the goodwill, reputation, image or prestige of STB or Singapore.
- Where the User contravenes any of these Conditions of Use, permission of STB is deemed to be withdrawn for the purposes of Section 24 Singapore Tourism Board Act and any further use of the Approved Symbol shall cease until STB is notified and its written permission, if any, is given.
How to apply for use of Merlion Symbol
- You may make an Application for Use of Merlion Symbol ("Application") by downloading and completing the form found here. You should then submit all of the following online by uploading them via the online submission form in jpg or pdf format up to a total of 5MB:
- The completed Application;
- A copy of the latest extract of your business, or the equivalent documentation for businesses registered outside of Singapore, from the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (“ACRA”) at www.bizfile.gov.sg; and
- A full-colour artwork, visual or product prototype of the product/design. In event of unsatisfactory artwork, visual or product prototype, you may need to revise your application and submit it again for reconsideration.
- If any of the items (a), (b) and (c) cannot be uploaded for any reason, you may submit them (with any available reference number of your Application), by post to the following address:
Singapore Tourism Board
1 Orchard Spring Lane
Attn: Ms Jo Chan
You will be informed by email on the outcome of your application. Processing time requires at least 1 – 2 weeks even if your application is in order. In the event you wish to appeal against an unsuccessful application, please email Evan_Koh@stb.gov.sg.
- For more clarification on the Application for Use of Merlion Symbol, please email Jo_Chan@stb.gov.sg.
Please record the reference number provided after the upload and cite the reference number in any correspondence with STB relating to the Application.
Other Information – The Lion Head Symbol and other National Symbols
Users and members of public often mistake the Merlion Symbol for the Lion Head Symbol (depicted above). The Lion Head Symbol is a distinctive and easily recognisable National Symbol of Singapore (usually on National Day banners) and is administered by the National Heritage Board (“NHB”). On the use of the Lion Head Symbol, you may find more information here.
If you intend to use the Lion Head Symbol, please email the National Heritage Board atNHB_Nationalsymbols@nhb.gov.sg to seek approval directly from NHB. However, if you intend to use the Merlion Symbol together with the Lion Head Symbol or any other National Symbol, you must seek prior approval from NHB before STB will proceed to process the Application for Use of Merlion Symbol.
NHB also administers other National Symbols, namely the National Flag, National Anthem, National Coat of Arms and National Pledge. On the use of these other National Symbols, you may find more information here.
You may also find more information on the National Flower here.