Licenses are something of an occupational hazard in this profession. There isn’t a country on earth that’ll let people conduct research with dangerous materials without keeping an eye on them. That means licensing.
In Singapore, a standard repertoire of licenses can include the following:
- Hazardous materials
- Explosive precursors
- Ionizing equipment
- Flammable materials
- Duty exemption on ethanol (avoiding the alcohol tax)
And just to make your life that bit more exciting, this can run into sub-licenses, such as separate ones for ordering and for holding and for using a given substance.
There really is no way around this. The only advice I can give is to make sure all things are in order when you submit your paperwork, and then to stay on the case of the issuing authority, calling them daily if necessary. However, one needs to remain polite, especially if the issuing authority is the army or police force (as it is in Singapore).