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SFA and ICA joint operation seizes 160kg of illegally imported food

Singapore authorities, in a joint operation, confiscated 160kg of illicitly imported vegetables and fruit. Emphasizing food safety, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) stresses strict regulations and penalties for illegal imports.

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(Photo: SFA)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) conducted a joint operation on 19 and 20 January, resulting in the seizure of approximately 160kg of illegally imported vegetables, fruit, and processed food from Malaysia.

SFA illegal

(Photo: SFA)

The focus of the operation was on delivery trucks, commonly used for transporting produce and food items directly to retailers and customers.

During the operation, one truck was intercepted at Woodlands Checkpoint, revealing undisclosed and under-declared items such as spring onions, cabbage, bean curd, and peeled garlic.

The truck was driven by two men believed to be the importers.

SFA promptly confiscated all unlawfully imported produce and processed food, initiating further investigations into the matter.

In a related incident involving the illegal importation of food, on 20 December 2023, Teh Kiap Kang, the sole proprietor of Viet-Sin Grocery, faced legal consequences.

He was fined S$36,000 (US$26,840) for various charges, including operating two unlicensed cold stores and engaging in the unlawful importation of meat and seafood products.

This underscores the authorities’ commitment to curbing illegal food-related activities and ensuring the safety and legality of imported goods.

SFA stresses stringent measures against illegal food imports

Singapore Food Agency (SFA) emphasized that food imports into Singapore must adhere to the agency’s requirements.

The statement highlights the potential food safety risks associated with illegally imported produce and food products from unknown sources.

According to the SFA, only licensed importers are authorized to bring in food, and each consignment must be declared and accompanied by a valid import permit.

This stringent process is in place to ensure the traceability and safety of food products entering the country.

The statement further outlines the legal consequences for offenders engaged in the illegal importation of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Such individuals may face fines of up to $10,000 (US$7,455), a jail term of up to three years, or both.

Additionally, those convicted of illegally importing processed vegetables or food may be subject to fines of up to $1,000 (US$745), with repeat offenders facing penalties of up to $2,000 (US$1,491).

The SFA affirms its commitment to safeguarding food safety through an integrated food safety system, which includes strict import regulations and enforcement.

The agency also emphasizes its collaboration with border control agencies to deter and prevent illegal imports across Singapore’s borders.

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