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Around 1.1 Tonnes of Illegally Imported Vegetables and Fruits Seized Following Joint Operations by SFA and ICA

            The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has seized around 1.1 tonnes of vegetables and fruits illegally imported from Malaysia.

2.          On 14 and 15 November 2023, SFA and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) conducted a joint operation targeting delivery trucks which typically transport fresh and processed vegetables and fruits intended for direct distribution to retailers and customers. ICA officers at Woodlands Checkpoint noticed discrepancies in the consignment transported by two trucks and referred the trucks to SFA for further checks.

3.          SFA found approximately 1.1 tonnes of undeclared and under-declared produce such as bayam, kailan, caixin, mango, pineapple, xiao baicai, Japanese cucumber and brinjal imported by two importers. All illegally imported vegetables and fruits were seized.

4.          SFA is following up with further investigations and will not hesitate to take enforcement action.


Truck drivers unloaded the imports for inspection (Photo: SFA)


Illegal imports were seized (Photos: SFA)

5.          In Singapore, food imports must meet SFA’s requirements. Fruits and vegetables can only be imported by licensed importers, and every consignment must be declared and accompanied with a valid import permit. Illegally imported produce is of unknown sources and can pose a food safety risk (e.g. if unregulated or high level of pesticides are used). The long-term ingestion of excessive pesticide residues through the consumption of vegetables and fruits that have been subjected to pesticide abuse could lead to adverse health effects.

6.          Offenders who illegally import fresh fruits and vegetables shall be liable on conviction to a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years. Offenders who illegally import processed fruits and vegetables shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 and in the case of a subsequent conviction, to a fine not exceeding $2,000.

7.          Safeguarding Singapore’s borders remains a top priority for ICA. ICA will continue to conduct security checks to detect and deter illegal importation attempts so as to keep Singapore safe. SFA will continue to safeguard food safety through our integrated food safety system, which includes strict import regulations and enforcement, and work closely with border control agencies to deter illegal import across our borders.

28 NOVEMBER 2023