160kg of illegally imported vegetables, fruits and processed food from Malaysia seized by SFA

About 160kg of vegetables, fruits, and processed food illegally imported from Malaysia was seized by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).

The SFA and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said they conducted a joint operation on Jan 19 and 20, targeting delivery trucks that typically transport produce and food products intended for direct distribution to retailers and customers.

ICA officers at Woodlands Checkpoint noticed discrepancies in the consignment transported by a truck and referred it to SFA for further checks.

SFA found undeclared and under-declared produce such as spring onion, cabbage, bean curd, and peeled garlic imported by two importers in the truck.

All illegally imported produce and processed food were seized.

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

In Singapore, food imports must meet SFA’s requirements.

"Illegally imported produce and food products of unknown sources can pose a food safety risk," the SFA said in a joint statement with ICA.

"Food can only be imported by licensed importers, and every consignment must be declared and accompanied with a valid import permit. Illegally imported food products are of unknown sources and pose a food safety risk."

Offenders who illegally import fresh fruits and vegetables may be fined up to $10,000, jailed up to three years, or both.

Those convicted of illegally importing processed vegetables or food can be fined up to $1,000. Repeat offenders can be fined up to $2,000.

The statement said: "Safeguarding Singapore’s borders remains a top priority for ICA.

"ICA will continue to conduct security checks to detect and deter illegal importation attempts 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."