Importer fined $5,500 for illegal import of fresh vegetables and processed food

An importer has been fined a total of $5,500 for illegally importing fresh vegetables and processed food.

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said in a statement on Wednesday (Sep 2) that in September 2019, its officers detected about 64kg of undeclared and under-declared fresh vegetables from Malaysia by TCM Fruits & Vegetables Pte Ltd.

They also found about 57kg of under-declared processed food in the consignments imported by the same importer.

All the illegal consignments were seized.

In Singapore, food imports must meet SFA's requirements, the agency said.

"Food can only be imported by licensed importers, and every consignment must be declared and accompanied with a valid import permit.

"Illegally imported vegetables are 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 that have been subjected to pesticide abuse could lead to adverse health effects."

Offenders who illegally import fresh fruits and vegetables face a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to three years' jail.

Offenders who illegally import processed food face a fine of up to $1,000, and in the case of a subsequent conviction, a fine of up to $2,000.