Importer fined $7,500 for illegal import of processed food products from Indonesia

An importer has been fined $7,500 for illegally importing processed food products.

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said in a statement that on Jun 25, 2020, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at the Jurong Scanning Station detected anomalies in the scanned images of a 20-foot container from Indonesia, imported by Arklife Distributors.

After conducting further checks, the officers found 15 pallets of illegally imported processed food products.

The case was referred to the SFA for subsequent investigation.

SFA found more than three tonnes of illegally imported processed food products such as instant noodles, biscuits, beverages and various food seasonings.

The illegal consignments were seized.

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

"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 poses food safety risk."

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

SFA added that the method of concealment involved in this case is a cause for concern as similar methods may be used by people with ill intent to smuggle security items into Singapore.

"ICA will continue to conduct security checks on passengers, goods and vehicles so as to safeguard Singapore’s security, and work closely with SFA to deter illegal food imports across our borders," the statment said.

"SFA will also continue to safeguard food safety through our integrated food safety system, which includes strict import regulations and enforcement."