Import of Processed Food & Appliances
All imports of processed food and food appliances shall comply with prevailing requirements laid down under the Sale of Food Act and its Regulations.
Copies of the Sale of Food Act (SFA) and the Food Regulations and its subsequent amendments can be purchased from the Singapore National Printer Corporation Ltd at the 'my epb bookstore' at their Legal Publications Retail Outlet at 491 River Valley Road, #01-19/20 Valley Point, Singapore 248371, Tel: +65 6733 5794, Fax: +65 6733 3761.
Importers of processed food products and food appliances are also required to register with Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA), Food Control Division (FCD). Upon registration, an AVA (FCD) Registration Number would be allocated to the registered importers for declaration of import permits in the TradeNet System.
An import permit is required for every import consignment of processed food products or food appliances. Traders may apply for the import permits by declaring their imports through the TradeNet system. The system will then route the declaration to AVA (FCD) for processing. Upon approval, the import permit for the consignment is incorporated in the Cargo Clearance Permit printed at the trader’s terminal.
Registered importers shall declare their Registration Numbers, the respective HS Codes and Product Codes when applying for import permits through the TradeNet system. Otherwise their applications will be rejected by the system. Click here for a list of HS Codes together with the product codes.
From 1st April 2003, any company importing processed food who did not declare the Registration Number, HS Codes and Product Codes or declare it wrongly will have their permit applications rejected.
If the registered food importer is inactive for a year, the company will be deregistered and not allowed to import processed food unless the importer re-apply to register the company again.
Supporting Documents Required (During Imports)
Supporting documents such as health certificates, laboratory analytical reports may be required for specific food products when applying for import permits. When submitting the documents, please state the Unique Reference No (Cargo Clearance Permit Number) of the declaration & the AVA (FCD) Registration Number on the top right hand corner of each document.
All imported processed food products are subjected to inspection. Samples may be taken for laboratory analysis. In certain cases of the food items, special approval message will be posted on the import permits to require traders to contact AVA (FCD) at Tel: +65 6325 0783 to arrange for inspection.
Registration of Importers
Traders who import processed food products including food appliances are required to register with the Food Control Division (FCD) of Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA).
Processed food products refer to all food products except meat products and fish products, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables.
Any person who is registered under the Business Registration Act or is incorporated under the Companies Act is eligible to apply for this Registration. Applicant can either come personally or authorize in writing, a representative from his company or submit their application through mail or fax. Please submit your application to:
Food Control Division
Food & Veterinary Administration
Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority
5 Maxwell Road, #18-00 Tower Block, MND Complex
Fax: +65 6324 4563
Please also submit copies of the following documents for verification:
- Applicant's IC / Passport / Employment Pass;
- A copy of the "Instant Information Profile" printout from the Registry of Companies and Businesses;
- The completed Application Form For Inter-bank GIRO; and
- A copy of the Singapore Customs (SC)’s allocation letter of your company’s CR No.
Online Applications & Forms
Importers can register online at: http://www.ava.gov.sg/ under "Services" -> "Licenses, Permits, Certificates & Registration" or apply at AVA’s Food Control Division, MND Complex, Tower Block #18-00, 5 Maxwell Road, Singapore 069110.
The Registration is FREE. No fee is imposed
Applicants are however, required to open a GIRO account with AVA. This is necessary to facilitate the payment of import permit fee for the import of processed food and food appliances through the TradeNet system. The permit fees will be deducted through Inter-Bank GIRO. Please therefore, complete the GIRO Form attached and mail it to AVA (FCD).
Please note that as a pre-requisite to import permit declaration, the importer must be a Singapore registered company or business with the Registry of Companies & Businesses. The importer must then register with the Singapore Customs (SC). Importer can call SC at Tel: +65 6337 6620 for clarification on TradeNet or register with SC by logging in to TradeXchange with your SingPass to activate your Customs Account.
If you have any enquiry, please call the TradeNet Officer at Tel: +65 6325 0783 / +65 6221 5056.
It is the responsibility of the importers to ensure that the products imported by them complied with the Sale of Food Act and The Food Regulations. It is therefore, advisable that before importation, the importers initiate some quality control checks and due diligence checks on the products by sending their products to accredited laboratories for analysis.
Additional information on:
- Inspection of Imported Bottled Natural Mineral Water, Spring and Drinking Water
- Import Of Irradiated Food
- Import, Sale and Use of Artificial Sweetening Agent
- Import Of Soy Sauce & Oyster Sauce
Inspection of Imported Bottled Natural Mineral Water, Spring and Drinking Water
For import of bottled natural mineral water, spring water or drinking water, the importer is required to submit the original copy of the certification issued by the controlling authority from the country of origin. This document should certify that the natural mineral water, or spring water is genuine. It should also include the brand name, importer’s particulars and the source where the water is obtained. In addition, a site plan showing the natural mineral water, or spring water source is also required, or a site plan for the bottled drinking water factory with a copy of the factory licence issued by the controlling authority. These documents need to be submitted to AVA once and before commencement of import to avoid any unnecessary delay in the sale of the product.
Every batch of bottled water imported into Singapore is also be accompanied with a Health Certificate issued by the controlling authority of the country of origin and should be submitted by the importer during the application for import permit.
Import Of Irradiated Food
Irradiated food refers to food treated with ionizing radiation and the import of which requires a licence. The licence fee is S$95.00 per annum. Every consignment of irradiated food imported is required to be certified that the treatment is conducted in accordance with the CODEX Recommended International Code of Practices For the Operation of Radiation Facilities Used for Treatment of Foods and that the irradiated food meets the CODEX General Standards for Irradiated Foods.
Click here for the Irradiated Food Licence Application Form.
Import, Sale and Use of Artificial Sweetening Agent
Artificial Sweetening Agent is used for the purpose of sweetening food but does not include aspartame, any sugar, or other carbohydrate or polyhydric alcholos (eg, sorbitol, mannitol, isomalt, maltitol, lactitol and xylitol). Type of Artificial Sweeteners currently permitted for sale and used in food here are Saccharin, Potassium Salt or Acesulfame (Acesulfame-K) and Sucralose.
A valid Artificial Sweetening Agent licence is required for the importation, sale and use of such Artificial Sweeteners and its approval is subjected to the requirements under the Sale of Food Act & its Regulation. The licence is renewable annually with a fee of S$115.00.
Click here for criteria and labeling requirements.
Import Of Soy Sauce & Oyster Sauce
Soy sauces, oyster sauces and sauces containing soy or oyster sauce as an ingredient, must not be detected with more than 0.02 ppm of 3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol (3-MCPD).
Importers of these products are required to submit analytical reports to AVA (FCD) for consideration before importation. For details, you may contact AVA officer, Mr Wan Yeng Phui at Tel: +65 6325 0789 or our TradeNet duty officer at Tel: +65 6325 0783 / +65 6221 5056.
The requirements for 3-MCPD laboratory and analytical report are as follows:-
The 3-MCPD laboratory engaged for analyzing and testing of the product must be an accredited and independent laboratory. The method of analysis for 3-MCPD is GC/MS. It must have a detection limit of 0.01 ppm.
- Analytical Report
The report must indicate the following
- The Brand Name;
- Type and grade of sauce;
- Country of origin;
- Batch number/expiry date;
- Name and country of laboratory;
- Date of laboratory test;
- % dry matter;
- Level of 3-MCPD detected (fresh weight); &
- Detection limit: 0.01ppm/10ppb
3-MCPD (based on 40% dry matter) = 3-MCPD (fresh weight) X 40% dry matter
Currently, there are three local laboratories that conduct 3-MCPD analysis:
- Setsco Services Pte Ltd,18 Teban Gardens Crescent ,Singapore(608925) Tel: +65 6566 7777 Fax: +65 6566 7718
- ALS Technichem (S) Pte Ltd, 14 Little Road #07-01, Tropical Industrial Building Singapore(536987) Tel: +65 6283 9268 Fax: +65 6283 9689
- PSB Corporation Pte Ltd 1 Science Park Drive, Singapore(118221) Tel: +65 6778 7777 Fax: +65 6779 7088
Food Items Under Intensive Checks
The following items are currently subjected to intensive inspections upon importation, and the common types of laboratory test / requirements are tabulated for each type of food:-
|Type of Product||Type of Test / Requirements|
|1||Beancurd sheets, dried beancurd skins, beancurd sticks, beancurd slices, soya protein||Test for boric acid & sulphur dioxide|
|2||Porcelain, ceramic food wares||Test for lead, cadmium|
|3||Preserved vegetables (pickles)||Test for sulphur dioxide, sorbic acid, benzoic acid and artificial sweeteners|
|4||Flour/corn starch||Test for sulphur dioxide, aflatoxin, benzoic acid, potassium bromate|
|5||Kernel Nuts, cashew nuts, pistachio||Test for aflatoxin|
|6||Maize & corns||Test for aflatoxin|
|7||Food products from Eastern Europe||Test for Radiation|
|8||Mineral Water/Bottled Drinking Water||Microbiological Tests:
|9||Soy & Oyster Sauces||Test for 3-monochloropropane-1,2diol (3-MCPD)|
|10||Preserved Fruits||Test for artificial sweeteners, sulphur dioxide, benzoic Acid, sorbic acid, methyl or propylparahydroxy benzoate|
|11||Ready-To-Eat Foods||Microbiological Tests:
|12||Coconut milk, shelled coconut, grated coconut, desiccated coconut||Microbiological Tests:
|13||Infant Formula||Microbiological Tests:
|14||Brandy & Whisky||Certification Required: