SINGAPORE: A 35-year-old woman was fined S$16,000 on Wednesday (May 15) for importing thousands of unregistered pregnancy and ovulation test kits to sell on online marketplace Qoo10.
Chinese national Pan Feng pleaded guilty to two charges under the Health Products Act, with another six taken into consideration.
The court heard that Pan, who is a Singapore permanent resident and a housewife, was returning to Singapore in March 2016 when she was stopped for checks by Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers.
The officers at Changi Airport Terminal 1 searched two of her luggage bags and found 8,201 “David Ovulation Test” kits and 7,400 “David Pregnancy Test” kits.
When questioned, Pan admitted that she had imported the kits from China and intended to sell them.
She would sell the kits on the Qoo10 website for 35 cents per pregnancy kit and 40 cents per ovulation kit.
She admitted that she began importing the test kits for sale when she realised that they were in demand, said the Health Sciences Authority’s (HSA’s) prosecuting counsel Sangeeta Kumar.
Pan had been selling the kits for about two years on the Qoo10 website or on WhatsApp.
She took a profit of about 20 cents for each ovulation and pregnancy test kit sold, earning an average of S$2,000 per month in online sales.
The kits were seized by ICA officers and the matter referred to HSA’s Enforcement Branch for investigation.
HSA classified the products as Class B medical devices, which need to be registered. On top of this, an importer’s licence is required for a person to import them into Singapore.
Pan did neither of these. Her defence lawyer told the court that her client had sold the kits as many kits are similarly sold on Qoo10.
She added that from the time Pan was taken to court, HSA had not taken action against any of the other sellers.
However, District Judge Jasbendar Kaur pointed out the sheer number of kits Pan had imported.
HSA’s prosecutor said its licensing scheme only lets dealers import such medical devices if they comply with basic quality system requirements.
“For devices that have not been registered with HSA, their safety and performance have not been ascertained,” said Ms Sangeeta.
“Unregistered test kits may not comply with applicable product standards and may prove to be defective. Pregnancy test kits and ovulation test kits that are not able to perform accurately may end up generating an unacceptable number of false negative or positive results.”
She added that false negative ovulation test results may create unnecessary anxiety in users and reduce the chances of successful conception when users miss the opportunity for egg fertilisation.
False negative pregnancy results could result in a patient being prescribed drugs or being made to undergo procedures that may end up harming the foetus.