SINGAPORE: An importer was fined a total of S$5,600 on Wednesday (Jul 29) after illegally importing food products and then disposing of some of them without authorisation.
Sunrise Vegetable was fined S$3,600 for illegally importing fresh fruit and vegetables and processed food from Malaysia last November, said the Singapore Food Agency in a news release.
It was also fined an additional S$2,000 for the "unauthorised disposal" of some of the food while sample testing results were pending, said the agency.
In November last year, SFA officers detected 299kg of undeclared and under-declared fresh fruit and vegetables and 96.2kg of undeclared processed food in consignments imported from Malaysia by Sunrise Vegetable, the agency said.
All the illegal consignments were seized.
"SFA also conducted routine samplings in which the consignments were subjected to the hold-and-test regime," said the agency.
"We subsequently found that the importer had carried out unauthorised disposal of the detained vegetable consignment while laboratory results were pending."
Food imports in Singapore must meet SFA’s requirements and food safety standards, the agency said.
Food can only be imported by licensed importers, and every consignment must be declared and accompanied by a valid import permit.
"Illegally imported vegetables are of unknown sources and can pose a food safety risk,” it added.
Offenders who illegally import fresh fruit and vegetables may be fined up to S$10,000 and/or jailed for up to three years. Those who illegally import processed food may be fined up to S$1,000 and up to S$2,000 in the case of a subsequent conviction.