Singapore

5 importers fined $28,000 for bringing in fruit, vegetables illegally

Five importers were fined a total of $28,000 for bringing in food products that did not conform to import permit requirements, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said in a statement yesterday.

Chang Cheng Mee Wah Food Ind and Chin Sam Chiap were fined $14,900 and $5,600 respectively for illegally importing fresh fruit and vegetables as well as processed food.

Three other importers - Q N Q Enterprise, Q N S Wholesale and TNT Vegetables Importer & Exporter - were fined $3,000, $2,000 and $2,500 respectively for illegally importing fresh vegetables.

The agency said its officers had detected 2,565kg of undeclared and under-declared fruit and vegetables and 936kg of undeclared and under-declared processed food in the consignments imported from Malaysia by the five importers.

These products were detected and seized by the SFA between September and November last year and on Jan 8 this year.

Fruit and vegetables detected during the inspections included romaine lettuce, chilli padi, lemon and spring onion.

Processed food detected during the inspections included cut pumpkin, cut broccoli and cut cucumber.

In its release, the agency said illegally imported vegetables are from unknown sources and pose a food safety risk.

Food imports in Singapore must meet SFA's requirements and food safety standards, and can be brought in only by licensed importers.

Every consignment must be declared and accompanied with a valid import permit, the agency added.

Those found guilty of illegally importing fresh fruit and vegetables can be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to three years, or both.

Those found guilty of illegally importing processed food can face a fine of up to $1,000 and up to twice this amount for a subsequent conviction. - THE STRAITS TIMES

COURT & CRIME