Most countries require each imported consignment of meat, fish or dairy products to be accompanied by certification that the product is safe, wholesome and meets the country's requirements.
The certificate might be in the form of government to government certification. Some importing countries (e.g. the EU) have Health Certificate formats for exporting countries to comply with.
Prerequisites for request for export certification
Before you apply for export certification of your food product, ensure that:
- the establishment which manufactures the product is licensed by SFA (For more information on licensing of food establishments, see Setting Up Food Establishments);
- the product originates from Singapore, or has gone through some value-added processing in Singapore;
- the product complies with the SFA Wholesome Meat and Fish Act; and
- the establishment and the product comply with the standards and regulations of the intended importing country.
Application for export health certification
Before you are issued export health certification, SFA will conduct inspections and/or laboratory testing on your establishment’s processing lines and/or export consignments.
This is to ensure that food intended for export is safe, wholesome and accurately described. Inspection and testing also ensure that the importing countries' requirements are met.
Your final product must meet regulatory requirements, while the establishment which processes the product must meet facility requirements as well as sanitation conditions.
Below are the procedures to apply for export health certification for meat, fish and dairy products.
1. Register for a company e-Services account
Applications for export certification must be made online. Register for a company account via the SFA Inspection & Laboratory e-Services.
2. Apply for export certification and book an inspection
Make an online application via the Inspection & Laboratory e-Services for export health certification and book an appointment for inspection.
You are required to provide the following details in your application:
- Product/Item Description
- Preferred Date of Inspection
- Processing Date
- Species (for fish and fish products only)
- Product Packing Quantity in the following format:
- Export Value (SGD)
- Export Country and Port/City
|Samples & Tests
- Select tests required for the product
- By default, 1 set of tests will be performed for each requested test
- Certificate collection method (i.e. "Self Collection" or by post)
- Preferred method of receiving notification and results status
Upon confirmation, you will receive an SMS or email notification stating the date for the on-site inspection and sampling (if any), as well as your application number.
3. Prepare required documents for 1st on-site inspection
Prepare the following required documents for the 1st on-site inspection by SFA officers:
- List of Ingredients of animal origin
- Health certificates for ingredients of animal origin
- Certificate of analysis
- Cargo Clearance Permits
- Certificate of origin
- Catch certificates (for fish and fish products)
- Process flow chart of the specific product to be made
- Any other documents requested by SFA or required by importing country
These documents may change depending on the requirements of importing countries.
4. Amend your quantity for export and schedule 2nd on-site inspection
Use your application number to amend the final quantity for export and schedule the 2nd inspection.
You will receive an SMS or email confirmation stating the date for on-site inspection and sampling (if any).
5. Prepare required documents for 2nd on-site inspection
Prepare the following documents for the 2nd on-site inspection and sampling by SFA officers:
- Temperature charts or monitoring Records related to HACCP critical control points
- Production records
- Labels or packaging (if available)
For subsequent on-site inspections (other than sampling), you will need to prepare the following documents:
- Stock out-going record
- Stock-receiving record
- Packing list
6. Obtain the test results and export health certification
Samples collected will be tested at SFA's food testing laboratory, the Veterinary Public Health Laboratory (VPHL).
The turn-around time for inspection, testing and certificate issuance is dependent on product type. Generally, the process takes 2 to 10 working days.
Your establishment will be informed of the outcome of the laboratory tests once completed.
If your consignments meet requirements (i.e. results of inspection and tests are satisfactory):
- Furnish SFA with the necessary shipping details for the preparation of export health certificates.
- Your establishment will be issued export health certification. Collect your certificates from the counter at VPHL or request for the documents to be posted directly to you.
If your consignments fail to meet requirements (i.e. results of inspection and tests are unsatisfactory):
- Your establishment will be issued a laboratory report (i.e. Certificate of Analysis) instead of export health certification.
Fees and Charges
Fees are chargeable for inspection, laboratory testing and certification services:
||Chargeable per test, at prevailing testing fee rate
- Normal rate
- Inspection booking cut-off timing at 7.00am for inspection the next working day
|S$38 per hr or part thereof
- Urgent application
- Any application received between 7.00am - 12.00pm* requesting for inspection the next working day
| S$80.00 per hr or part thereof
||S$20.00 per document
| Certified True Copies
||S$9.45 per copy
*No applications requesting for an inspection on the next working day will be accepted after 12.00pm. Special requests shall be entertained only when applicants are able to support the request with valid reason, at a charge of S$80 per hour or part thereof. This is subject to the availability of inspection officers.
Inspection charges billed per visit
Inspection fees will be charged based on the total time spent in a single trip regardless of the number of applications (e.g. inspection for veterinary health certificate plus inspection for export health certificate, etc.), instead of the total time spent per application.
This reduces fees for food exporters who combine multiple export consignments and inspections into a single visit.
Note that time spent includes inspection time as well as travelling time between the office, laboratories and the premises.