Food Import & Export

Commercial Food Imports

Overview

Importers must ensure that the food imported for sale in Singapore must be safe for consumption and meet our food safety regulations and requirements. Only traders who are licensed or registered with SFA can import food for commercial sale.  Imported food may be subjected to inspection and sampling for food safety and unsafe food will not be allowed for sale.

For travellers who wish to bring in food for personal consumption (i.e. not for sale), you may refer to Bringing Food for Personal Use for more information.

For overseas food establishments seeking to export higher-risk food products (for example, livestock, meat and meat products, egg and egg products) to Singapore, you may refer to Seeking Accreditation of Overseas Food Sources for the process and documents required.

What You Need to Know before Importing

Import Food Overview

 

Check what your food product is classified as Apply for a trader’s licence or register with SFA Comply with relevant food legislation Satisfy SFA's labelling requirements Meet SFA's conditions for specific types of food Apply for Import Permit Inspection of Imported Food

Step 1. Check what your product is classified as

SFA classifies food and food products into different categories. Specific conditions and requirements apply to each of these categories. To check the classification of the food product to be imported, please refer to the General Classification of Food & Food Products.

If your product does not fall under any of the categories, please refer to the Conditions related to Novel Food.

Step 2. Apply for a trader’s licence or register with SFA

A trader’s licence or registration with SFA is required before you can import food into Singapore.       

Please refer to the Licensing & Registration of Traders for more information.

Step 3. Comply with relevant food legislation

All food imports must comply with the relevant legislation governed by SFA.

Type of Food

Legislation

Meat and fish

· Wholesome Meat and Fish Act

· Sale of Food Act

Fresh fruit and vegetables

· Control of Plants Act

· Sale of Food Act

Fresh eggs
Processed eggs

· Animal and Birds Act

· Sale of Food Act

Processed food
Food appliances

· Sale of Food Act

You can also find all relevant and subsidiary legislation in our Legislation section.

Step 4. Meet SFA's conditions for specific types of food

Traders who wish to import food into Singapore must ensure that their products meet SFA’s conditions. Different conditions and requirements apply to specific types of food. The conditions would depend on the type of food, source country or region, etc. For example, meat and eggs and their products can only be imported from accredited overseas establishments. 

You may refer to the links below for the conditions to meet for the specific types of food & food products:

·         Meat & Meat Products

·         Eggs & Egg Products

·         Fish & Fish Products

·         Fresh Fruits & Vegetables

·         Processed Food & Food Appliances

·         Novel Food

·         Genetically Modified Crops

Before bringing in any food or food product, please also ensure that all additives and ingredients present in the food are SFA-approved. You may refer to the section on Food Additives & Ingredients for more information.

Step 5. Satisfy SFA's labelling requirements

If you intend to import pre-packed food for commercial purposes, please note that the labelling of pre-packed food must be in line with the Labelling Guidelines for Food Importers & Manufacturers before they can be imported, advertised, manufactured, sold, consigned or delivered.

Step 6. Apply for Import Permit

After complying with all pre-import requirements, apply for an import permit through TradeNet

SFA requires an import permit for all commercial food and food products brought into Singapore, regardless of the mode of transport (e.g. by air, land, sea or parcel post).

 

STEP

DESCRIPTION

1

Prepare your:

· licence / registration number

· product / HS codes

· establishment code

You may refer to the relevant categories below for the product codes:

· Meat and meat products

· Fish and Fish Products

· Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

· Processed Food Products & Food Appliances

· Table Eggs

· Processed Eggs

You may refer to the lists of establishment codes below to identify the code for the relevant exporting country or region:

· List of Establishment Codes for countries/regions other than Japan

· List of Japan Prefectural Codes

2

Apply for an import permit via TradeNet. You will be assigned a Unique Reference Number.

Completed applications submitted on TradeNet will be processed within one working day if submitted before:

· 5:30 pm from Mondays to Thursdays

· 5:00 pm on Fridays

Applications made on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays will only be processed the next working day. You are strongly advised to submit your application in TradeNet once you have all the necessary documents to avoid any delay in obtaining your import permit.

3

Additional documents may be required, such as laboratory reports or health certificates for the Import Requirements of Specific Food Products. Submit them online as attachments through TradeNet.

4

Upon approval, you will be issued a Cargo Clearance Permit (CCP), which also serves as an SFA import permit. Importers are advised to read the conditional approval messages in their CCPs carefully and comply fully with the requirements indicated. Importers that do not comply with the conditional approval messages may be subject to enforcement action.

5

Print out your CCP, which will be used for clearance of goods at the border checkpoint, inspection, etc.

 

For more information on the application of an import permit, see the Singapore Customs page on TradeNet.

You may also refer to the Food Permit Application FAQs.

Paying import fees

An import fee is charged for each consignment of food that you import into Singapore. 

The payment will be deducted from your GIRO account. Note that you will need to first apply for a GIRO account with SFA

The fees for the import of various types of food are provided in the table below.

Type of Food

Fees

Meat (chilled, frozen or processed)

S$4.60 per 100 kg or part thereof

Meat (canned)

S$77 per consignment

Fish

S$3 per consignment

Fresh fruits and vegetables

S$3 per consignment

Fresh eggs

S$62 per consignment

Processed eggs(salted/preserved eggs)

S$62 per consignment

Other processed egg products

S$22 per consignment

Processed food

No fees required

Food appliances

No fees required


Step 7. Book Inspection for the Food Products to be Imported

Imported food may be subject to SFA’s routine food safety inspection upon arrival in Singapore. Samples may also be taken for laboratory analysis to ensure compliance with our food safety regulations.

In some cases, consignments may be placed on “hold and test” i.e. the consignment cannot be sold or distributed until the laboratory results have been released and the sample found compliant with our food safety regulations.

Please check the SFA approval code and approval message stated on your CCP to determine if your imported consignments require inspection by SFA. 

Booking Inspection For Imported Food & Food Products

You are advised to make an online booking through the SFA Inspection & Laboratory e-Services for the inspection of:

·                  meat and meat products,

·                  processed eggs,

·                  seafood,

·                  fresh fruits and vegetables,

·                  processed food and food appliances, and

·                  fresh eggs*

For more information on making an online booking for inspections, please refer to the following guides:

·      How to Log in to Inspection & Laboratory e-Services

·      Guide on Making Inspections Booking and Checking Results

 

What You Need for the Inspection

Before the inspection, please prepare the following:

·      Cargo Clearance Permit,

·      Any relevant documents, e.g. invoices and health certificates

·      The consignment of food for inspection. For frozen raw meat, 1 carton is to be surface-thawed before the inspection.

 

What Happens if Your Imports Fail the Inspection

Consignments which are placed on “hold and test” that fail to meet SFA’s requirements will not be allowed to be sold or distributed in Singapore. In addition, consignments contaminated with radioactive materials are not allowed to be disposed in Singapore.  Importers of consignments found to be contaminated with radioactive materials are required to either return or re-export the products.

Depending on the nature of the non-compliance, the source and/or exporter may be suspended from exporting to Singapore. Importers of non-compliant products may also be suspended from importing from these sources/exporters.