To import and sell edible items, such as sweets, chocolates and savouries, in Singapore, one needs to get approval from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and pay customs duty as well as goods and services tax (GST).
Also, under the AVA's labelling requirements, importers have to reveal the contents, nutritional value, manufacturer details, expiry date and so on.
But many shops in Serangoon Road do not comply with these requirements and bring in sweets illegally through frequent travellers in suitcases and boxes.
They do not declare these items at the airport or pay GST for them.
As a result, we find items which are past their shelf-life being sold at the shops.
These are sold in plain plastic wrappers without any labels.
As this practice is a health hazard, the authorities should clamp down on such illegal imports.