SINGAPORE - Two importers were fined a total of $9,000 in court on Wednesday (March 20) for illegally importing about 1,000kg of fresh vegetables, such as capsicums and leeks, that did not conform to the requirements in the import permits.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said in a statement on Wednesday that Seng Lee Impex, a company that imports fruits and vegetables, and Ng Soo Tiang, 59, the sole proprietor of Ever-Shine Fruits and Vegetables Supplier, were fined $6,000 and $3,000 respectively.
AVA said that on two separate occasions in May 2018, during its routine sampling and surveillance programme, its officers detected 200kg and 51kg of under-declared fresh vegetables in two consignments of vegetables imported from Malaysia by Seng Lee Impex and Ng respectively.
In July 2018, 753kg of undeclared and under-declared assorted vegetable products in another consignment imported by Seng Lee Impex was detected by AVA.
All of the illegal consignments were seized and destroyed.
AVA said that illegally imported food products are from unknown sources and pose a food safety risk.
The authority added that in Singapore, food imports must meet AVA's requirements and food safety standards, and food can only be imported by licensed importers. Every consignment must be declared and accompanied with a valid import permit.
Convicted offenders who illegally import food can be fined a maximum of $10,000 or jailed for up to three years, or both.