Two importers fined for illegal vegetable imports

Two importers were fined a total of $9,000 in court yesterday 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 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's statement yesterday said they were found out on two separate occasions in May last year.

Its officers, while carrying out routine sampling and surveillance, detected 200kg and 51kg of underdeclared fresh vegetables in two consignments of vegetables. These were respectively imported from Malaysia by Seng Lee Impex and Ng.

In July last year, AVA detected 753kg of undeclared and underdeclared assorted vegetable products in another consignment imported by Seng Lee Impex. All the consignments were seized and destroyed.

AVA said that illegally imported food products are from unknown sources and pose a food safety risk.

It added that food imports must meet its requirements and food safety standards, and that food can be imported only by licensed importers. Every consignment must be declared and accompanied with a valid import permit.

Offenders can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed for a maximum of three years, or both.

Goh Yan Han

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2019, with the headline 'Two importers fined for illegal vegetable imports'. Print Edition | Subscribe