A Chinese national, Mei Hua, has been fined $12,000 by a Singaporean court for illegally importing assorted meat products and processed food products into the country.
The case was uncovered by Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers who detected anomalies in the scanned images of an import container at Pasir Panjang Scanning Station.
According to the Singapore Food Agency press release, Mei Hua had illegally imported 101.45kg of assorted meat and 73.65kg of undeclared processed food products such as “duck and pig blood”, pancake, and sunflower seeds.
The illegal consignments were seized and destroyed, according to SFA.
In Singapore, all food imports must meet SFA’s strict requirements, and illegally imported food products of unknown sources can pose a food safety risk.
Therefore, all food must be imported by licensed importers, and every consignment must be declared and accompanied by a valid import permit. Meat and meat products can only be imported from accredited sources in approved countries that comply with Singapore’s food safety standards and requirements.
Importers who illegally bring in meat products from unapproved sources are liable to a fine of up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment of up to two years.
In the case of a subsequent conviction, the fine can increase up to $100,000, and the imprisonment term can be up to three years. For illegally imported processed food, the offender can be fined up to $1,000 for the first conviction and up to $2,000 for a subsequent conviction. Singapore’s strict food safety regulations and enforcement measures are designed to safeguard public health and safety.
The ICA and SFA work closely together to detect and deter illegal importation attempts to ensure the safety of Singapore’s borders and food supply.
The confiscated meat and processed food products were destroyed due to their unknown sources and potential food safety risks. The recent incident underscores the need for importers to comply with Singapore’s import regulations and serves as a warning to potential offenders that illegal food importation will not be tolerated.
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