A licence from AVA is required for the manufacturing, processing, preparation or packing of food for the purpose of distribution to wholesalers and retailers in Singapore.
For licensing of meat, fish or egg processing establishments, coldstores and slaughter-houses, please click here.
For licensing of other food processing establishments, please refer to the following:
All processed food must comply with prevailing requirements laid down under the Sale of Food Act and the Food Regulations, including the labelling requirements.
Food processing establishments must also comply with AVA's licensing conditions. For the licensing conditions, please click here.
Applicant may check with Jurong Town Corporation (JTC), Housing & Development Board (HDB) or private developers for any available industrial premises that are suitable for use as a food processing establishment.
Some important considerations to take into account when you are looking for a suitable premises:
Applicant must seek approval from the relevant authorities, including the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the National Environment Agency (NEA), for the use of the desired premises and for any structural addition and alteration to the premises.
- Is the premises within an area or zone designated for food industries?
- What kind of food processing do you intend to carry out?
- Is the factory space big enough to cater to your intended activities? How about future plans for expansion?
An applicant can confirm with AVA if the proposed premises can be used for food processing before submitting a formal application for a licence to operate a food processing establishment.
Before applying for a licence to operate a food processing establishment, applicant has to be registered with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) as a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), Business or Company. To register, please click here.
An applicant must get ready the following documents and information that have to be submitted together with the application form via online before your application can be processed:
The plan must be drawn to a minimum scale of 1:50 and indicate the following:
- Layout of equipment;
- Detailed work flow;
- Number of workers to be stationed at each designated work area; and
- Plans are to be endorsed and signed by the owner.
A detailed process flowchart showing all the processing steps in sequence which include the processing conditions such as time, temperature, pressure, etc. at each operation and the control measure(s) at each control point.
- Details such as the type of product(s), brand, packing size, packaging materials used, preservation technique, shelf life, and the type and functional use of additives added are to be provided. The particulars of products may be submitted in this format. (If you are using Chinese Medicinal Materials in your food products, please make sure they are those that are allowed to be used in food. You may find the "List of Chinese Medicinal Materials Commonly Used in Food" here, under "C".)
Applicant can submit an application for the Licence to operate a food processing establishment (excluding meat and fish) via the Online Business Licensing Service (OBLS). AVA will attend to an application within 7 working days from the date of your submission and arrange an appointment with the applicant to inspect the proposed premises.
Please note that items a, b and c above are the three main documents and information that an applicant has to submit first before AVA can process the application. Thereafter, there are also other information/documents (stated under items listed below) that are required as well prior to the issuance of the licence. Applicants are also welcome to submit all the required documents and information to AVA at one go.
- HACCP System: A proper HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) system should be developed for implementation to control all food hazards in the manufacturing processes to ensure the production of safe and wholesome food for human consumption. The HACCP plan has to be submitted within 3 months from the date of approval of the licence. In addition, AVA may collect samples from the licensed establishments for laboratory examination.
For more details on HACCP, please click here.
- Cleaning and Sanitation Program: A written cleaning and sanitation program should include the areas and items such as equipment to be cleaned, frequency and method of cleaning, staff responsible for each specific task and monitoring arrangements.
- Pest Control Program: An effective and continuous program for control of pest should be drawn up. Control measures involving treatment with chemical, physical or biological agents should only be undertaken by or under the direct supervision of a qualified personnel.
- Waste Management: A plan for waste management should be drawn up. Waste material should be handled in a manner that avoids contamination to food. To prevent accumulation, waste should be removed from food handling areas frequently and at least once daily. Waste storage facilities, receptacles and equipment should also be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
- Transportation of Finished Products: Details of the mode of transport for the finished products should be prepared. All finished products should be transported in covered vehicles under appropriate conditions to prevent deterioration or contamination to the products.
- Maintenance Program: A written maintenance program that includes maintenance procedures and schedules for maintaining all equipment, fitting, building and work areas should be drawn up.
AVA will advise the applicant on the licensing conditions that have to be complied with in order to make the premises suitable for the safe manufacture of wholesome food during the first inspection.
- Personal Particulars and Academic Experience of the appointed Hygiene Officer - He/she must be trained and qualified in food hygiene and will be responsible to oversee plant sanitation, good hygiene practices and other matters concerning food safety. The particulars of the appointed hygiene officer may be submitted in this format.
- Particulars of Food Handlers - Food production employees (refers to any person who engages in or who supervises the preparation of any food in a food establishment). The particulars of the food handlers may be submitted in this format.
- Information from ACRA including particulars of Directors, Managers and Secretary and the registered address for LLP/Business/Company.
- Lease (Tenancy) Agreement or any other documents to prove that you or your company is the legal occupier of the premises.
- Planning Approval indicating that the premises has been approved to use as food establishment.
Once the applicant has complied with all the licensing conditions, AVA may be informed to inspect the premises again. A food processing establishment licence will be issued to you if we are satisfied with your compliance with the licensing conditions for your premises.
Please note that only one licence will be issued per application regardless of the number of different types of products manufactured in your establishment. The approved manufacturing activities will be printed on the licence. If the applicant were to carry out additional trades in the future, he has to write in to AVA for approval.
An application fee of S$157.50 (inclusive of 7% GST) will be levied for any new application made. You will be prompted for the payment during your submission for licence application via OBLS.
When your application for the licence is approved, you will have to make a payment via OBLS for the annual licence fee, which is between S$180 and S$600 per annum, depending on the size of the food processing establishment. This fee is in accordance with the Sale of Food Act (Chapter 283), Sale of Food (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2006.
Payment for subsequent annual licence fee through InterBank GIRO is strongly encouraged. Please note that for non-giro customers, payment via AXS station is now available. For more details, please click here. Renewal notices will be sent to customers prior to the expiry of their licences for payment via AXS stations.
Below 200 m2
200 to 750 m2
Above 750 m2
Besides the inspection(s) conducted prior to the issuance of a licence, AVA would also conduct surprise checks on food processing establishments to ensure that food products are manufactured in a hygienic condition that are safe for human consumption.
All food establishments (including meat/fish/egg processing establishments, cold stores, slaughter-houses and processed food establishments) in Singapore are categorised into four grades: A (Excellent), B (Good), C (Average) and D (Pass) based on their food hygiene and food safety standards. Each establishment will be graded prior to the expiry of its licence and reassessed annually.
Food establishments are graded with the aim to enable food manufacturers to be aware of their hygiene and food safety standards and the need for improvements. It creates an environment for food manufacturers to upgrade to strive for higher grades. The grading system also allows identification of the lower grade establishments so that more regulatory efforts could be directed at them. Grade C and D establishments are inspected more frequently than Grade A and B establishments.
You may wish to refer to the Food Establishment Inspection Checklist for the list of criteria used to assess the grading of food establishments.
Food establishments are graded based on a set of criteria covering all aspects of hygiene and food safety standards. The criteria include:
- Premises - General cleanliness and housekeeping
- Food Storage
- Food Processing Equipment and Facilities
- Pest Control Program
- Food Handling and Staff Facilities
- Product Identification and Traceability
- Dispatch & Transport
- Product Inspection and Lab Testing
- Foreign Body Control
- Management of Allergen
- Implementation of Quality Control Programs
- Staff Competency and Food Hygiene Training
- Documentation and Records
- Violation Records
For cold stores that are licensed solely for the storage of meat and/or fish products, the Cold Store/Warehouse Inspection Checklist will be used to assess the grading of these cold stores.
Grade A Grade B Grade C Grade D
[For a listing of all food establishments (including meat/fish/egg processing establishments, cold stores, slaughter-houses and processed food establishments) categorised according to their grades, please click on the respective grade above. For food establishments that are newly licensed and pending grading assessment, please click here. The lists will be updated on a quarterly basis.)
A summary of the number of food establishments licensed by AVA is as follows:
Total number of food establishments as at 11 March 2013: 1474
Number of pig slaughterhouse: 1
Number of chicken slaughterhouses: 10
Number of duck slaughterhouses: 4
Number of meat and fish processing establishments: 321
Number of cold stores (for storage of meat and/or fish products): 118
Number of other processed food establishments: 1020
AVA will follow-up with the licensees in writing on the shortcomings observed during the grading assessment. A renewed licence will be issued with the assessed grade printed on it.
Food manufacturers with establishments of higher grades may use their grades as testimonies to show their clients that they have achieved high food hygiene and food safety standards. They will therefore strive for higher grades in order to remain competitive.
As buyers from supermarkets use food factory grading to identify good and reliable manufacturers when they source their supplies of food products, consumers can therefore enjoy safer food as buyers from supermarkets source from food establishments with higher grades.
If you wish to attend courses on food hygiene and food safety, please click here (click on "Food & Beverage Technology") for more information.
To find out more information on the funding schemes available, please refer to www.sdf.gov.sg and www.wda.gov.sg.
Please call the AVA Contact Centre via 6325 7625 or email us.
Alternatively, please visit our Contact Info page.