Facilitating Agri-Trade for Food, Plants and Ornamental Fishes
As Singapore’s representative on agricultural, fisheries, and veterinary matters, AVA continues to facilitate free trade and maintain close ties with the global community in a spirit of exchange and cooperation. Besides facilitating trade, AVA also regulates the import and export of endangered species.
Jurong and Senoko Fishery Ports
AVA manages both the Jurong and Senoko Fishery Ports, both of which serve as wholesale and distribution centres for fresh and chilled seafood. The top five fish exporting countries to Singapore for FY 2011 were Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and China.
Foreign fishing vessels arriving in Singapore berth at the Jurong Fishery Port (JFP), which serves as a port of call for international fishing vessels and as a seafood distribution hub. During FY 2011, a total of 3,071 vessel calls were made at JFP. The 96 AVA-licensed fish merchants at JFP handled 63,074 tonnes of fish landed by fishing vessels, as well as imports via land and air. Of these, 1,977 tonnes were tuna imports meant for re-export.
Senoko Fishery Port (SFP) is the hub for local fishing vessels. During FY 2011, a total of 2,717 vessel calls were made at SFP while 21 AVA-licensed fish merchants handled 9,489 tonnes of fish from local fishing trawlers, sea-based, and land-based fish farms, as well as from imports.
AVA facilitates the export of food, plants, and their products, as well as ornamental fishes, animals, and animal products, by issuing internationally recognised certificates, and permits. In addition, we help further upgrade the export capabilities of our industries by engaging them in collaborations and dialogues.
AVA works closely with our stakeholders to facilitate agritrade. We engage and collaborate with our industries through Business Cluster activities and dialogue sessions.
Ornamental Fish Business Cluster
Initiated by AVA in 2003, the Ornamental Fish Business Cluster (OFBC) has been instrumental in addressing the challenges and charting new directions for the industry, as well as in raising the international profile of Singapore’s ornamental fish industry. With key representation from industry associations, exporters, breeders and associated companies, the OFBC will continue to reinforce Singapore’s position as an Ornamental Fish Hub.
AVA conducted a dialogue session with Singapore Aquarium Fishes Exporters’ Association (SAFEA) on 27 October 2011, with participation from the Singapore Tropical Aquarium Fish Breeders’ Association (STAFBA). During the dialogue, AVA reiterated its commitment to work closely with the industry through both associations and OFBC to explore new areas of cooperation to improve processes. The industry was also urged to enhance its productivity to remain resilient and competitive.
AVA also engaged industry players outside of the OFBC. Four dialogue sessions with SAFEA, and licensed ornamental fish importers and exporters, were conducted between April 2011 and March 2012 to address regulation and trade issues.
Orchid Business Cluster
With representatives from the various key floral associations and the IE Singapore, the Orchid Business Cluster (OBC) was established in May 2003 to strengthen Singapore’s position as a renowned exporter of tropical orchids and help the industry remain relevant and adaptable. During the year, the OBC held fruitful dialogues, and participated in overseas visits and exhibitions to seek trade opportunities and increase international exposure.
Trade In Endangered Species
AVA is the national authority for the implementation and enforcement of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) agreement, which aims to prevent over-exploitation of endangered animals and plants.
In FY 2011, AVA issued a total of 10,680 CITES permits and certificates to regulate wildlife trade, which comprised mainly of reptile skins, Asian arowanas, and pet birds. AVA also facilitated the commercial re-export of wildlife not categorised under CITES, through the issuance of 444 ‘B’ certificates/ statements. In March 2012, AVA implemented a watermark system for CITES permits and certificates, as a security measure to prevent fraudulent use of CITES documents.
During the FY, AVA investigated a total of 42 cases, which included illegal import and sale of alleged tiger products, chameleon, Asian arowanas, and Hoodia products. In one of these cases, a man was prosecuted in court and fined $5,200 for keeping and attempting to sell hedgehogs as pets on the Internet. Twenty-four cases were issued with composition fines, and 17 cases were issued with warnings or advisories.
Marine Fisheries Research Department (MFRD) Programme / Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Centre (SEAFDEC)
AVA, as a collaborating centre of SEAFDEC, promotes the post-harvest technology development of fisheries in Southeast Asia, by implementing activities under the SEAFDEC’s MFRD programme. These activities include the transfer of postharvest technology and best practices to the fish processing industry in the region.