Food

What You Need to Know before Importing

The diagram below summarises the import requirements and procedures for bringing food into Singapore.

Before Importing Food

General Information 


All commercial food imports that enter Singapore must come from accredited food establishments in approved countries. In addition, only traders who are licensed or registered with AVA can bring in commercial shipments of food.

Please refer to Licensing and Registration of Traders for more information.

For overseas food establishments seeking approval to export food products to Singapore, see the section "Approval of Imported Food Sources" below for the process and documents required.

For travellers who wish to bring in food for personal consumption (i.e. not for sale), see Bringing Food for Personal Use for more information.

What to Do before Importing


1. Apply for a trader’s licence or register with AVA

You have to apply for a trader’s licence or register with AVA before importing food into Singapore. Only companies registered with ACRA can apply for a licence.

Licensed / registered traders are also required to maintain a GIRO account with AVA for the payment of related fees and services.

2. Comply with relevant food legislation

You must ensure that all food imports comply with the relevant legislation governed by AVA.

Type of Food Legislation
Meat and fish
Fresh fruit and vegetables
Fresh eggs 
Processed eggs
Processed food
Food appliances

You can also find all relevant and subsidiary legislation in our Legislation section.

3. Meet AVA's conditions for specific types of food

Different conditions and requirements apply to specific types of food. The conditions would depend on the type of food, source country, etc. For example, meat and meat products can only be imported from accredited overseas establishments.

AVA advises all food importers to check the General Classification of Food and Food Products to find out what food group their products fall under.

You can also refer to the Conditions for Specific Types of Food for more details.

4. Satisfy AVA’s labelling requirements

If you intend to import pre-packed food for commercial purposes, you should follow AVA’s rules on food labelling and advertisements.

For more information on food labelling, please see Labelling Guidelines for Food Importers & Manufacturers.

5. Apply for an import permit

After meeting the above pre-import requirements, you need to apply for an import permit before importing food products into Singapore. 

See section "Applying for Import Permit" below for more information.

Approval of Imported Food Sources

All food and food products entering Singapore must originate from sources approved by AVA.

Overseas food establishments that wish to export food and food products, as listed below, to Singapore are required to apply for accreditation from AVA. Applications are to be submitted through the competent authorities of exporting countries.

Processed food products and food appliances, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables must be obtained from establishments regulated by the overseas competent authorities. No application for AVA accreditation is required.

Please see the sections below for the relevant accreditation requirements and procedures for specific types of food:

  • Meat & Meat Products
  • Processed Eggs
  • Fresh Table Eggs
  • Live Poultry
  • Processed Food & Food Appliances (applicable to Malaysian establishments only)
  • Fish & Fish Products

Meat & Meat Products


Meat & meat products refer to products that contain more than 5% meat content, and include animal oil and fat.

Overseas food establishments are required to apply for accreditation from AVA to export meat and meat products to Singapore. Do note that accreditation is required for all beef products regardless of percentage content

Generally, accreditation will need to be done at 3 levels: 

  • of the exporting country, 
  • of the individual establishments of approved countries, and
  • of the products from approved establishments.

For food products with less than 5% meat content, the establishment does not need to be accredited by AVA but will need to be regulated by the exporting country’s Competent Authority. For more information, see sub-section "Approval of Products Containing Less Than 5% Meat".

Approval of Exporting Countries

Competent authorities of countries seeking accreditation to export meat products to Singapore must provide the following information for AVA's consideration:

  • The set up and organisational structure of the country’s veterinary services; 
  • Copy of the legislation to control and prevent the introduction of animal diseases* in the country (or an excerpt in English if the legislation is not in English). 
  • Copy of the legislation governing slaughterhouses, meat processing establishments, meat inspection systems, and storage, handling and distribution of products; 
  • Licensing authority and licensing system of approved export abattoirs and meat processing establishments; and 
  • National microbiological and residue control programmes.

* These will be specific to the type of meat the country is interested to export, e.g. pig diseases for export of pork, poultry diseases for export of poultry, etc. Countries interested to export beef should also submit a copy of the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) dossier that was submitted by the Competent Authority to the Scientific Commission for Animal Disease of OIE for official recognition of the country as having a BSE “negligible” risk status or “controlled risk” status.

For more details on the exact documents required and submission format, please download Accreditation of New Countries for Meat and Meat Products to Singapore.

Approval of Establishments from Approved Countries

Export slaughterhouses and meat processing establishments interested in exporting their products to Singapore are required to follow the steps listed below to apply for AVA’s accreditation.

Applications for accreditation should be submitted through the competent authorities of exporting countries.

1. Ensure that the country is accredited by AVA

AVA will only consider applications from export slaughterhouses and meat processing establishments from AVA approved exporting countries.

2. Submit application to competent authority

All applications have to be submitted through the competent authority of the exporting country.

Download and complete (in English) the relevant application form:

File Form Document
Slaughterhouse/Cutting Plant AVA Form-SH
Canning/Processing Plant* AVA Form-PP
 

*The raw meat used for further processing must be obtained from AVA approved slaughterhouses. Please use our database to search for approved overseas establishments.

Do ensure that all information is supplied in English and all required documents (e.g. brochures, photographs or videos) are attached as softcopies.

3. Await AVA's documentary review

The competent authority will verify and endorse the submission prior to forwarding the application to AVA for documentary review.

If the review is satisfactory, AVA may conduct an inspection visit to the exporting country and establishment before granting approval to the establishment to export to Singapore.

Approval of Products from Approved Establishments

AVA-approved slaughterhouses and meat processing establishments interested to export new products to Singapore are required to submit their applications through the competent authorities of the exporting country. Establishments will have to provide product-related information in their submissions, which will be verified and endorsed by the competent authority before forwarding the submission to AVA for assessment.

New products manufactured on different production lines

For each new product manufactured using different production lines from the currently approved products, provide the following information for evaluation:

  • Export history;
  • Copy of the layout plan showing the location of the new production line of the product;
  • All species of meat processed in the establishment:
    • For Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) affected countries, establishments which also process beef must provide sufficient evidence of complete segregation of the different product lines to prevent cross contamination;
  • Information on species (e.g., single species, mixed species) and type of meat used (e.g., meat cuts, minced meat, mechanically deboned/separated meat, trimmings, etc) in each product intended for export to Singapore;
  • A brief description of the processing of each new processed meat product intended for export to Singapore;
  • Quality control programmes and HACCP plan;
  • Copy of the process flow chart, which must state:
    • Critical Control Points (CCPs),
    • duration and temperature of cooking, and
    • core temperature of the product during cooking and the time at which the core temperature is maintained;
  • Copy of the latest microbiological test results of the finished products;
  • Coloured photographs and/or a video (in CD form) showing the various stages of processing of the products in operation;
  • Coloured photographs of the finished products with or without its packaging;
  • Copy of the product specification, including information on the shelf life, storage condition and cooking instruction of the finished products.
New products manufactured on the same production lines

For each new product manufactured using the same production lines as currently approved products, provide the following information for evaluation:

  • A brief description of the processing undergone by each new processed meat product intended for export to Singapore;
  • Copy of the process flow chart, which must state: 
    • Critical Control Points (CCPs)
    • duration and temperature of cooking, and
    • core temperature of the product during cooking and the time at which the core temperature is maintained;
  • Information on species (e.g., single species, mixed species) and type of meat used (e.g., meat cuts, minced meat, mechanically deboned/separated meat, trimmings, etc) in each product intended for export to Singapore;
  • Coloured photographs of the finished products with or without its packaging;
  • Copy of the product specification, including information on the shelf life, storage condition and cooking instruction of the finished products.

Approval of Products Containing Less Than 5% Meat

For food products with less than 5% meat content, the establishment does not need to be accredited by AVA but will need to be regulated by the exporting country’s Competent Authority.

The establishment must submit documents to AVA for evaluation of the products they are interested to export to Singapore, e.g:

  • process flow chart,
  • information on heat treatment condition, and
  • details on source of raw meat.

Send the documents to ava_import&export_foodstuff@ava.gov.sg to obtain approval prior to export.

Following approval of the products, every consignment must also be accompanied by the exporting establishment’s declaration certifying the species of meat, source of meat, heat processing of meat and hygienic processing.

The declaration must come in the following form:

  • The content of ____ (species of meat), including fat, in the products is less than 5%.
  • The products have been prepared with wholesome meat which was derived from animals slaughtered in government approved slaughterhouses; or imported from ____ (establishment no), _____(country).
  • During the course of manufacture, the meat has been subjected to _____ (◦C) for _____ min.
  • The products have not been treated with chemical preservatives or other substances injurious to health.
  • The products have been processed in a hygienic manner and are fit for human consumption.

In addition, the manufacturer's declaration has to include the following information:

  • Product description
  • Product quantity
  • Date of processing
  • Name of consignee
  • Name of consignor

The manufacturer's declaration must be endorsed by the competent authority of the exporting country. Additionally, a certified true copy of the veterinary health certificate of the origin of the raw meat must be attached along with the manufacturer’s declaration (applicable only if the raw meat is imported from another country).

Processed Eggs


Competent authorities and establishments should seek AVA’s accreditation for export of processed eggs to Singapore if the product comes in the following forms:

  • Powdered and pasteurised liquid eggs such as:
    • whole eggs
    • egg whites
    • egg yolks
    • blends of whites and yolks
  • Whole egg products such as: 
    • hard boiled eggs
    • whole egg omelettes
    • salted and preserved eggs 

Accreditation will need to be done at 3 levels: 

  • of the exporting country, 
  • of the individual establishments of approved countries, and
  • of the products from approved establishments.
Approval of Exporting Countries

Competent authorities of countries seeking approval to export processed eggs to Singapore must provide the following information for AVA's consideration:

  • The set up and organisational structure of the country’s veterinary services; 
  • Copy of the legislation to control and prevent the introduction of poultry diseases in the country (or an excerpt in English if the legislation is not in English);
  • Copy of the legislation governing egg processing establishments, and storage, handling and distribution of products; 
  • Licensing authority and licensing system of approved export egg processing establishments; and 
  • National microbiological and residue control programmes.

For more details on the exact documents required and submission format, please download Accreditation of New Countries for Meat and Meat Products to Singapore.

Approval of Establishments from Approved Countries

Egg processing establishments interested in exporting their products to Singapore are required to follow the steps listed below to apply for AVA’s approval.

1. Ensure that the country is AVA approved

AVA will only consider applications from egg processing establishments from AVA approved exporting countries.

2. Submit application to competent authority

All applications for AVA approval have to be submitted through the competent authority of the exporting country.

Download and complete (in English) the following application form:

File Form File Type
Egg Processing Plant
AVA Form-EPP
Salted and Preserved Egg
AVA Form-ESP

Do ensure that all information is provided in English and all other required documents (e.g. brochures, photographs or videos) are attached in softcopy. 

3. Await AVA’s documentary review

The competent authority will verify and endorse the submission prior to forwarding the application to AVA for documentary review. 

If the review is satisfactory, AVA may conduct an inspection visit to the exporting country and establishment before granting approval to the establishment to export to Singapore.

Approval of Products from Approved Establishments

AVA approved egg processing establishments interested to export new products to Singapore are required to submit their applications through the competent authorities of the exporting country.

Establishments will have to provide product-related information in their submissions, which will be sent over to AVA for assessment. All information must be supplied in English and softcopies provided to facilitate processing. 

New products manufactured on different production lines

For each new product manufactured using different production lines from the currently approved products, provide the following information for evaluation:

  • Export history;
  • Copy of the layout plan showing the location of the new production line of the product;
  • Information on species of animal which produced the egg used in the product;
  • A brief description on the processing of each new processed egg product intended for export;
  • Quality control programmes and HACCP plan;
  • Copy of the process flow chart, which must state: 
    • Critical Control Points (CCPs),
    • duration and temperature of cooking, and
    • core temperature of the product during cooking and the time at which the core temperature is maintained; 
  • Copy of the latest microbiological test results of the finished products;
  • Coloured photographs and/or a video (in CD form) showing the various stages of processing of the products in operation;
  • Coloured photographs of the finished products with or without its packaging;
  • Copy of the product specification, including information on the shelf life and storage condition of the finished products.

New products manufactured on the same production lines

For each new product manufactured using the same production lines from the currently approved products, provide the following information for evaluation:

  • A brief description of the processing undergone by each new processed egg product intended for export;
  • Copy of the process flow chart, which must state: 
    • Critical Control Points (CCPs), 
    • duration and temperature of cooking, and 
    • core temperature of the product during cooking and the time at which the core temperature is maintained; 
  • Information on species of animal which produced the egg used in the product;
  • Coloured photographs of the finished products with or without its packaging;
  • Copy of the product specification, including information on the shelf life and storage condition of the finished products.

Fresh Table Eggs


Competent authorities and layer farms are required to seek AVA’s approval for export of fresh table hen eggs to Singapore. 

Approval of Exporting Countries

Competent authorities of countries seeking approval to export table eggs to Singapore must provide the following information for AVA's consideration:

  • The set up and organisational structure of the veterinary services;
  • The poultry disease situation and the national programmes for control and prevention of such diseases;
  • Copy of the legislation to control and prevent the introduction of poultry diseases in the country (or an excerpt in English if the legislation is not in English);
  • Copy of legislation governing poultry farms and storage, handling and distribution of eggs;
  • Licensing authority and licensing system of approved farms;
  • National microbiological and residue control programmes on eggs.
  • National Salmonella Enteritidis Control Programme: 
    • The poultry farms for export are required to be free of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) and are not practising vaccination as a means of control against SE.

All information must be supplied in English and softcopies provided to facilitate processing.

Approval of Poultry Layers

Poultry layer farms interested in exporting fresh table eggs to Singapore are required to follow the steps listed below to apply for AVA’s approval.

1. Ensure that the country is AVA approved

AVA will only consider approval applications from poultry layer farms from AVA approved exporting countries.

2. Submit application to competent authority

All applications for AVA approval have to be submitted through the competent authority of the exporting country. 

Download and complete (in English) the Application for Export of Table Eggs to Singapore.

Ensure that all information is provided and all required documents (e.g. brochures, photographs or videos) are attached.

Live Poultry


Competent authorities and broiler farms should seek AVA’s approval for export of live poultry (e.g. chickens and ducks) meant for slaughter and consumption into Singapore.

Approval of New Exporting Countries

Competent authorities of countries seeking approval to export live poultry to Singapore must provide the following information for AVA's consideration:

  • The set up and organisational structure of the veterinary services;
  • The poultry disease situation and the national programmes for control and prevention of such diseases;
  • Copy of the legislation to control and prevent the introduction of poultry diseases in the country (or an excerpt in English if the legislation is not in English);
  • Copy of legislation governing poultry farms;
  • Licensing authority and licensing system of approved farms;
  • National microbiological and residue control programmes on poultry.
  • National Salmonella Enteritidis Control Programme: 
    • The poultry farms for export are required to be free of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) and are not practising vaccination as a means of control against SE.

All information must be supplied in English and softcopies provided to facilitate processing. 

Approval of Broiler Farms 

Broiler farms interested in exporting live poultry to Singapore are required to follow the steps listed below to apply for AVA’s approval.

1. Ensure that the country is AVA approved

AVA will only consider applications from poultry layer farms from AVA-approved exporting countries. Currently, only West Malaysia is permitted to export live poultry to Singapore.

2. Submit application to competent authority

All applications for AVA approval have to be submitted through the competent authority of the exporting country. 

Download and complete (in English) the Application for Export of Live Broilers to Singapore.

Ensure that all information is provided in English and all required documents (e.g. brochures, photographs or videos) are attached in softcopy.

Processed Food and Food Appliances


Under the Enhanced Regulated Source Programme, Malaysian establishments intending to export the following products will have to be registered with the Malaysian Ministry of Health (MOH):

  • Infant formula
  • Infant cereal
  • Traditional cakes/kueh kueh (e.g. kueh lapis, ang ku kueh, kueh dadar, onde onde, put piring, etc.)*
  • Cooked rice products (e.g. nasi lemak, nasi goreng, lontong, etc.)* and other perishable cooked food (puttu mayam, roti prata etc.)*
  • Mooncakes
  • Dried beancurd sticks, skins and sheets

*Ready to eat products only. Frozen and/or uncooked products are currently excluded. For more information, see Examples of Traditional Cakes (Kueh Kueh), Cooked Rice Products and Other Perishable Cooked Food.

Food manufacturing establishments that wish to register with MOH Malaysia can contact them at:

Export Branch
Food Safety & Quality Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia
Tel: 603-8885 0797 ext 4230

Fish & Fish Products


Generally, fish and fish products can be exported to Singapore from any country, with the exception of high-risk products.

High Risk Product
Approved Sources
Chilled shucked raw oysters

Chilled cockle meat

Chilled cooked prawn/shrimp

Chilled crab meat
Export to Singapore is not allowed from any country
Live oysters
Export to Singapore is only allowed from countries which meet AVA’s requirements for a shellfish sanitation programme, including:
  • Australia 
  • Canada
  • France
  • Ireland
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • USA
Frozen oysters

Frozen blood cockle meat Frozen cooked prawns

Frozen raw/cooked crab meat
Export to Singapore is allowed from any country, but importers are required to obtain health certificates issued by the competent authority of the exporting country.

Requirements for export of live oysters

Export of live oysters is allowed only from approved countries that maintain a National Shellfish Sanitation Programme (NSSP).

The NSSP should include details such as:

  • classification of harvesting waters,
  • monitoring programme and testing programme at these harvesting areas, and
  • control or contingency plans when pathogens are detected, e.g. closure of the waters from collection and recall programme/procedures.

Competent authorities of interested countries should forward the submission and its recommendations to AVA for documentary review.

Conditions for Specific Types of Food

Traders who wish to import food into Singapore must ensure that their products meet AVA’s conditions.

Some of these conditions include importing from approved food sources, obtaining health certificates, providing the required food labels, etc.

The conditions will depend on the specific types of food & food products, namely:

  • Meat & Meat Products
  • Eggs & Egg Products
  • Fish & Fish Products
  • Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
  • Processed Food & Food Appliances

To find out what products belong to the food categories, please see General Classification of Food and Food Products.

Before you bring in any food or food product, you must also ensure that all additives and ingredients present in the food are AVA-approved. See section "Food Additives & Ingredients" below for more information.

While Genetically Modified Crops are not a food category per se, conditions also apply to the import of such products. See section "Genetically Modified Crops" below for more information.

Meat & Meat Products


1. Import from approved sources

You can only import meat and meat products from AVA-approved sources. Please see Countries approved to export meat to Singapore (PDF). You may also use our database to search for approved overseas establishments.

As the lists of approved countries and establishments are subject to change, please make sure you check them before importing meat and meat products into Singapore. 

To find out more about the latest suspensions of food, refer to AVA’s Circulars.

2. Keep to import timeframe

The following table outlines the timeframe in which the following type of products must be imported from time of slaughter (for meat) or from time of manufacture (for processed meat). 

This guideline is to allow sufficient time for retail and the timeframes do not represent shelf lives. 

Type of product
Timeframe (No. of months after slaughter/manufacture)
Subject to random testing  Subjected to automatic detention for laboratory testing Import Not Allowed
Frozen pork
< 3 months
3 – 6 months
> 6 months
Frozen beef, mutton and poultry
< 6 months
6 – 12 months
> 12 months
Processed meat
< 3 months
3 – 6 months
> 6 months
3. Obtain a health certificate

Each consignment you import must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by the competent authority of the exporting country. This is to certify that your imports comply with Singapore's animal health and food safety requirements.

4. Ensure food labels are accurate and complete

Every carton and basic packaging unit of your imported meat or meat product must be labelled with the following particulars:

  • description of the meat product;
  • the country of origin of the meat product;
  • the brand name of the meat product, if any;
  • the name and designation number of the processing establishment, if applicable;
  • the date on which the meat product was processed;
  • in the case of a processed meat product, the name and designation number of the slaughterhouse in which the animals used in the production of such meat product were slaughtered and the date of the slaughter;
  • the name and designation number of the establishment in which, and the date on which, the meat product was packed;
  • the batch number and, where the meat product is canned, the canning code; and
  • the net weight of meat product as contained in each basic packaging and outer carton.

Eggs & Egg Products


Fresh eggs 
1. Import from approved sources

You can only import fresh eggs from AVA-approved layer farms in these countries:

Note that each consignment of fresh eggs must be derived from a single farm.

As the lists of approved countries and farms are subject to change, please make sure you check them before importing fresh eggs into Singapore.

2. Obtain a veterinary health certificate

Each consignment you import must be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate issued by the relevant veterinary authority of the exporting country. The certificate must be dated within 7 days of import. 

3. Meet all veterinary conditions

Your imported eggs must comply with all the conditions stated in the relevant Veterinary Conditions documents:

Processed eggs
1. Import from approved sources

You can only import fresh eggs from AVA-approved sources. Please use our database to search for approved overseas food establishments.

As the list of approved establishments is subject to change, please make sure you check it before importing processed eggs into Singapore.

2. Obtain a health certificate

Each consignment you import must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by the competent authority of the exporting country. This is to certify that your imports comply with Singapore's animal health and food safety requirements.

Fish & Fish Products


Generally, you can import fish and fish products from any country without obtaining a health certificate. However, restrictions and conditions apply to: 

  • Items classified as high risk products; and
  • Fish species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
1. Comply with the rules on high risk products 
High Risk Product Conditions for Import
Chilled shucked raw oysters

Chilled cockle meat

Chilled cooked prawn/shrimp

Chilled crab meat
Import is not allowed
Live oysters
Import is only allowed from countries which meet AVA’s requirements for a shellfish sanitation programme such as:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • France
  • Ireland
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

Each consignment you import must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by the relevant authority of the exporting country. 
Frozen oysters

Frozen blood cockle meat

Frozen cooked prawns

Frozen raw/cooked crab meat
Each consignment you import must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by the relevant authority of the exporting country.
2. Obtain CITES permits for CITES listed species

If you are importing fish (i.e. whole fish and all parts or derivatives) species listed under CITES, you are required to obtain: 

Your imports must be accompanied by these permits. Below are the fish species listed under CITES:

CITES Appendix II
CITES Appendix III
  1. Sturgeon (Acipenseriformes species)
  2. Whale shark (Rhincodon typus)
  3. Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus)
  4. Seahorses (Hippocampus species)
  5. Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
  6. Humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus)
  7. Mediterranean date mussel (Lithophaga lithophaga)
  8. Porbeagle Shark (Lamna nasus)
  9. Scalloped Hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini)
  10. Great Hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran)
  11. Smooth Hammerhead shark (Sphyrna zygaena)
  12. Oceanic Whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus)
  13. Mobuild rays (Manta spp.)
  14. European eel (Anguilla anguilla)
  1. "Rock Sea Cucumber" (Isostichopus fuscus) from Ecuador 

Learn more about CITES in Endangered Animals.

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables


You can import fresh fruits and vegetables from any country as long as the imports meet AVA’s conditions. Fresh fruits and vegetables refer to raw and unprocessed fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables which have undergone some processing such as cutting, peeling, canning and freezing are regulated as processed food.

1. Ensure the produce is safe to eat

According to the Control of Plants (Import & Transshipment of Fresh Fruits & Vegetables) Rules, the fresh fruits and vegetables you import must not contain:

2. Obtain a phytosanitary certificate 

This condition only applies to consignments from countries in the South American Tropics.

Each consignment you import from countries in the South American tropics must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate certifying that the imported produce is free from South American Leaf Blight (SALB) or is sourced from or grown in an area free from SALB.

You can obtain this phytosanitary certificate from the competent authority of your exporting country.

3. Ensure labels are accurate and complete

You must ensure that the containers (e.g. cartons, baskets, etc.) of the produce are labelled with the following:

  • name and address of the producer of the products;
  • product description; and
  • date of export/packing.

Processed Food & Food Appliances


You can import processed food and food appliances from any country as long as you meet AVA’s conditions.

1. Import from regulated establishments
Regulated Source Programme

You have to ensure that the processed food products you intend to import are manufactured in an establishment which:

  • is under proper supervision of the food authority of your exporting country, or
  • has a quality assurance program acceptable to AVA.

You are required to maintain documentary proof that your imported products are produced under sanitary conditions in a regulated establishment. Note that you should submit this documentation to AVA if you import the following food products:

S/No. Types of products
1 Packaged mineral and drinking water and ice
2 Coconut milk and grated coconut, and nasi lemak
3 Infant cereals and infant formulas
4 Land snails
5 Minimally processed fruits and vegetables 
6 Pasteurised liquid milk
7 Traditional cakes (kueh kueh)
8 Cut sugarcanes
9 Mooncakes

Importers of other food products not listed above should also maintain regulated source documentation and produce them when requested by AVA officers.The following are some examples of regulated source documents that AVA accepts as documentary proof:

  • Certificate of HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point)
  • Certificate of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices)
  • Health Certificate (issued by competent food or veterinary authority of exporting country
  • Attestation of export (issued by competent food or veterinary authority of exporting country)
  • Factory licence (issued by regulatory authority of the exporting country)
How to submit documentary proof
STEP DESCRIPTION
STEP 1:
Submit the regulated source documents online, either: This is a one-time submission, unless there are changes to your sources of supply.
STEP 2:
Retain the original regulated source documents for AVA’s inspection as and when necessary.
Enhanced Regulated Source Programme

As of 1 January 2014, importers of the following 6 categories of processed food products from Malaysia should meet the conditions of the Enhanced Regulated Source Programme:

  • Infant formula
  • Infant cereal
  • Traditional cakes/kueh kueh (e.g. kueh lapis, ang ku kueh, kueh dadar, onde onde, put piring, etc.)*
  • Cooked rice products (e.g. nasi lemak, nasi goreng, lontong, etc)* and other perishable cooked food (puttu mayam, roti prata etc)*
  • Mooncakes
  • Dried beancurd sticks, skins and sheets

*Ready to eat products only. Frozen and/or uncooked products are currently excluded. For more information, see Examples of Traditional Cakes (Kueh Kueh), Cooked Rice Products and Other Perishable Cooked Food.

If you are bringing in food products covered under this programme, you must obtain your products from Malaysian food manufacturing establishments that have been registered with the Malaysian Ministry of Health (MOH).

Please see the List of Food Manufacturing Establishments Registered with Ministry of Health Malaysia for Export to Singapore.

Before you import the products, you must also:

  • submit the relevant documentary proof, and
  • follow specific procedures during TradeXchange import permit declaration.
How to submit documentary proof
STEP DESCRIPTION
STEP 1:
Prepare softcopies of relevant enhanced regulated source documents for each premise, for example:

a) the MOH Malaysia registration letter, and
b) invoices from the manufacturing establishment.
STEP 2:
Indicate your company name and Unique Entity Number in your submission.
STEP 3:
Email the enhanced regulated source documents to ava_import&export_foodstuff@ava.gov.sg

This is a one-time submission, unless there are changes to your sources of supply.
STEP 4:
Receive an establishment code (e.g. MYZNNV0001) for each manufacturer upon submission of the documentary proof.
STEP 5:
Retain the original regulated source documents for AVA’s inspection as and when necessary.

What to do at the point of TradeXchange import permit declaration

STEP DESCRIPTION
STEP 1:
Declare the issued establishment code (e.g. MYZNNV0001) of the manufacturer(s) in the CA/SC Code1 field in the TradeXchange system.
STEP 2:
Submit documentary proof to AVA online via the TradeXchange system, in the form of:

a) invoices,
b) packing lists, or
c) manufacturer’s licences.

If you require any clarification on the list or the registration of Malaysian food manufacturing establishments by MOH Malaysia, you may contact MOH Malaysia at the contact details provided below.

Ms Emmy Farina Mansor
Assistant Director, Export Branch
Food Safety & Quality Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia
Tel: 603-8885 0797 ext 4230
Email: emmy@moh.gov.my

2. Send products to accredited laboratories for analysis

While not mandatory, you are advised to initiate quality control checks on the products you intend to import by sending them to accredited laboratories for analysis.

For the list of accredited laboratories, please see the Singapore Accreditation Council-Singapore Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (SAC-SINGLAS) website.

3. Submit required documents for high risk products

Some processed food products are classified as high risk and require you to submit additional documents when you apply for an import permit. These documents include health certificates, laboratory analysis, etc.

For the list of high risk products and their requirements, please see Import Requirements of Specific Food Products.

4. Ensure food additives and ingredients are allowed by AVA

Under AVA’s Food Regulations, only certain food additives and ingredients are allowed in food. See the section below on Food Additives and Ingredients for more information.

5. Ensure labels are accurate and complete

All pre-packed food products for sale in Singapore should be labelled according to specified requirements. For more information on food labelling and advertisement, please see Labelling Guidelines for Food Importers and Manufacturers.

Food Additives & Ingredients


Before you import any food or food product, you must ensure that all food additives and ingredients included in your product are permitted under AVA’s Food Regulations. 

Please see: 

Genetically Modified Crops


Genetically Modified (GM) crop developers who wish to apply for the import of GM crops as food or food ingredients must submit a proposal to the Genetic Modification Advisory Committee of Singapore (GMAC) for safety evaluation before importing.

For more information on the application process and submission of proposal, please see GMAC’s website.

After GMAC has completed the evaluation and has endorsed the application, AVA will consider GMAC’s recommendations and conduct further safety evaluation on the GM crop. 

AVA’s evaluation of the food product will be based on Codex’s “Guideline for the Conduct of Food Safety Assessment of Foods Derived from Recombinant-DNA Plants”.

Please see the List of approved Genetically Modified Crops for use as food or as food ingredients in Singapore (PDF) .

Live Poultry & Livestock

Live poultry and livestock are domestic birds and animals meant for the purpose of slaughter for consumption.

Only licensed traders are allowed to import or export poultry and livestock. Traders must also meet AVA’s import, export and transshipment requirements.

Live poultry includes domestic fowl or chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, silkies, quails, chukar partridges and pigeons.

Livestock includes sheep and goats.

Licensing of Traders


Only licensed traders are allowed to import or export live poultry or livestock.

1. Register the company with ACRA

Your trading company or business must be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) before conducting business in Singapore.

ACRA issues a Unique Entity Number (UEN) to all Singapore-registered companies.

2. Register and activate UEN with Singapore Customs

Companies must register and activate their UEN with Singapore Customs if they intend to import, transship and export food products.

Please refer to the Singapore Customs circular on the Activation of Customs Account or contact Singapore Customs at (65) 6355 2000 for more details.

3. Open and maintain a GIRO account

In addition, you must open and maintain a GIRO account* with AVA for the payment of fees and permits.

Download, complete and submit the Application Form for Interbank GIRO. For more information on the GIRO payment mode, see GIRO.

*If you need to change your GIRO account with AVA, you have to re-submit a new GIRO application form. You are also required to maintain the existing GIRO account until the new GIRO account is approved, as your licence may be suspended if you do not have a GIRO account with AVA.

4. Apply for Licence to Import

Apply for an AVA Licence to Import Domestic Birds, Table Eggs, Sheep and Goat online via the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website.

Please note that you will need to log in to the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website and locate the specific licensing service.

The licence is a one-time registration with AVA and no fee is required.

Importing Live Poultry


Licensed traders who intend to import live poultry into Singapore are required to meet AVA’s import conditions and requirements. 

1. Check that your sources are approved by AVA

You can only import live chickens and ducks from approved farms in West Malaysia. Please see:

As the lists of approved farms are subject to change, please make sure you check the lists before importing live poultry into Singapore.

2. Meet AVA’s veterinary conditions

Ensure that your poultry consignments fulfil AVA’s Veterinary Conditions for the Importation of Domestic Birds and Eggs

3. Apply for Customs Clearance Permit

Each consignment of poultry must be accompanied by a Cargo Clearance Permit (CCP) for import clearance at the port of entry. 

The CCP costs S$62 per consignment, and also serves as an AVA import permit. You can obtain a CCP online via TradeNet

You will need to provide the appropriate HS codes and product codes in your application. For the list of products codes, see Product Codes for TradeNet.

4. Obtain veterinary health certificate 

Each imported consignment must be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate issued by the relevant veterinary authority of the exporting country. The certificate must be issued no more than 7 days prior to import*. 

* Except in the case of ducks from Perak, which requires the veterinary certificate to be dated within 4 days of import. 

5. Make an appointment for border control inspection

All live poultry imports have to undergo inspection at the port of entry upon arrival in Singapore. 

Contact AVA Changi Animal & Plant Quarantine (CAPQ) office 5 days before arrival of the consignment to notify them of the planned date of arrival.

6. Inspection upon arrival in Singapore 

At the port of entry in Singapore, the CCP and Veterinary Health Certificate will be examined by an AVA Officer. Your consignments will be released if the documents are in order and the poultry are healthy.

Importing Livestock


Licensed traders who intend to import livestock into Singapore are required to meet AVA’s import conditions and requirements.

1. Check that your sources are approved by AVA

You can only import livestock from approved countries, including:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • USA
2. Meet AVA’s veterinary conditions

Ensure that your livestock consignments fulfil AVA’s Veterinary Conditions for the Importation of Livestock.

3. Apply for a Special Slaughter Permit

Obtain a Special Slaughter Permit from AVA for each consignment of livestock you import.

Type of licence Cost and validity
Special Slaughter Permit (sheep/goat only)
  • S$25 per Permit issued and S$5 per animal
  • Valid only on the specified date of slaughter

Request for the latest application form by sending an email to sonia_ranita_saminathan@ava.gov.sg and yeoh_nguan_joo@ava.gov.sg with the following mandatory details:

  • Name of applicant and organisation
  • Contact number
  • Email address
  • Purpose of special slaughter

You can also contact AVA at (65) 6805 2716 for more information on the Special Slaughter Permit.

4. Apply for AVA import licence

Apply for an import licence via the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website for each consignment of livestock you intend to import. The licence is valid for 30 days from the date of issue.

Please note that you will need to log in to the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website and locate the specific import licensing service.

Type of licence Cost and validity
Licence to Import/Export/Transship Animals, Birds, Eggs and Biologics
  • S$87 (normal service, issuance within 2 working days of submission of complete documents)
  • S$174 (express service, issuance within 1 working day of submission of complete documents)
  • Valid for 30 days from date of issuance
  • Each licence is valid for 1 consignment only
5. Obtain veterinary health certificate

Each imported consignment must be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate issued by the relevant veterinary authority of the exporting country. The certificate must be dated no more than 7 days prior to import.

6. Make an appointment for border control inspection

All livestock imports have to undergo inspection at the port of entry upon arrival in Singapore.

Contact AVA Changi Animal & Plant Quarantine (CAPQ) office 5 days before arrival of the consignment to notify them of the planned date of arrival.

7. Obtain a master’s/captain’s declaration

Each consignment of livestock must be accompanied by a signed declaration from the master of the ship or the captain of the aircraft.

8. Inspection upon arrival in Singapore

On arrival at the port of entry in Singapore, the animals and documents (i.e. AVA import licence, Veterinary Health Certificate and Captain’s Declaration) will be examined by an AVA Officer.

If documents are in order and the animals are healthy, the livestock will be released and you can take the animals straight to the approved holding and slaughter premises.

Exporting Live Poultry & Livestock


Licensed traders who intend to export live poultry or livestock from Singapore are required to fulfil AVA’s export requirements, as well as the import requirements of the country of destination.

1. Check the import requirements of your country of destination

Find out the import requirements of your country of destination. Some countries may require Veterinary Health Certification before live poultry or livestock can enter.

2. Apply for AVA Export Licence

Apply for an AVA Export Licence via the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website within 30 days of exporting. Note that the licence is only valid for 30 days from date of issue.

Please note that you will need to log in to the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website and locate the specific export licensing service.

Type of licence Cost and validity
Licence to Import/Export/Transship Animals, Birds, Eggs and Biologics
  • S$87 (normal service, issuance within 2 working days of submission of complete documents)
  • S$174 (express service, issuance within 1 working day of submission of complete documents)
  • Valid for 30 days from date of issuance
  • Each licence is valid for 1 consignment only
3. Obtain a Veterinary Health Certificate

This step only applies if your country of destination requires a Veterinary Health Certificate.

Apply for an AVA Veterinary Certificate online via the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website. Please note that you will need to log in to the e-Service and locate "Veterinary Certificate".

4. Apply for Custom Clearance Permit

Before exporting each consignment, you need to obtain a Customs Clearance Permit (CCP) online via TradeNet. This permit is for export clearance at the border control checkpoints.

You will need to provide the appropriate HS codes and product codes in your application. For the list of products codes, see Product Codes for TradeNet.

Transshipping Live Poultry & Livestock


Transshipping means travelling between countries and transiting via Singapore for a period of less than 24 hours.

Traders intending to transship live poultry and livestock via Singapore will require an AVA Transshipment Licence.

Please note that live poultry from bird-flu affected countries are not allowed to transit via Singapore, and only livestock from approved countries are allowed to transit via Singapore.

Apply for AVA Transshipment Licence

Prepare the following documents in softcopy:

  • valid Veterinary Health Certificate, and
  • import permit from the importing country (if required by your country of destination).

Apply via the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website, and upload the prepared documents.

Please note that you will need to log in to the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website and locate the specific transshipment licensing service.

Type of licence Cost and validity
Licence to Import/Export/Transship Animals, Birds, Eggs and Biologics
  • S$87 (issuance within the same day)
  • Valid for 30 days from date of issuance
  • Each licence is valid for 1 consignment only

Transshipped live poultry and livestock may be subject to inspection by AVA.

Contact AVA Changi Animal & Plant Quarantine (CAPQ) office 5 days before arrival of the consignment to notify them of the planned date of arrival.

Applying for Import Permit

After complying with all pre-import requirements, you need to apply for an import permit through the TradeXchange system

AVA requires an import permit for all food and food products brought into Singapore, regardless of the mode of transport (e.g. by air, land, sea or parcel post).

Below is a summary of the application procedure:

STEP DESCRIPTION
STEP 1:
Prepare your:
  • licence / registration number, and
  • product / HS codes.

See AVA’s Product Codes for permit declaration for the relevant codes
STEP 2:
Apply for your import permit via the TradeXchange system. You will be assigned a Unique Reference Number.
STEP 3:
Submit additional documents online as attachments through the TradeXchange system, if required*.
STEP 4:
After approval by the Singapore Customs and AVA, you will be issued a Cargo Clearance Permit (CCP) which also serves as an AVA import permit..
STEP 5:
Print out your CCP and make the required number of copies of the CCP, which will be used for clearance of goods at the border checkpoint, inspection, etc.

* In some cases, e.g. the import of specific food products, you are required to submit additional documentation such as laboratory reports or health certificates during your import permit application.

 For more information on the application of an import permit, see the Singapore Customs page on TradeNet.

Paying import fees

You need to pay an import fee for every consignment of food that you import into Singapore. 

The payment will be deducted from your GIRO account. Note that you will need to first apply for a GIRO account with AVA

The fees for the import of various types of food are provided in the table below.

Type of Food Fees
Meat (chilled, frozen or processed)
S$4.60 per 100 kg or part thereof
Meat (canned)
S$77 per consignment
Fish
S$3 per consignment
Fresh fruits and vegetables
S$3 per consignment
Fresh eggs
S$62 per consignment
Processed eggs (salted/preserved eggs)
S$62 per consignment
Other processed egg products
S$22 per consignment
Processed food
Not applicable
Food appliances
Not applicable

Inspection of imported food 

The AVA approval code and approval message stated on your CCP will indicate whether your imported consignments require inspection by AVA. 

For more information on inspection of food imports, see section Inspection of Imported Food.

Inspection of Imported Food

Some types of food imports require inspection upon entering the country.

You can find out if your food imports require AVA inspection by checking your Cargo Clearance Permit (CCP) for the:

  • AVA approval code (eg. A03, A04, A21); and
  • conditional approval message.

Importers are advised to read the conditional approval messages in their CCPs carefully, and comply fully with the requirements indicated. Importers that do not comply with the conditional approval messages may be subjected to enforcement action.

Food & Food Products for Inspection


All food consignments are subject to inspection. Some samples may also be taken by AVA for laboratory analysis.

In some cases, consignments may be placed on “hold and test”, i.e. your consignment cannot be sold or distributed until the laboratory results have been released and the sample found compliant with Singapore food laws.

Online Booking for Food Import Inspection


You are advised to make an online booking through the AVA Inspection & Laboratory e-Services for the inspection of:

  • meat and meat products,
  • processed eggs,
  • seafood,
  • fresh fruits and vegetables,
  • processed food and food appliances, and
  • fresh eggs.

Note that you will not receive the results of ad hoc inspections done without bookings. Please check with AVA for the results of ad hoc inspections.

For more information on making an online booking for inspections, please refer to the following guides:

With immediate effect on 01 June 2015, all importers of Fresh Eggs coming through Changi Airfreight Centre are required to make an online booking for inspections at Changi Animal & Plant Quarantine (CAPQ) at least 1 day before inspection, before 12:00pm. Please refer to the following guides for the Circular and the step-by-step procedure on making an online booking:

What You Need for the Inspection


Prepare the following to present to the AVA inspector during the inspection:

  • your Cargo Clearance Permit,
  • any relevant documents, e.g. invoices and health certificates, and
  • the consignment of food for inspection (for frozen raw meat, 1 carton is to be surface thawed before the inspection)

What Happens if Your Imports Fail the Inspection


Consignments that fail to meet AVA’s requirements will not be allowed to be sold or distributed in Singapore. Importers of such consignments will have to return or dispose of them. For consignments found to be contaminated with radioactive materials, importers are required to either return or re-export the products. Local disposal of the consignments is not allowed.

Depending on the nature of the non-compliance, the source and/or exporter may be suspended from exporting to Singapore. Importers of non-compliant products may also be suspended from importing from these sources/exporters.

Back to Top LAST UPDATED ON Tuesday, May 17, 2016
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