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Food Imports


Food Imports | Bestar
Food Imports | Bestar

Commercial Food Imports


Singapore imports over 90% of its food, so the commercial food import industry is a major part of the country's economy. The top sources of food imports for Singapore are Malaysia, China, the United States, and Brazil. Some of the most common food items imported into Singapore include:

  • Fruits and vegetables

  • Meat and seafood

  • Dairy products

  • Grains and cereals

  • Prepared foods

  • Beverages

In order to import food into Singapore, businesses must obtain a license from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA). The SFA has strict regulations in place to ensure the safety of imported food. These regulations cover everything from the hygiene of the production facilities to the packaging and labelling of the food.


The commercial food import industry in Singapore is a competitive one, but there are also many opportunities for businesses that can meet the high standards of the SFA. If you are interested in importing food into Singapore, there are a number of resources available to help you get started. The SFA website has a wealth of information on the licensing requirements and the regulations governing imported food. There are also a number of trade associations and chambers of commerce that can provide support and advice to businesses in the food import industry.


What You Need to Know before Importing


Here are some things you need to know before importing commercial food into Singapore:

  • Obtain a license from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA). This is a requirement for all businesses that import food for commercial sale.

  • Check the SFA's list of controlled foods. Some foods, such as meat and seafood, require special permits or licenses to import.

  • Meet the SFA's food safety requirements. These requirements cover everything from the hygiene of the production facilities to the packaging and labelling of the food.

  • Provide the SFA with the necessary documentation. This includes an import permit, a health certificate, and a certificate of origin.

  • Pay the relevant import duties and taxes. These vary depending on the type of food being imported.

Here are some additional tips for importing commercial food into Singapore:

  • Do your research. Before you import any food, make sure you understand the SFA's regulations and requirements.

  • Work with a reputable supplier. This will help to ensure that the food you import meets the SFA's standards.

  • Be prepared for delays. The SFA may take some time to process your import permit application.

  • Be aware of the risks. Importing food can be a risky business. There is always the possibility that the food will not meet the SFA's standards or that it will be contaminated.


Conditions for Specific Types of Food for Import


The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has specific conditions for the import of certain types of food. These conditions are designed to ensure the safety of imported food and to protect public health.


Some of the specific conditions for the import of food in Singapore include:

  • Meat and seafood: Meat and seafood must be imported from approved sources and must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by the relevant authority in the exporting country.

  • Dairy products: Dairy products must be imported from approved sources and must be pasteurized or heat-treated to ensure their safety.

  • Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables must be imported from approved sources and must be free from pests and diseases.

  • Prepared foods: Prepared foods must be imported from approved sources and must meet the SFA's food safety standards.

  • Beverages: Beverages must be imported from approved sources and must be free from contaminants.

The SFA also has specific labelling requirements for imported food. These requirements ensure that consumers are able to make informed choices about the food they buy.


If you are planning to import food into Singapore, it is important to familiarise yourself with the SFA's regulations and requirements. You can find more information on the SFA website.


Here are some additional conditions for the import of specific types of food in Singapore:

  • Pufferfish: Import of pufferfish muscle meat and farmed pufferfish parts (fins, skin and milt) is only allowed from SFA-approved sources.

  • Novel food: Novel food is a food that is new to Singapore or has been significantly modified. Novel food must be assessed by the SFA before it can be imported.

  • Organic food: Organic food must be certified as organic by an accredited body.

Licensing & Registration of Traders


All traders who wish to import, export or transship food products in Singapore are required by law to either obtain a relevant trader's licence or register with the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).


The types of licences and registrations available are:

  • Trader's licence: This is required for traders who import, export or transship meat and fish products, fresh fruits and vegetables, and fresh table eggs.

  • Registration with SFA: This is required for traders who import, export or transship other types of food products.

To obtain a trader's licence or register with SFA, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a Singapore citizen or permanent resident.

  • You must have a valid business registration.

  • You must have a suitable premises for storing and handling food.

  • You must have a food safety management system in place.

You can apply for a trader's licence or register with SFA online through the GoBusiness Licensing website. The application fee is S$200 for a trader's licence and S$100 for registration with SFA.


The processing time for an application is usually 1-2 weeks. Once your application is approved, you will be issued with a licence or registration certificate.


For more information on the licensing and registration requirements for commercial food imports in Singapore, please visit the SFA website.


Here are some additional tips for obtaining a trader's licence or registering with SFA:

  • Do your research. Before you apply, make sure you understand the SFA's regulations and requirements.

  • Gather all the necessary documents. You will need to provide the SFA with a number of documents, including your business registration certificate, a premises inspection report, and a food safety management plan.

  • Be prepared to pay the application fee. The application fee is S$200 for a trader's licence and S$100 for registration with SFA.

  • Be patient. The processing time for an application is usually 1-2 weeks.

General Requirements for Traders


Here are the general requirements for traders of commercial food imports in Singapore:

  • Be a Singapore citizen or permanent resident.

  • Have a valid business registration.

  • Have a suitable premises for storing and handling food.

  • Have a food safety management system in place.

  • Obtain a trader's licence or register with SFA.

  • Meet the SFA's food safety requirements.

  • Provide the SFA with the necessary documentation.

  • Pay the relevant import duties and taxes.

Here is a more detailed explanation of each requirement:

  • Singapore citizenship or permanent residency: This requirement is in place to ensure that the trader has a vested interest in the safety of the food being imported into Singapore.

  • Valid business registration: This requirement is to ensure that the trader is a legitimate business entity.

  • Suitable premises: The premises must be clean, well-ventilated, and free of pests.

  • Food safety management system: The food safety management system must be designed to ensure the safety of the food throughout the supply chain.

  • Trader's licence or registration with SFA: This requirement is to ensure that the trader is aware of and complies with the SFA's food safety regulations.

  • Food safety requirements: The SFA's food safety requirements are designed to protect public health. These requirements cover everything from the hygiene of the production facilities to the packaging and labelling of the food.

  • Documentation: The SFA requires that certain documentation be submitted with the import permit application. This documentation includes the import permit application form, a health certificate, and a certificate of origin.

  • Import duties and taxes: The import duties and taxes payable on food imports vary depending on the type of food being imported.

Applying for Licences / Registration


Here are the steps on how to apply for licences/registration for food imports in Singapore:

  1. Check the SFA's website to see what type of licence or registration you need. The SFA website has a list of all the licences and registrations available, as well as the requirements for each one.

  2. Gather all the necessary documents. The SFA will require you to submit a number of documents with your application, including your business registration certificate, a premises inspection report, and a food safety management plan.

  3. Complete the application form. The SFA website has a downloadable application form that you can use.

  4. Pay the application fee. The application fee for a trader's licence is S$200 and the application fee for registration with SFA is S$100.

  5. Submit your application. You can submit your application online through the GoBusiness Licensing website or by mail.

  6. Wait for the SFA to process your application. The processing time for an application is usually 1-2 weeks.

  7. Receive your licence or registration certificate. If your application is approved, you will be issued with a licence or registration certificate.

Here are some additional tips for applying for licences/registration for food imports in Singapore:

  • Do your research. Before you apply, make sure you understand the SFA's regulations and requirements.

  • Gather all the necessary documents. You will need to provide the SFA with a number of documents, including your business registration certificate, a premises inspection report, and a food safety management plan.

  • Be prepared to pay the application fee. The application fee for a trader's licence is S$200 and the application fee for registration with SFA is S$100.

  • Be patient. The processing time for an application is usually 1-2 weeks.

How Bestar can Help


Bestar can help you register your company with ACRA for food imports in Singapore in the following ways:

  • Provide guidance on the registration process: Bestar can help you understand the requirements for registering a company with ACRA for food imports, and they can provide guidance on the steps involved in the process.

  • Complete the necessary paperwork: Bestar can help you complete the necessary paperwork for registering your company with ACRA, including the company registration form, the business profile form, and the memorandum of association.

  • File the paperwork with ACRA: Bestar can file the paperwork with ACRA on your behalf, which will save you time and hassle.

  • Obtain the company registration certificate: Once the paperwork has been filed with ACRA, Bestar can help you obtain the company registration certificate.

In addition to these services, Bestar can also help you with other aspects of setting up a food import business in Singapore, such as obtaining a trader's licence or registering with the SFA.


Here are some of the benefits of using Bestar to register your company with ACRA for food imports in Singapore:

  • Expertise: Bestar has a team of experienced professionals who can help you with the registration process.

  • Compliance: Bestar is familiar with the ACRA's regulations and requirements, and they can help you to ensure that your company is registered correctly.

  • Efficiency: Bestar can help you register your company quickly and efficiently.

  • Peace of mind: Knowing that Bestar is handling the registration process gives you peace of mind.

If you are considering registering a company with ACRA for food imports in Singapore, contact Bestar to discuss your needs. They can provide you with a free consultation and help you to register your company smoothly.


Let me know if you have other questions.

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