How to Get an Import License in Singapore

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How do you import the best ingredients for that awesome burger?

Scenario 1: Your restaurant is up and running. We’ve got your back with the liquor license. But now, you want to introduce a new segment to your restaurant: modern Japanese. You realize you need to import supplies in order to wow your customers.

Scenario 2: You are running a grocery store and want to sell imported products: meat, fish, eggs, processed food. Your supplies are coming in from all over the world and the suppliers are ready for business.

Your imported supplies need to be approved by Singapore Customs. You need an import license before you do anything else. How do you proceed?

Step 1: You need to register with Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). But before that you must make sure of the following:

  • Ensure that the imported products comply with the General Classification of Food and Food Products
  • Do note that importing fresh table eggs require an additional screening process to ensure that you have complied with the storage requirements. More on this here.
  • Make sure that the food establishment that is exporting food to Singapore is accredited by AVA. You can check here if the country or food establishment you are importing from is accredited by AVA.
  • An active Unique Entity Number (UEN) with Singapore Customs. To learn how to activate your customs account, click here.
  • A GIRO account for the payment of fees

Step 2: Submit an application to AVA through the e-licensing website. You can apply for a license to import meat, fish products, fresh fruits, vegetables and table eggs. To import processed food products and food appliances, you have to register on the same website (no license).

Step 3: You must pay for your license via GIRO

Here are the charges for licensing and registration fees:

License for Import/Export/Transshipment of Meat and Fish Products SGD 84/year Normal Service:
1 working day to processExpress Service:
Same day processing. Pay an additional fee equal to the cost of your licence
Licence for Import/Transshipment of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables S$378 per annum Normal Service:
1 working day to processExpress Service:
Same day processing. Pay an additional fee equal to the cost of your licence
Licence to Import Table Eggs Free 5 working days to process
Registration to Import Processed Food Products and Food Appliances Free 1 working day to process.

The process is straightforward and quick.

 

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