Two importers were fined a total of $9,000 (€5,800) in court on Wednesday for illegally importing about 1,000kg of fresh vegetables. These were capsicums and leeks, among others, which did not conform to the import permit requirements.
According to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), Seng Lee Impex, a company that imports fruits and vegetables, and Ng Soo Tiang, 59, the sole proprietor of Ever-Shine Fruits and Vegetables Supplier, were fined $6,000 and $3,000 respectively.
AVA said that on two separate occasions in May 2018, during its routine sampling and surveillance programme, its officers detected 200kg and 51kg of under-declared fresh vegetables in two consignments of vegetables imported from Malaysia by Seng Lee Impex and Ng respectively.
In July 2018, 753kg of undeclared and under-declared assorted vegetable products in another consignment imported by Seng Lee Impex was detected by AVA. All of the illegal consignments had been seized and destroyed.
AVA said that illegally imported food products are from unknown sources and pose a food safety risk. Convicted offenders who illegally import food can be fined a maximum of $10,000 or jailed for up to three years, or both.