Over the last two days, two motorists were caught by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at Woodlands checkpoint for trying to smuggle Bak Kwa into Singapore.
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In a Facebook post, ICA said that in both cases, the packets of bak kwa were concealed in pastry or cookie packaging.
“As Malaysia is not an approved country for the importation of meat products by travellers, the packets of bak kwa were disposed of,” ICA said.
Travellers are not allowed to bring in meat, meat products and eggs from Malaysia.
According to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore’s (AVA) website, pork products brought into Singapore for personal consumption must come from a list of 21 countries that are approved by AVA. Malaysia is not on the list.
These meat products must also not exceed 5kg per person and the value of the goods cannot go beyond S$100.
ICA said in its post that livestock, meat and meat products can only be imported from sources that meet AVA’s animal health and food safety standards.
Some of the AVA-approved countries include Canada, Netherlands and the United States, for the import of pork and pork products to Singapore.
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The ICA has also kindly produced an easy to read infographic for the public to spread the news that festive goods or food products brought into Singapore from overseas must meet the relevant guidelines.
The general public is reminded that it is illegal to smuggle food from non AVA-approved countries.
AVA also has specific guidelines for bringing in potted plants from other countries.
Those who want to do so must have a phytosanitary certificate from the country of origin and an import permit from AVA, among other things.
If you want to play on the safe side, declare your items to ICA officers or contact AVA.