With effect from 27 March, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) will launch a new set of voluntary pre-import control measures for baby cereal products.
The new measures focus on upstream controls at the manufacturing stage to ensure the food safety of baby cereal products. Importers who are able to conduct supplier verification checks to ensure that the import conditions are met, may register their supplier with SFA under the voluntary scheme.
Importers under the voluntary scheme will be exempted from submission of laboratory reports of Aflatoxin B1 testing for every consignment during import permit application. Instead, they are allowed to maintain their own records of the supplier verification checks for periodic checks by SFA.
First and foremost, baby cereals products must be manufactured in an establishment regulated by the competent authority in the exporting country. Under the voluntary scheme, the manufacturer must also have in place a food safety management and assurance programme that ensures their products are processed under hygienic and sanitary conditions, as well as comply with Sale of Food Act and the Food Regulations which also include supporting documents by relevant testing and monitoring including for Aflatoxin B1.
Once this has been met, the importer needs to register the supplier/s with SFA, so that in future no further documentation will be required to submit as long as these are updated regularly. SFA however will conduct irregular checks whenever required.
In this way, importers will benefit from the time lapse, as they no longer need to test the products every time prior to them entering into Singapore.
The new measure is voluntary as such for those who do not wish to participate, they can continue with the current protocols where documentary proofs and testing need to be done for every consignment.