In Singapore’s dynamic culinary landscape, the popularity of Chinese food is undeniable. The emergence of Chinese restaurants and supermarket chains underscores the escalating demand for authentic Chinese food experiences. This trend reflects Singapore's diverse palate and presents a lucrative opening for local businesses to seize upon – the opportunity to ship food and snacks directly from China.
However, navigating the complex landscape of importing food into Singapore requires adherence to customs regulations and understanding the necessary documentation and processes. This guide unveils the intricacies of importing food from China to Singapore, navigating through regulations and documents to equip local businesses to tap into the ever-growing market for Chinese food.
The path to importing food from China to Singapore begins with thoroughly reviewing customs regulations. First, local businesses must initiate their venture by registering with China Customs and securing essential permits.
Typically, food products from China do not necessitate an export permit. However, a critical exception arises when dealing with food items enlisted within the Merchandise Directory of Export Permit. This directory, collaboratively issued by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the General Administration of Customs, outlines the scope of products requiring an export permit. Such products encompass commodities like corn and corn powder, wheat and wheat powder, rice and rice powder, and livestock – both live and frozen meat products.
When planning shipments from China to Singapore, prioritising the collection of essential documents is crucial for a smooth and compliant shipping process. These documents are vital for ensuring accurate customs declaration, regulatory compliance, and seamless logistics coordination. Properly preparing and presenting these documents will facilitate efficient customs clearance and contribute to successful international shipping operations.
To ship from China to Singapore, here is a list of essential documents required:
Businesses seeking to import and sell food in Singapore have to follow the guidelines set by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA). Start by reviewing the SFA's food classification according to the General Classification of Food & Food Products. This classification system, tailored exclusively for food, delves deeper than the Harmonized System (HS) code. For instance, consider the import of chicken: while both chicken breast bone-in chilled and chicken thigh bone-in chilled share the HS code 02071300, they differ in their product codes – MCC002 and MCC005, respectively.
The SFA lists prohibited food items that cannot be imported to Singapore that businesses should look at before importing food from China. This list helps importers identify whether the desired product you wish to import can be introduced to Singapore, along with specific conditions and requirements of its category.
Examples of items that fall within the purview of restricted or prohibited imports encompass fresh fruits and vegetables from specific countries, chill-shucked raw oysters, and select varieties of meat. Another crucial consideration is to guarantee that all potential food imports possess additives and ingredients approved by the SFA.
In order to import and sell food from China in Singapore, there are certain permits and licenses businesses must apply for such as:
To guarantee a seamless and compliant import process, businesses need to adhere to other SFA regulations including:
Importing food from China presents Singaporean businesses with a myriad of opportunities to diversify their product offerings. By following customs regulations, obtaining the necessary documentation, and adhering to the SFA's requirements, businesses can tap into the thriving food import sector. For a seamless overseas shipping and import process, partner with a reliable international shipping company like DHL Express Singapore to reduce the delivery lead time. Whether you are a restaurant, distributor or a company dealing with frozen, canned or preserved food supplies, DHL Express has the experience and expertise to assist you.
Open a DHL Express account business today and ship quality food products from China to Singapore.