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Asia Pacific: Singapore eases restrictions on import of food from Japan

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The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) is easing restrictions on food imports from Japan, including Fukushima prefecture with immediate effect, said Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong.

AVA and the Japanese authorities will be working on the implementation details.

The announcement comes after AVA’s review and on-site assessment, as well as satisfactory surveillance results from Japan and AVA.

AVA has been monitoring food imports from Japan closely since the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant incident in 2011, and its surveillance results have been satisfactory.

In addition, Japan’s surveillance results have shown that radioactive contamination in food is very low.

This is supported by AVA’s on-site assessment early this year to verify and understand Japan’s food safety measures.

Easing of restrictions

With this easing of restrictions, fruits and vegetables, milk/milk products, meat, hen eggs and green tea/green tea products from eight prefectures (Chiba, Ibaraki, Gunma, Kanagawa, Saitama, Shizuoka, Tochigi and Tokyo) can be imported into Singapore without the need for pre-export tests.

In addition, the suspension of agricultural produce and processed food products (fruits and vegetables, milk/milk products, meat, green tea and green tea products, and rice) from Fukushima will be lifted.

However, the Japanese authorities need to show evidence of satisfactory surveillance results for radioactive contamination in these prefectures, said AVA.

Remaining Restrictions

Import restrictions that remain in place are:

a) Seafood and products from the forests from the prefectures of Ibaraki, Tochigi,

Gunma will still require pre-export tests;

b) Seafood and products from the forest as well as agricultural produce from

demarcated areas and the control zone (close to the nuclear power plant) in

Fukushima prefecture are not allowed to be imported.

All food products from Japan still require a certificate of origin to identify the prefecture of origin of the food product.