Following a deadline imposed by the Malaysian Health Ministry for the new MyFood Tag certification, industry players in Malaysia have voiced concern that not all producers and traders are aware of the certification changes.
The 1 May deadline passed without any delays to imports on the ground in Singapore, according to a report by Channel News Asia, however, confusion remains over its development.
The Singapore Food Agency said the suggestion for the MyFood Tag came from Malaysia during a meeting with Singapore’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) in 2018.
However, Malaysia's Deputy Health Minister Lee Boon Chye tole Channel News Asia the certification was a request from Singapore authorities.
AVA said it had awaited details of the proposed plan from Malaysian authorities but never received them.
Amid all this uncertainty, the due date implemented by Malaysia for certification changes has passed, and industry players in Malaysia are seeking a deadline extension to ensure all traders understand the process.
Certification takes time and involves site visits to Malaysian producers, hygiene checks, etc.
Though the confusion has not yet caused any reported delays, Singapore relies heavily on Malaysia for its fresh produce. In 2018 Singapore purchased 39 per cent of its total fruit and 41 per cent of its total vegetable supply from the Asian nation.