Singapore Food Agency (SFA) – Import of Rice
Procedure for Import of Rice to Singapore
In Singapore, rice of all description is a controlled item under the Price Control (Rice) Order 1990 of the Price Control Act (Chapter 244). The Government requires an importer to apply for a licence, obtainable from the administrator of the Rice Stockpile Scheme (RSS).
As of 01 April 2023, Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has taken over the administration of the RSS from Enterprise Singapore. SFA will issue licences for importers, process import permits and enforce the import and stockpile obligations by importers. SFA will also manage the licensing of non-stockpile rice importers.
The import and distribution of rice for domestic sale or consumption are carried out by the importers and traders in the private sector. Importers and wholesalers of rice must be separately licensed.
The RSS ensures that there would be an adequate supply of rice in the market. Under the RSS, all White Rice, Basmati Rice, Ponni Rice and Parboiled Rice are classified as stockpile grade rice. Importers of white rice, basmati rice, ponni rice and parboiled rice for local distribution must join the RSS as licensed stockpile participants. Stockpile participants have to pre-commit on the quantity that they wish to import monthly for local distribution. This monthly amount is known as the Monthly Import Quantity (MIQ) which can be adjusted under certain conditions and notice period, driven by market forces. The minimum MIQ for white rice is 50 tonnes. There is no minimum MIQ for basmati rice, ponni rice and parboiled rice.
The stockpile participant must also keep a Stockpile Quantity (SQ) in a government-designated warehouse. The Stockpile Quantity is twice the MIQ for white rice and twice the average monthly import quantity for ponni rice, parboiled rice and basmati rice. The Stockpile Quantity shall be constantly replaced with new stock and shall not be kept in the government-designated warehouses for more than a year. Each stockpile participant is expected to rotate their stocks.
The ownership of the rice belongs to the individual stockpile participant, although the Government has the right to acquire the rice (with compensation) during an emergency.
The Singapore Storage & Warehouse Pte Ltd (SSW) is the designated warehouse operator for the stockpile rice. Apart from the Prescribed Stockpile Quantity (PSQ) that is kept in SSW’s warehouses, the stockpile participants can keep their trading or excess stocks in their own warehouses or in SSW’s warehouses.
For all rice consignments, importers/exporters are to obtain a customs permit through TradeNet before the goods arrive in/depart from Singapore. Rice importers can sell either to wholesalers or directly to retailers. The stockpile participants may establish their own local distribution network.
Rice Import Licence
Rice of all descriptions is declared to be a controlled item under the Price Control Act (Chapter 244) and the Price Control (Rice) Order 1990. As such, no person shall import the item unless he has a valid licence issued by SFA.
Procedure in Processing Rice Import Licence: Online Licence Application
You may apply for a licence to import rice here.
Upon approval, a lifetime licence will be issued to the importer. Generally, it would take three to five working days to process the application.
You may refer to the SFA website for more information.
Link to List of Product Codes