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The main reason why Singapore imports their food supply is because of relatively limited production of all agricultural products. In fact, Singapore fully depends on the imports of food supplies. This situation gives a good opportunity to agricultural oriented countries especially the neighbouring ones. Malaysia has a strategic geographical advantage to provide agricultural supplies to Singapore because of the close proximity between Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia. Besides that, better developed infrastructure in the Malaysia than other agricultural oriented neighbouring countries, mainly Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam enhances the importation. As for the financial aspects, exporting to Singapore can help to save the transportation cost. Well enhanced mobility and delivery process is considered a positive characteristic when supplying the export products to Singapore. Food supplies can be exported with no delays and arrives in fresh and good condition. Besides that, Malaysia can benefit from the currency exchange rate when exporting food supply to Singapore. However, the dependence on type of food import is determined by consumer demand. This would include the current conditions of Singaporean food consumption and expenditures. Data per capita consumption of food commodities in Singapore from year 1997 to 2007 conducted by Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) in 2008 shows that there is an increment in eggs consumption from 277.8 pieces to 301.6 pieces. Household budget share for expenditure on food at home conducted by Singapore Department of Statistics in 2008 shows that Singaporean households allocated most of their budget to rice and other cereals, seafood, meat, vegetables, dairy and eggs and fruits, accounting for more than 85 percent of total expenditure on food at home. This shows the importance of eggs that constitutes part of the major food intake in their diet.
Accreditation of Overseas Poultry and Eggs Farms
The accreditation of the overseas poultry and table hen eggs farm is very important because this will help to make sure that the imported poultry and eggs are up to the standards. The accreditation is done by the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore. This is accreditation is also very useful because this will make sure that the poultry and eggs that are imported into Singapore is free from the contamination and harmful microorganisms. The accreditation is covers three major part which are the evaluation of the country, evaluation of foreign eggs and unique entity number (EUN).
2.1 Evaluation of the country
The country that is entitled for exporting the table hen eggs and poultry broilers to Singapore should follow some of the rules and regulation. Furthermore the country needed to meet the requirement that is set by the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). This is important because the Singapore authority is able to detect the source if there is something went wrong in the procedure of the exportation to Singapore. In this evaluation part the AVA mainly focus on Malaysian organization structure of the veterinary, the disease control situation, and the microbial residue.
The set up and organizational structure of the veterinary services
The veterinary services are very important in monitoring the condition of the livestock in a country. This veterinary service will have the standard and monitoring to make sure the livestock are performing well, which is that the livestock are not infected any types of diseases. Therefore the country that wants to export table hen eggs and poultry broilers must has proper veterinary services with a functional organization. In Malaysia the veterinary services is the Malaysia Veterinary Department under the Ministry of Trade and Commodity.
The poultry disease situation and the national program for control and prevention of diseases
The table hen eggs that are produced by the hens should be free from any diseases this is because if the hens are infected with the diseases, the diseases could be transmitted to the eggs. Thus is will be affect the consumers that consume the eggs. The government that is exporting the table hen eggs should have the control and prevention method to stop the spreading of diseases among the livestock. Among the famous diseases that affect the chickens are the avian flu, chicken infectious anemia, and abcd. The government of Malaysia of the diseases control methods by giving the vaccination for the hens and if the farm is already infected with the diseases, the poultry will be destroyed to prevent any further spreading of the diseases.
Copy of the legislation
The copy of the legislation of the exporting country is needed when the country want to export the table hen eggs. The legislation will give prove for the AVA that the exporting country has their own standard of the exporting and importing table hen eggs. The legislation for the table hen eggs is written in the Malaysian Food Act and Regulation. In Malaysian Food Act and regulation, the eggs is mentioned as the no putrefaction and no development of the embryo has begun, and the egg is not incubated. The shell is also free from extraneous matter and the shell is not broken. The term of fresh egg also shown the eggs do not undergo any preservation and cooking.
Copy of legislation authority poultry farms and storage, handling and distribution of egg
The legislation on poultry farms and storage, handling, and distribution of eggs will show whether the authority of the exporting country is following the proper procedure. This is because not proper handling of the storage handling and distribution of the eggs will influence the quality of the eggs and can has the contamination risk. In Malaysia the legislation authority that is responsible for the control is the Malaysian Veterinary Department.
Licensing authority and licensing system of approved farms
The licensing authority is the authority that is in charge for make sure the producer of the eggs are following the rules and the regulation that is set up by the authority. The licensing system shows the proper ways to attain the license for breeding chicken and producing the eggs. The Malaysia Veterinary Department is in charge of the licensing and approving the chicken farms in Malaysia. The eggs can only be exported from the farms that is accredited by AVA.
National microbiological and residue control programmes on eggs and poultry meat
In Malaysia the microbiological content in the eggs are 5 x 104 per ml for the total plate count and for the coliform count is 5 x 10 per ml (Food Act, 2009). The microbial content is very important because it will prevent any food borne disease that is caused by the microorganism. The egg producers should do some important microbial test to make sure that microorganisms content is below the level. The National Food Safety Policy is one of the policies that can be used as the reference for exportation of the eggs to the Singapore.
National Salmonella Enteritidis Control Programme
Salmonella is a type of bacteria that is responsible for the causing the illness in the digestive tract. The Salmonella usually shares the common antigen but they will have their own name. The Salmonella Enteritidis is one the Salmonella species that is closely related in causing the human salmonellosis. The Salmonella can be contaminated the eggs by two methods, which are vertical transmission and horizontal transmission. Malaysian Veterinary Department and Food Safety Department will monitor the salmonella content in the eggs.
2.2 Evaluation of Foreign Poultry Layer (Eggs) and Broiler (Live) Farms
The evaluation of the foreign poultry layer and broiler farms is needed to make sure that the particular farm is eligible for the exporting the eggs to Singapore. The evaluation is done by the authorities from the AVA. The farm breeder can submit the application via the competent veterinary authority of the exporting country. Some of the important information is required for the application and the assessment from AVA.
Name, address and location of the farm
The name and the address is very important because this will make sure that the authority from AVA able to detect the source of the eggs.
Population of poultry, breed and estimated production per month
The population of the poultry is very important, this is to make sure whether the farm is over populated or not. This is because the over populated farm can increase the risk of getting and spreading of the diseases. The production per month will indicate that the farm are able provides the demand from the both countries, which are Malaysia and Singapore.
Type of housing, water, and feed sources
The type of housing of the chickens are very important, this is to make sure what kind of environment the chickens are exposed to. There are two type of housing such as the open sided bird-proofing and closed house system. The water for the feeding of the chicken also very important, the aspect that is being reviewed is the source and type of the water. The feed will help the growth of the chickens and the chickens will produce good quality eggs. The feed source is very important because to know what type of feed is fed to the chickens.
Sanitation and biosecurity of the farm
The sanitation of the farm is one the aspect that will be look through by the authority from AVA. The sanitation is the procedure on how to handle the waste material of from the farm. There should be a proper and good sanitation procedure, in order to prevent any unwanted disease contamination between the chickens. If the sanitation is not proper the chickens will contract the illness and will fall sick. This also will affect the eggs production and the quality of the eggs. The biosecurity aspect is the fencing systems and the separation of the working places. The fencing is to make sure chicken is separated according to the type of chicken and this will also prevent unwanted crowding of the chicken.
The farm is should be kept in a very hygiene condition in order to comply with the AVA's standard and procedure. A very hygienic farm will reduce and minimize the risk of the disease contraction. The aspects that will be looking through by the authority are disinfection procedures, disinfectant used and the frequency of disinfection.
The management practice is very important because proper management will help to maintain the good condition of the farm. The proper management will help to retain the quality of the eggs. The important aspects are movement of old chicks, manure and feed, the handling of eggs, pest control and the recording systems.
Disease surveillance programmes
The surveillance will help to minimize the risk disease contamination and any factors that contribute to the disease. The surveillance programme include the surveillance for the Salmonella Enteritidis. The Salmonella Enteritidis will cause the salmonellosis among the humans. The farm must have a programme that is approved by the competent authority in eradicating the Salmonella Enteritidis.
Drug usage and vaccination programme
The farm that applied for the evaluation for exportation of the eggs to the Singapore must have a proper drug usage and vaccination programme. The drugs and vaccination must be comply with the standard with of the AVA.
Photographs and layout plan of the farm
The photographs and layout will provide a proper and general view of the farms and this will make sure the evaluation authority will more understanding of the farm. This is also will show the management of the farm.
2.3 Unique Entity Number (UEN)
The UEN is a type of number that is used for the standard identification of an entity. The UEN number is the equal to the identification number of the citizen. The UEN uniquely indentifies the entity. All the entities that are entering and registered in Singapore must need the UEN. The benefit of the EUN is it will make sure a convenient interaction with the Singapore government. Therefore the exporter who export eggs to Singapore must require the EUN from the authority.
Veterinary Condition of Importation Eggs (For Malaysia)
3.1 The Purpose of Eggs
According to the regulation, the purpose of the eggs from Malaysia must be only for consumption.
3.2 Import License
Importers from Malaysia need to have a valid license in order to import eggs, which is being issued by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore. In addition, each of the consignment of eggs needs to be accompanied by a valid TradeNet Cargo Clearance Permit (CCP) issued. The CCP must be in the format that approved by Singapore Customs containing the full particulars of the import goods and the condition as may be imposed by the Singapore Customs for the clearance of cargo declared under Section 37 or 59 of the Customs Act (Cap 70), and or Section 3 of the Regulation of Imports & Exports Act (Cap 272A).
3.3 Veterinary Certification
The regulations also strictly focus on this particular point. For eggs from Malaysia, each of the consignment must be accompanied by the veterinary certificate dated within the seven days period of export and being signed or verified by the duly authorized by the Government Veterinary Authority of Malaysia. The particular need to be fulfilled include giving details about the consignment, which is the consignor, consignee, the quantity of the eggs, farm code which is being issued by the Singapore Government, and also the name and address of the farm in Malaysia.
In the veterinary certification by Malaysia, it must include the status and the effect of:
Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)
In order to have a precaution on the produced eggs, the regulation also need the importer from the disease-free zones in the state of Johore, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, Perak, and Pahang have been free from highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) for the past six month prior to export. This is due to the past record in detection of such HPAI in those states in Malaysia.
Source of Eggs
The source of eggs must be derived from the layer flocks kept in a farm and unfertilized, which is being accredited for the import of eggs by Agri-Food Veterinary Authority of Singapore.
Inspection of Disease
The regulation also strictly need the farm in Malaysia where the eggs are originated must be tested, and also must found to be free from Salmonella Enteritidis. This bacteria can be inside of normal appearing eggs, which is when it being consumed raw or uncooked, it can cause foodborne illness. Currently, there are 22 farms in Malaysia which has been authorized by Singapore, are subject to this inspection. As most of Salmonella species live in the intestinal tracts of animal, thus Singapore setup a strict standard in the management of layer farm.
In addition, the farm also must be free from velogenic Newcastle disease (ND). The disease is caused by Newcastle disease virus which has been classified into the order of Mononegavirales, family of Paramyxoviridae. This disease has been contributed to major loses in eggs industry in Malaysia, thus regulation on this particular disease being implement by Singapore Government.
Other than that, the farm also need to be free from any of infectious bronchitis, infectious laryngotracheitis, Avian encephalomyelitis, infectious bursal disease, EDS '76 or chronic respiratory disease due to Mycoplasma gallisepticum or M. synoviae, Salmonellosis which including Salm. Pullorum, duck virus enteritis, or duck viral hepatitis. All above inspection must be diagnosed on the farm for last three month prior to export to Singapore.
3.4 Notification of Arrival
Regulation also stated that, if necessary, the eggs importer form Malaysia or their agents need to contact the Quarantine Officer as being stated in the Import License for the time period at least five working days before the arrival of eggs in Singapore.
3.5 Veterinary Inspection
Other than that, on the arrival of the eggs at the disembarkation in Singapore, the eggs and all related document which is Cargo Clearance Permit (CCP) and Veterinary Health Certificate, shall be presented to and examined by and authorized Singapore officer. If the consignment of eggs is found to be clean and fresh, and there is no objection in the documentation particular, the eggs shall be release to the importer.
The eggs also subjected to microbiological examination before release at the discretion of the Director-General of Agri-Food and Veterinary Services. Sample of eggs may be taken for laboratory monitoring or surveillance. The eggs also need to meet requirement of at least 60 Haugh Units (HU). This unit is use in order to describe the freshness of eggs, based on the thickness of the albumin.
All the above requirement and regulation need to be fulfill in order to export the eggs into Singapore. However, if the eggs does not meet the requirement, penalty could be implies to the exporter. If the eggs are not clean or fresh or if any document is not in order, the eggs shall be returned or destroy at the discretion of the Director-General of Agri-Food and Veterinary Services. The exporting farm may be suspended and the importers have its license revoked. Other than that, the importer also is subject to prosecution.
3.7 The Fees
All eggs exporter from Malaysia are subject to particular fee which need to be paid for each consignment of the Cargo Clearance Permit through inter-bank GIRO. There are two fees need to be fulfilled, which is:
Import License (CCP), and
Veterinary inspection and processing of document.
3.8 Other requirements
Additional requirement subjected to the exporter from Malaysia, which are as follow:
Eggs must be derived from farms accredited by Singapore Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA). Each consignment must be derived from a single farm only. The application for farm accreditation may be made by supplying detail technical information of the farm. Example of the details are name, address and location of farm and hatchery, size, population of poultry, breed, estimated production per month, sanitation and hygiene, management practice, vaccination regime through the competent Veterinary Authority of the country of origin like the Director-General of Veterinary Services of Malaysia.
New farms and suspended farms seeking accreditation and re-instatement by Singapore Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) may be required to obtain replacement birds such as day-old chicks only from Singapore Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) accredited breeder farms. The requirements needed for accreditation of breeder farms is as mentioned in paragraph (a).
In the case of eggs being transported in reefer containers, the temperature must be maintained throughout the transportation so that the eggs would arrive in a sanitary and fresh condition.
Any expenditure incurred in the process of importation shall be borne by the importer.
Regulations and fees are subject to change without notice notwithstanding the issuance of a license by Singapore Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).
Domestic birds include domestic fowls, ducks, geese, turkeys, silkies, quails, chukar partridges and pigeons.
Table-eggs include eggs of domestic birds which are not fertilized or embryonated.
Eggs must be individually labelled with a code that is approved by Singapore Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to identify the producing farm. Labelling should be done with an approved food dye applied with an ink-jet equipment.
Implication to Malaysian Exporters
Increase number of eggs produce
The increasing demand for eggs from Malaysia to be exported to the other country has given a clear impact on the increasing number of eggs production by our country. In general, every year, the production of eggs has shown an increasing amount. Below is the table showing on the production of eggs in Peninsular Malaysia from 1981 until 2000.
Table 1 : Production of eggs in Peninsular Malaysia 2002-2010
'000 tan metric
Source: Department of Veterinary Services (DVS), Kuala Lumpur
In an article in the ThePoultrySite.com, an article on Singapore importation of eggs from Malaysia mention that ; Singapore imports approximately 3,700,000 eggs, 125,000 broiler chickens and 20,000 broiler ducks from Malaysia daily.
The country's production of table eggs is expected to reach 8,295 billion eggs this year, up from 7,629 billion in 2009, when a 1.5% increase was recorded (Clements, 2010).
Better Control and Management From Farm to Consumer
In order to fulfill the requirement of import country, Malaysia's exporter will have a better control and management from farm, to maintain the quality of the egss produce. Due to a large number of production in commodities in Malaysia, including production of eggs and poultry farm, exportation is a way to a better control and management of these commodities from farm to consumer. Malaysia is self-sufficient in eggs, and exports to a number of neighboring countries (Clements, 2010). In one of the review article by Tey et al., 2009, Malaysia will produce too much commodities by the year 2010, which as stated below :
Malaysia is expected to have excess for these food commodities under the Ninth Malaysian Plan (2006-2010). Agriculture, as the third engine for economic growth is ambitioned to increase productivity of major food commodities in Malaysia. It is targeted that Malaysia will be more than self-sufficient in poultry, pork, seafood, vegetables, and fruits by 2010. Specifically, self-sufficiency levels in poultry, pork, seafood, vegetables, and fruits are expected to attain 122 percent, 132 percent, 104 percent, 108 percent, and 138 percent by 2010 respectively. By achieving that, there will be excess of supplies for domestic consumption. Hence, the excess of the food commodities mentioned above will only become valuable if they are meant for export (Tey et al., 2009).
Exporting commodities to a country also can help to improve in the food safety and quality control. Without the standard level of a safe food, a commodity cannot enter any foreign market. This is supported by the statement made in one of the article's title in the ThePoultrySite.com. In this article, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) has made an assurance that the eggs exported by Malaysian exporter are safe for consumption and does not pose any risk to food safety. AVA will continue to work closely with DVS to monitor the situation for a safe and adequate supply of eggs and poultry in Singapore.
Increase Revenue of Eggs Industry and Food Safety and Quality Control
It is really clear that increase in exportation of a commodity to a country will increase the revenue of the exporting country. Exporting eggs to Singapore will help in increasing Malaysia's economic thus increase the revenue of the year. Malaysia is both importer and exporter of eggs. However, is the fact that 2009 saw the country's egg exports increase by 40% compared to the year before. Most were exported to Singapore, while the rest were destined for Brunei and Indonesia. Exports totaled 1,166.35 billion eggs (Clements, 2010).
High Control of Food Hygiene and Food Safety
Increase Trade, Indirect Business
Effect to The Local Supply
The conclusion that can be made is that Singapore fully depends on the importation of agricultural food supplies from other countries. Malaysia seems to have a few advantages which promote the exportation of food commodities to Singapore. The competitive advantages from various other countries includes commitment to a supply of high quality, fresh and safe food commodities, geographically strategic, lower transportation cost and currency exchange rate. Increment in the consumption eggs and house hold expenditures over the years in Singapore has made the importation of eggs from Malaysia a growing and continuous process. Singapore has a strict food quality and safety standard regulated by Singapore Agri-Food and Veterinary Authorities (AVA). The growing import from other countries such as India and China which are economic and cheap has increased the pressure on Malaysian egg producers. Egg producers in Malaysia have to be more productive but at the same time keeping up with the standard and regulation that are regulated by Singapore Agri-Food and Veterinary Authorities (AVA). However, due to increasing risk of food safety issues commonly related to those countries such as the fake egg crisis in from China, their chances for exportation to Singapore are slim. Harmonization of standards will standardize the food quality and food safety requirements of food products. The standardization of the food quality and food safety requirements for will enhance the export process from Malaysia to Singapore. The trade barrier will then be reduced and slowly diminished. As a conclusion, Malaysia has a great opportunity to export eggs to Singapore following the required food quality and food safety standards.