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Micro-organisms

We regulate the import of agriculturally important micro-organisms. These micro-organisms include plant pathogenic bacteria, fungi, nematodes, viruses, and any other plant-related micro-organisms.

While the export and transshipment of such micro-organisms are currently not under our control, traders are advised to find out what the import requirements of the destination countries are. 

Information on importing or exporting agriculturally important insects and other invertebrates is available in the "Insects & other invertebrates" section.

Importing micro-organisms

Below is an overview of the steps required to bring micro-organisms into Singapore.

1. Obtain written approval from us

Our written approval is needed to import micro-organisms.

You can apply for this written approval by providing us with the following information. These are required for an import risk analysis:

  • Purpose of import.
  • Quantity of import.
  • Technical details of the organism, i.e.:
    • Scientific name (up to species level).
    • Source of supply.
    • Life history.
    • Optimum temperature for survival.
    • Nature and type of food range.

If the import risk is considered acceptable, we will grant approval.

2. Provide assurance of bio-security measures

Our approval may indicate that you are required to assure the authorities that bio-security measures will be effected for the import.

If you are a regular importer (i.e. more than one application per 12 months), your participation in the Bio-Security Assurance Arrangement (BSAA) with us is one way of giving that assurance. More information can be found in the BSAA guidelines.

If your imports take place on an ad-hoc basis (i.e. not more than one application per 12 months), you can assure us by providing details of the bio-security measures you plan to implement for each import.

3. Apply for an AVS-issued import permit

Obtain an AVS-issued import permit by following the steps below.

Step  Description 
Step 1: 

Apply for a cargo clearance permit via TradeNet(url has changed). This permit will serve as an AVS-issued import licence, and is valid for two weeks only.

You must provide the appropriate HS codes and product codes in your application. The list of products codes can be found here 

Step 2:  Pay the S$11 permit fee. 

4. Arrange for an import inspection by us

Our written approval will indicate whether your incoming consignment requires inspection at the port of entry.

If inspection is required, you can book an appointment through either one of the following ways:

Downloading and completing the application for post-entry inspection of imported plants. You must submit this form to us at least one day before your consignment’s arrival.

Apply for an appointment via our inspection and laboratory e-services website

5. Our audit of bio-security measures

Our written approval will indicate whether your premises require audit by us, and how often the audits will be held.

In general:

  • Regular importers participating in BSAA will undergo audit of their implemented bio-security measures three times per year.
  • Ad-hoc importers implementing bio-security measures for a temporary period may undergo regular audits at their premises until the purpose of the import has been fulfilled.