Monday, July 4, 2022

Approved permits still needed for rice imports

The agriculture and food industries ministry says import permits are also still needed for biosecurity control purposes at the country's entry points.

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Approved permits (APs) are still needed for the import of rice, the agriculture and food industries ministry said today in the wake of the prime minister’s announcement that the government had agreed to do away with AP requirements for food imports.

In a statement, it said APs would no longer be needed for agro-food commodities such as cabbages, coconuts, chicken and milk.

“However, APs for the import of rice are still in force,” it said.

And while APs for other foodstuffs would no longer be needed, it said, import permits (IPs) are still needed for biosecurity control purposes at the country’s entry points.

“This is to ensure that imported products are free from disease and pests, and are obtained from government-recognised plants,” it said.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said yesterday that the importation of food was now open to all quarters to ensure an adequate supply of food in the country.

“Previously, there were APs to import beef and cattle but from today, these are no longer required and anyone can import whatever food items to ensure sufficient supply,” he said.

The agriculture and food industries ministry said the move to do away with APs left all companies free to import agro-food commodities subject to the IPs issued by the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services and other conditions laid out in Malaysian law.

“The ministry will continue to play an important role in ensuring the sustainability of the agro-food sector at every level of the food chain, so that the people will continue to have enough food supply of a safe and nutritious nature,” it said.

It added that the welfare of local food producers would continue to be preserved.

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