Online registration to ease food imports

National 1 minute, 48 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

FOOD importers will be able to register their products online via the e-Darussalam portal soon, said a senior officer from the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Speaking to The Brunei Times during a dialogue session yesterday between the MoH and local food importers, Acting Director of Environmental Health Services Kamaludin Mohd Yassin said the online registration system will hopefully ease food importing procedures in Brunei.

He added that it will speed up the application process as they will be able to do it online.

“Instead of getting the form manually, food importers will be able to fill it out and submit it online,” he said.

MoH is targeting to reduce the wait time to seven days instead of the current 10-day process that food importers have to go through, he said.

At the moment, there are several steps before companies are able to import goods into Brunei.

The current sequence of food importing procedures includes filling out the form at the Food Safety and Quality Control Division building in Anggerek Desa and submitting it along with food samples and required documents.

He noted that the ministry will usually call the importing companies within 10 days after receiving their applications, adding that the introduction of food importing through online registration on e-Darussalam aims to improve the ease of doing business for local importers.

The new online form will have five to six sections to be filled out.

With the new online system, importers will also be held more accountable for the lists of imported food products they submit to MoH.

“There have been many cases where food importers registered a long list of food items, but in the end, they decided not to bring in some of them.

“So with the online system, not only will it make it easier for food importers to conduct their business (and register their food products), but it will also make them more accountable for what they plan to import,” he said.

Kamaludin added that the Food Quality Control and Safety Division under the Health Services Department will be constantly monitoring food imports to ensure that no harmful products enter the Brunei market.

The Brunei Times