How to import Arowanas (DIY).


New Member
For first timers, the task of importing Asian Arowanas may at first seemed a little daunting. However, do not fret as we are here to help. Our initial trial shipment only requires you to order 12 Xbacks in 3 cartons, so its easy to fulfil since Xback prices are now very very affordable!

A) Procedures to Import

1. Inform us of your desired fish variety and fish quantities and we will email or fax you a copy of our Proforma Invoice. You then pay us a 20% deposit to start the ball rolling.

2. Once we have received your initial deposit, we will apply for the Singapore CITES export permit, ready in just 2 working days (excluding Sat & Sun, Public Holidays). We will then email the Singapore CITES permit to you for you to apply in Ottawa, Canada (via fax or email), the Canadian CITES import permit.

3. Once your Canadian CITES import permit is ready 10-14 days later, inform us (we do not need your import permit, just keep it as you would need it at your local airport) and finally, pay us the balance 80%.

4. We will then book the flight for your shipment. Do allow us at least 5 workings days for this procedure as we need to do a lot of export preparations on our side.

5. About 5 days after your final payment, our fishes will arrive at your International airport, all guaranteed to be 100% alive. In the most unlikely event of a Death on Arrival (DOA), compensation will be provided on and ONE FOR ONE basis, subject to you cutting the dead fish into two halves, and retrieving its mircochip tag on its left shoulder area. Then please send the cert, tag and photos (3 items) to us by UPS, Fedex or DHL within 3 days of arrival in your country. We will compensate you during the next shipment but frankly, this rarely rarely happens to our farm due to our 18 years of export experience.

6. On the import day, you would find our original Singapore CITES export permit together with the fish cartons. All you need to do in advance is to engage a local freight forwarder to do the Customs Clearance for you, ie to pay any import duties, apply for the CCP (Cargo Clearance Permit), etc. Most importantly, bring along your original CITES import permit to your local airport to prove that you indeed have the right paper work done before hand to import these endangered fishes.

7. Once the fishes are safe and sound, float them in your tanks for at least 30 minutes to equalise the water temperature. Then open each bag and allow in some tank water, close back the bags and let the bags float for another 10 minutes. Repeat this action another once or twice, before finally releasing all fishes into the tank. Do not feed the fishes on first day of arrival. Phew, finally all is safe and done, just enjoy and reap the benefits!

B) Other costs
Other than the basic fish costs, there are 2 other costs you would need to pay. Thus you would have to take into account of these two costs in your costs computation.

1. Fixed costs of S$450 (Singapore dollars) per shipment. This will cover us for all Singapore local transport, Singapore CITES export permit, Singapore Health certificate, Singapore Cert of Origin, Singapore AVA inspection at our farm one day before the shipment, Packing and other documentation. Thus if you import only 12 fishes, your Fixed costs per fish would be rather high as compared to say, you importing 50 or 100 fishes (you see, most of our clients from Japan and HK are buying 50-100 fishes in order to lower this fixed costs).

2. Variable costs, ie Air Freight. This would depend on your final destination, which International airport you want us to fly the fishes to as well as the number of fishes/cartons you have ordered. Once you inform us, being informed, we will ask our freight forwarder to quote us and we will, in turn, quote you.

Here is a sample freight costs (correct as of January, 2014) – Korean Airlines to Vancouver or Toronto S$380 for 57kg, Qatar Airways to Montreal for S$470 for 57kg. One carton can contain 4pcs of 8-9 inches Xbacks, weighing about 19kg per carton box (so its 4.75g per fish including water). Hence, the above stated 57kg will give you only 3 cartons of 12 Xbacks in total.

However, any extra fishes or bigger fishes like 24K Gold or Golden Heads might require extra cartons because a carton could only take up to 2pcs of 10-12 inche xbacks. Hence, the above freight charges is correct as of January, 2014 and depending on actual fish sizes, may subject to changes (we will calculate and give you an estimate).

One point to note, too, is currently Singapore only has direct flights to Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. If you are coming from another city like Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg etc, we would send you information of someone who is able to receive your fishes on your behalf in Vancouver, then thereafter, arrange for the domestic flight for your fishes to arrive in your local airport. All these are done by someone with years of experience and at very reasonable costs, too.

All the above information are correct as of January, 2014 and all pricse are quoted in Singapore dollars. The current exchange rate is about Cdn $1 = S$1.20 (Singapore dollars).

Thank you all for your kind support and attention.
Mrs Goh
DFI - Singapore