Govt takes over halal la­bel

The Jakarta Post - - FRONT PAGE - Mar­guerite Afra Sapiie

BPJPH aims to im­prove halal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process Govt yet to de­cide on halal la­bel fees

It’s of­fi­cial: The In­done­sian Ulema Coun­cil (MUI) has given up its au­thor­ity to is­sue halal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, nearly three decades af­ter the cler­i­cal body was given the au­thor­ity by then pres­i­dent Soe­harto fol­low­ing mass hys­te­ria over the cir­cu­la­tion of lard.

The Re­li­gious Af­fairs Min­istry has fi­nally es­tab­lished the Halal Prod­ucts Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Agency (BPJPH) as the sole halal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion body in the coun­try.

The new agency, which was of­fi­ci­ated on Wed­nes­day, is man­dated by the 2014 halal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion law to reg­u­late pro­ce­dures and ap­pli­ca­tions for halal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, as well as col­lect­ing the fees for is­su­ing cer­tifi­cates.

“BPJPH has the au­thor­ity to is­sue, re­voke and man­age all ad­min­is­tra­tion re­lated to halal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of do­mes­tic and im­ported prod­ucts, while the MUI still holds the au­thor­ity to is­sue halal edicts,” BPJPH head Soekoso told

The Jakarta Post on Fri­day. The MUI, he added, still held the au­thor­ity to cer­tify halal au­di­tors and ac­cred­i­ta­tion for the Halal Au­dit Agency (LPH) that could be car­ried out by uni­ver­si­ties or civil so­ci­ety or­ga­ni­za­tions, as man­dated by the law.

The BPJPH is ex­pected to im­prove the halal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process, that un­der the MUI was con­sid­ered as lack­ing trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity, and once marred by bribery al­le­ga­tions.

The agency is now work­ing to cre­ate an on­line regis­tra­tion sys­tem for re­quest­ing halal-cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, ex­pected to fin­ish in early 2018, Soekoso said.

Ap­pli­cants who want to ob­tain halal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for their prod­ucts must regis­ter at the agency. The ap­pli­cant can choose an LPH, who would au­dit the process of pro­duc­tion of the spec­i­fied prod­ucts. The ex­ist­ing LPH is cur­rently the MUI’s Food and Drug Anal- ysis Agency.

The LPH au­di­tor would then hand over the re­port to the BPJPH, that would later sub­mit the au­dited re­port to the MUI for the lat­ter to is­sue edicts on whether the prod­ucts are wor­thy of be­ing cer­ti­fied halal or not. The BPJPH will is­sue a halal cer­tifi­cate for the prod­uct within seven days af­ter of the MUI’s edict.

If ap­pli­cants’ doc­u­ments are in line with the re­quire­ments, the whole process would take less than 60 days, Soekoso said.

Mean­while, the fees for ha­lal­cer­ti­fi­ca­tion were still be­ing de­lib­er­ated on by the Fi­nance Min­istry and the de­tails of the fees will be de­fined in the min­is­te­rial reg­u­la­tion, ex­pected to be is­sued by the end of Oc­to­ber.

“The fees will au­to­mat­i­cally be di­rected to the Fi­nance Min­istry as non-tax rev­enues. The pay­ment is made through ap­pointed banks that are in­te­grated through an on­line sys­tem,” Sukoso said, adding the sys­tem was set up to pre­vent il­le­gal prac­tices such as bribery.

The MUI has held the sole power to is­sue cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for halal prod­ucts since 1989, in­clud­ing the au­thor­ity to set halal stan­dards, au­dit­ing prod­ucts, is­su­ing edicts and col­lect­ing the fees from ap­pli­cants.

Some law­mak­ers have called for an au­dit of MUI’s fi­nan­cial re­ports re­gard­ing the halal-cer­ti­fi­ca­tion fees in the past, sus­pect­ing the out­fit had amassed a sub­stan­tial amount of rev­enue from the process. How­ever, this was dif­fi­cult due to MUI’s sta­tus as a pri­vately run re­li­gious or­ga­ni­za­tion.

MUI deputy chair­man Zainut Tauhid Sa’adi said the out­fit sup­ported the BPJPH as the MUI ex­pected the gov­ern­ment agency would push more prod­ucts to be cer­ti­fied as halal, and make In­done­sia one of the big­gest halal prod­uct pro­duc­ers in the world. On the LPPOM web­site, fees for a halal cer­tifi­cate range from Rp 1 mil­lion (US$74) for small and medium en­ter­prises up to Rp 3.5 mil­lion, ex­clud­ing the fees for au­dit, regis­tra­tion and train­ing. The cer­tifi­cate is valid for two years and should be re­newed be­fore ex­piry.

Un­der the 2014 Law, how­ever, halal cer­tifi­cates is­sued un­der the BPJPH are valid for four years, un­less the prod­ucts change their com­po­si­tion.

LPPOM deputy chair­man Oes­mena Gu­nawan said the is­suance of halal cer­tifi­cates usu­ally took less than one month to three months, de­pend­ing on whether the ap­pli­cants had cor­rectly sub­mit­ted the doc­u­ments and re­quire­ments to re­quest halal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Mean­while, In­done­sian Food and Bev­er­age As­so­ci­a­tion (Gap­mmi) chair­man Adhi S. Luk­man said the gov­ern­ment-owned halal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion agency could strengthen the bar­gain­ing po­si­tion of In­done­sian halal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion on the world stage com­pared to when the cer­tifi­cates were is­sued by MUI.

How­ever, he noted the BPJPH faced chal­lenges es­pe­cially since Ar­ti­cle 4 of the 2014 Law man­dated that all prod­ucts dis­trib­uted in In­done­sia should be halal-cer­ti­fied.

The BPJPH should be able to is­sue halal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for at least 6,000 large and medium en­ter­prises, as well as 1.5 mil­lion small food en­ter­prises, but at the same time it still de­pended on MUI’s edict to is­sue halal cer­tifi­cates.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.