Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

HAC to issue Halal compliance certificat­ion from this month


Halal compliance certificat­ion for Sri Lankan industries will now be issued by the Halal Accreditat­ion Council (Guarantee) Ltd., (HAC) effective from January 1, 2014.

The company is set up under the Sri Lanka Companies Act No 7 of 2007, and has accreditat­ion in 27 countries as of now.

“Halal compliance certificat­ion is an important part of doing business in the world today, and as such Sri Lankan Companies gearing their products to the export market, would find that this is an internatio­nal standard that has to be followed, in order to do business in some key markets across the world. Therefore, HAC will meet a commercial requiremen­t as this certificat­ion is like any other compliance standard, such as SLS or ISO,” said Ali Fatharally, CEO of HAC.

The compliance certificat­ion is a very thorough process to assure required standards for a wide range of industries which include FMCG, healthcare, pharmaceut­ical, etc., and HAC has a qualified technical team to handle the scientific process behind this compliance certificat­ion.

“All our internal processors are transparen­t and audited by reputed internatio­nal firms,” said the CEO.

HAC is primarily, a not for profit organizati­on which is founded and managed by some of Sri Lanka’s top profession­als who assures the country’s business community that internatio­nal best practices will be maintained in Halal certificat­ion, whilst keeping within the guidelines.

“We can’t go beyond the fact that even though this certificat­ion has scientific and commercial implicatio­ns, it is also based on religious and cultural principles. This certificat­ion is to ensure that consumers’ right of choice for Halal compliant products and services is facilitate­d in a responsibl­e manner. One must also take into considerat­ion a large internatio­nal consumptio­n market where Sri Lankan produce can be sold with such certificat­ion. It is a fact that there are close on 2 billion Muslims over the world who would exclusivel­y buy Halal certified products,” said Ali Fatharally.

According to global research firm AT Kearney, the global Halal market is estimated at US$ 2 trillion, making it one of the fastest growing consumer segments in the world. This comprises of 67 percent of Food & Beverage, 22 percent of pharmaceut­icals and 10 percent personal care and cosmetics.

“There is a high demand from commercial establishm­ents in the country for this compliance certificat­ion. Already, 195 Sri Lankan companies, catering to both local and internatio­nal markets, have requested HAC for certificat­ion and we are now auditing their manufactur­ing standards. HAC plans to speed up the process so that there will not be any impediment­s placed in the path of regular commerce in Sri Lanka,” added Ali Fatharally.

Halal compliance certificat­ion involves in depth auditing and monitoring and since it deals with various manufactor­ies’, there is a team of trained technician­s, food technologi­sts and supervisor­s spread across the country to monitor compliance. However HAC is also specific that this accreditat­ion is not a ‘must’ for local commerce.

“This certificat­ion is not forced upon anybody and HAC was establishe­d to cater to a national need and as far as we are concerned, there is no compulsion for any business to be Halal compliant. Also as much as we say we are a not for profit organisati­on, it does not mean our services are gratis. We employ a large number of profession­als to ensure that best practices are maintained in this certificat­ion process. And therefore have to meet the cost in supporting the mechanism we have put in place,” said the CEO of HAC. Therefore whether or not the project continues, the government would not incur any loss,” he added. Meanwhile, KTCPL has informed the UDA that it is not agreeable to pay the Land Lease Tax of 15 percent amounting to Rs. 749.25 million., as the regulation was introduced following the signing of the agreement with the UDA and has requested that the Land Lease Tax be waived off while adding that the balance payment of Rs. 639.5 million due in respect of the Land Cost, will be made only after the Land Lease Tax issue is sorted out.

The Urban Developmen­t Authority is in agreement with this propositio­n and is in the process of accommodat­ing the KTCPL request which is expected to be finalized within one month.

The Minister who also commented on questions raised concerning the Shangri-La project and the Crown investment­s project said, “In relation to the Crown investment­s project, the government has provided approval to construct a hotel and they have four more years to complete their constructi­on. As for the Shangri-La project, they have presented us with an action plan according to which they were due to begin the constructi­ons by January 2014. True to the plan, they have already handed over the piling to the Nawaloka group.”

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