Halal - The New Global Market Force (Part 2)

In this final instalment, Nurliza Ramli highlights the salient features of the Halal Manual and Standards.

The first part of this Article introduced the Halal concept and traced the development of the Halal industry in Malaysia. In this second and final instalment, we will discuss the Halal certification procedure, the ‘Halal’ logo and the Halal standards and legislation that relate specifically to Halal matters in Malaysia.

 

 

HALAL MANUAL AND GUIDELINES

The Department of Islamic Development (“JAKIM”) and the Islamic Religious Departments of the respective states (“JAIN”) are the government agencies responsible for the issuance of Halal certificates.

 

JAKIM has published the Manual Procedure of Halal Certification Malaysia (“the Manual”) and the Guidelines on the Appointment of Foreign Islamic Organisation as Halal Certification Body for Products to be Exported to Malaysia (“the Guidelines”).

 

JAKIM has the authority to issue Halal certification for the national and international markets whereas JAIN only certifies Halal products and services for the domestic market.

 

Neither JAKIM nor JAIN undertakes Halal certification for products manufactured outside Malaysia which are to be marketed in Malaysia or elsewhere. Such certification may be obtained from a foreign Islamic body appointed by JAKIM under the Guidelines.

 

It is noteworthy that the practice and guidelines used by JAKIM have been used as a base document by Codex Alimentarius Commission (“the Commission”). The Commission is a body created by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (“FAO”) and World Health Organisation (“WHO”) to develop food standards, guidelines and related texts to develop the “General Guidelines for Use of the Term “Halal”. These guidelines have been issued as an advisory text to all of its 188 member nations and associate members of FAO and WHO (www.codexalimentarius.net).

 

 

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

Eligible applicants for Halal certification under the Manual are manufacturers/producers, distributors/traders, sub-contract manufacturers, re-packers and operators of food premises and abattoirs or slaughter houses.

 

The general requirements for Halal certification as provided under the Manual are, inter alia as follows:-

 

a) the manufacturer/food premise/abattoir/slaughter house should produce only Halal products;

b) the applicant must ensure that all raw ingredients used are Halal and use suppliers or sub-contractors who supply only Halal materials or hold Halal certificates.

c) the applicant must comply with the Halal procedure set out in the Manual;

d) an applicant which falls under the Multinational or Medium Industry category is required to form a Halal Internal Audit Committee and appoint an Islamic Affairs Executive (Islamic Studies) to handle and ensure compliance with Halal certification procedure;

e) the applicant must employ at least two Muslim permanent employees of Malaysian citizenship at the kitchen/handling/food processing areas;

f) during preparation, handling, processing, packaging or transportation, the product must be in a clean condition and not contain non-Halal ingredients;

g) equipment or appliances used must be clean and free from filth according to Syariah;

h) transportation used must only be for Halal products;

i) equipment, manufacturing premises and surrounding areas must be clean and the factory should follow good manufacturing practices; and

j) workers must practice good work ethics and good hygiene practices.

 

 

HALAL CERTIFICATION PROCEDURE

The inspection procedure is carried out after the applicant has complied with all requirements and the certification service fee has been paid.

 

The inspection covers documentation, processing, handling and distribution of products, equipment and food processing aids, storage, display and product serving, cleanliness, sanitation, food safety, packaging and labeling, and overall state of the premises.

 

The Manual also sets out details of additional requirements that apply to different categories of applicants.

 

The inspection report is submitted to the Halal Certification Panel who may approve or reject an application. If an application is approved, the Halal certificate is issued and the Halal certificate owner is permitted to use the Halal logo on the relevant products or premises.

 

A Halal certificate is valid for two years and may be revoked if there is a contravention of the Halal certification procedure. A Halal certificate owner is required to submit his application for renewal four months before the expiry date.

 

 

HALAL LOGO

The Halal logo must comply with the required specifications determined by JAKIM and has to be clearly printed on everyproduct and labelled on every box/package. For food premises, the Halal logo must be displayed at the applicable premise.

 

The Halal certificate and Halal logo cannot be traded, leased, exchanged, forged, abused or amended in any way. The Halal certificate owner is responsible for any abuse or misuse of the certificate.

 

 

CONTINUING OBLIGATIONS

The Manual imposes certain continuing obligations on the owner of a Halal certificate and confers rights on the issuing authority to monitor the activities of the owner and if the circumstances warrant, to withdraw the certificate. An owner of a Halal certificate should familiarise himself with these provisions.

 

 

HALAL STANDARDS

The Malaysian Standards entitled ‘Halal Food: Production, Preparation, Handling and Storage – General Guidelines (MS 1500:2004)’, (“the Standards”) developed by the Departmet of Standards of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Malaysia incorporates compliance with international standards of Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Hygiene Practices.

 

Clause 4 of the Standards sets out the requirements for sources of Halal food and drinks, slaughtering of animals, product processing, handling and distribution, product storage, display and servings, hygiene, sanitation and food safety, packaging and labeling and legal requirements. The Standards complement the Manual and must be complied with for food to qualify for Halal certification.

 

 

LEGISLATION

The Malaysian legislation that relate specifically to Halal matters are discussed briefly below.

 

The Trade Descriptions (Use of Expression “Halal”) Order 1975 states that when used in relation to food, the expressions “Halal”, “Food for Muslims” or similar expressions mean that the food in question:-

 

a) is not and does not consist of or contain any part or matter derived from animals prohibited by Syariah;

b) does not contain anything which is considered impure according to Syariah;

c) is not prepared, processed or manufactured using any instrument that is not free from anything impure according to Syariah; and

d) has not, in the course of preparation, processing or storage, coming into contact or close proximity to any food which does not comply with paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) above or anything that is considered to be impure according to Syariah.

 

The Trade Descriptions (Marking of Food) Order 1975 prohibits the supply of certain meat (including poultry) and offal which is “Halal” in accordance with the Trade Descriptions (Use of Expression “Halal”) Order 1975 unless such food is marked to indicate that they are Halal.

 

The Trade Descriptions Act 1972 renders it an offence to apply a false trade description to any goods. A person who is guilty of such offence is liable to a fine not exceeding RM100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both, and for subsequent offences to a fine not exceeding RM200,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 years or to both. Further, a body corporate which is guilty of such offence is liable to a fine not exceeding RM250,000 and for subsequent offences to a fine not exceeding RM500,000.

 

The Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997 renders it an offence for any person to display on or in respect of any food or drink which is not Halal, any sign which indicates that such food or drink is Halal. The offence is punishable with a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or both.

 

 

CONCLUSION

The Halal market is moving and expanding very rapidly. It necessitates the introduction of specific legislation to regulate the Halal industry in Malaysia with provisions, inter alia, that define clearly Halal products and services, the certification authority and procedures to assure consumers in the domestic and international market of the “Halalness” i.e. the quality, safety and reliability of such products and services.

 

Malaysia, with its established procedures and standards for Halal certification and initiatives to accelerate the development of Islamic finance, is well placed to become an international Halal hub as well as a market leader in the global Halal market.

 

 

NURLIZA RAMLI ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

 
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