JAKARTA – The government discussion on the issue of self-declaration of halal products for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises is ongoing, Prof. Sukoso, the head of Indonesia’s halal authority BPJPH told Salaam Gateway.
BPJPH told Salaam Gateway at the end of June that discussions with the government were still being held with regards improvements to the halal certification process to facilitate the huge backlog and help MSMEs overcome administrative and cost challenges.
“We are currently still in discussion with the house of representatives on how we can improve halal certification and labelling through an omnibus bill,” Prof. Sukoso told Salaam Gateway on Wednesday (August 12).
“We have proposed the self-declaration approach for products that are no-risk and low-risk. It would be self-declaration, not voluntary. This means MSMEs declare that their products are halal but they are still obligated to register their products with us,” he added.
Halal self-declaration is a statement from MSMEs that their products, which are not halal-certified, are halal. MSMEs are obliged to first register with BPJPH before self-declaring their products.
BPJPH is currently detailing the standard operation procedure or criteria for what constitutes no-risk or low-risk products.
Agus Yuliawan, an analyst from the economy and entrepreneurship division of Islamic non-governmental organisation PP Muhammadiyah, said that self-declaration, or a halal statement letter, for MSMEs is needed as many Indonesian Muslims rely heavily on products from MSMEs. This includes not only foods, but also pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Self-declaration is needed as a form of consumer protection, he said.
“The Food and Drug Authority of Indonesia (BPOM) is aware that MSMEs account for 99.5% of Indonesia’s total food and beverages companies. The Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs recently also conducted a survey and found that only 24.14 % of MSMEs’ production facilities meet the sanitation and hygiene criteria, while data from LPPOM-MUI said that MSMEs that have halal certification are still fewer than 10 % of all MSMEs in Indonesia. These are staggering statistics,” said Agus.
MSMEs would require guidance from BPJPH on how to comply with the self-declaration approach, he added.
Prof. Sukoso reiterated that under the law number 33/2014, all products, including foods, medicines, and cosmetics, are mandated to get halal certification and labelling. However, products that are haram are exceptions, as outlined in article 26 of the law. Products that are thought to be halal but are found to contain haram ingredients would not be halal-certified, Prof. Sukoso clarified.
(Reporting by Yosi Winosa; Editing by Emmy Abdul Alim [email protected])
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