Photo: A woman holds a package of food during shopping at a Foodmart Fresh supermarket in Jakarta, Indonesia June 8, 2016. REUTERS/Beawiharta
JAKARTA – Indonesia’s new halal logo will be released at the end of this year at the earliest by its new Halal Products Guarantee Body (Badan Peyelenggara Jaminan Produk Halal, BPJPH) that was officially launched by the ministry of religious affairs on October 11, Nur Syam, the ministry’s secretary-general told Salaam Gateway.
BPJPH officially takes over from non-profit organisation Majelis Ulema Indonesia (MUI) that has been the nation's only halal certifier and auditor since it was established in 1989. MUI has long been criticised for its lack of transparency, including how much it charges certifiers to obtain its recognition for access to the Indonesian market.
BPJPH will provide government oversight of the nation’s halal industry and is meant to better assure other countries of Indonesia’s halal certification and auditing system.
According to Nur Syam, MUI will have a reduced role in the halal certification and auditing process and BPJPH will bring in more agencies to improve the system’s efficiency and enhance overall transparency.
MUI will still process new applications for halal certification in the interim until all of BPJPH’s systems are in place.
“BPJPH is currently building its online system for registration. All submissions, including company data, product name/classification, product ingredients list and product processing will be done online. Processing of an application should take no more than two hours,” said Nur Syam.
After the application is processed, the applicant has a week to choose a halal audit agency (Lembaga Pemeriksa Halal, LPH) of its choice.
There is currently only one LPH, which is the MUI’s Food and Drug Analysis Agency (Lembaga Pengkajian Pangan, Obat-obatan dan Kosmetika – MUI, LPPOM).
BPJPH is in the process of approving other halal audit agencies, which must be linked to an Islamic organisation, have a registered office address and employ at least three Muslim auditors.
The LPH will audit all ingredients and processes, both on paper and on site. Results of the audit process, which will include laboratory tests of ingredients used, will be forwarded to BPJPH.
The government agency will then need to obtain a ruling, or fatwa, from MUI, whose decision must be announced within one month of receiving the halal audit results from the government agency.
BPJPH has a week to announce the approved halal certification following MUI’s decision.
“BPJPH will also publish the result on its website once it issues certification. For any rejected product, BPJPH will return the application to the company with explanation,” said Nur Syam.
The establishment of the BPJPH comes ahead of mandatory halal labeling of all halal products in Indonesia by the end of 2019.
The law, passed in 2014, marks a radical change to how business is done in the country currently, as halal certification is still voluntary.
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