Algeria: Uncertainty surrounding Algerian halal certification remains

Following the announcement by the Algerian government on 14th June that imports for all dairy products require a halal certificate endorsed by the Grande Mosque de Paris or a certification agency approved by the Grande Mosque de Paris, significant uncertainty remains. 

Even two weeks after the release of the new regulation, uncertainty remains strong among market sources; while some market participants commented during the past week that their trade flow had been impacted notably and several containers were stuck in Algerian ports, others noted that it is still possible to move goods into Algeria even without the certificate. Getting an accepted halal certificate is taking longer than expected, as the processing capacity within the mosque seems insufficient.

The situation remains dire as, according to multiple market sources, several large Algerian and international players started lobbying efforts to reverse the legislation.

One market player commented, “this legislation is supporting food inflation further. We are hurting the Algerian people with this; it is important that the food coming into the country meets the required standards. However, we also need to ensure affordable food. Domestic Algerian milk production has been below anticipated volumes. This will support the demand for milk powders across the Algerian dairy industry.”

One trader commented on the situation, “we are still sending all goods as planned; the halal certification process is a nightmare right now, as not only dairy products but several other commodities are required to show this document and the Grande Mosque in Paris simply doesn’t have the capacity to process all certificates as quickly as needed. However, we are sure that we will be able to get the goods into Algerian one way or another.”

Even with the current legislation for the halal certification in place, new import derogations for milk powders are expected to be approved during July, which could result in further Algerian dairy tenders during August.

Mintec will continue to monitor the situation and publish further updates if additional information is available. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me.