Brazil Challenges Indonesia’s Halal Certification Policy

By Pingit Aria,

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta  Brazil has filed a complaint against Indonesia to the World Trade Brazil-FlagOrganization (WTO), challenging Indonesia’s halal certification requirements for imported meat.

The trade dispute has been registered in Indonesia-Measures Concerning the Importation of Chicken Meat and Chicken Products No. DS:484. The second substantive meeting was held on October 11-12 at the headquarters of the WTO in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ahmad Firdaus Sukmono, head of Trade Advocacy Bureau, the Trade Ministry, said that the policy is implemented as part of the government’s consumer protection efforts. “The dispute is focused on Indonesia’s rights to ensure compliance with food safety and halal requirements,” he said on Friday.

Brazil has also lodged claims against Indonesia for its import restrictions, namely the positive list, usage requirements, transportation modes in import and suspension of sanitation requirement approval. Brazil claims that such policies have hampered Brazil’s export to Indonesia.

Being the world’s largest chicken exporter, Brazil sees that the access to Indonesian market has been shut down in the past seven years. Because Indonesia only allows exported halal whole chickens which are slaughtered individually in hen houses. “We suspect that Brazil has yet to implement it,” Firdaus said.

Firdaus said Indonesia has responded to Brazil’s claims. “Indonesia has been very transparent in import regulations and requirements.”

Malaysia had also filed complaints about the difficulty in obtaining halal certification in 47586625-brazil-and-malaysia-flags-in-puzzle-isolated-on-white-backgroundIndonesia even though Malaysia has got its products halal certified by Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia, according to Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry Minister Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed. However, Indonesia requires imported products to be halal certified by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).