Brunei unveils Halal pharma guidelines

Bandar Seri Begawan – Brunei now has its very own set of guidelines and standards for the manufacture of halal pharmaceutical and food products after it was officially unveiled last night by the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR).

Past reports stated that the publication of these guidelines would put Brunei in the forefront as the Sultanate could become among the earlier nations to have guidelines for halal pharmaceuticals.

Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar said that the publication of the guidelines marked another milestone in Brunei’s halal initiative and the universality of the halal industry, particularly for those who are involved in the sector.

“This will pave the way for the establishment of halal pharmaceutical companies which will ultimately produce halal pharmaceutical products locally,” the minister said in his welcoming remarks at the International Halal Products Expo (IHPE) welcoming dinner last night.

Pehin Data Hj Yahya also said that the production of local halal products have now received the attention of non-Muslims, particularly in the area of consumer products.

‘Products which are certified halal by credible and reliable organisations are very much sought after as they easily gain consumers’ trust and confidence,” he added.

Initially scheduled to be unveiled during the Fourth International Halal Market Conference (IHMC) last year, the release of the guidelines was held over as it required the endorsement of the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB). The guidelines were formulated to provide a standard framework for produeing and handling medicinal products, traditional medicines and health supplements that are halal.

As the guideline is meant to benefit the Muslim community, it is also considered fardhu lafayah (communal duty), said the minister.

Named “The Brunei Darussalam Guidelines for Manufacturing and Handling of Halal Medicinal Products, Traditional Medicines and Health Supplements”, the publication will aid in further consolidating the sector and in the long term attract investors who are keen on grabbing a share of the market for halal-certified pharmaceuticals.

The scope of the guidelines include the acquisition of raw materials, production, packaging, transportation and storage of medicinal products, traditional medicine and health supplements.

The use of the wordHalalin accordance to syara (Islamic law) in certifications and labelling of halal pharmaceuticals also make up the guidelines.

Its publication is not aimed at compromising any of the existing rules and regulations that are currently being implemented and practised in the country such as the Medicines Control Authority or any authorities in other countries.

The Fifth IHPE is slated to be officially launched by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam today where both local and foreign companies will be showcasing their products. Held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas, the public is also expected to visit the exhibitions.

A two-day International Halal Market Conference (IHMC) will be held concurrently during the expo, beginning June S. The conference is a platform for the exehange of ideas and trends in the industry between local and international halal industry players.– Courtesy of The Brunei Times