Forty-Six Countries Registered With UAE Scheme For Halal Products

Abu Dhabi City Guide

The UAE Scheme for Halal Products is growingly gaining ground, with companies from 46 countries now on the list of Halal Certification Bodies registered with the Emirates Authority for Standardisation & Metrology, ESMA.

The rate of growth witnessed in the Halal market shows that by 2030, it can be the biggest industry in the world. However, although Halal standards and processes are based on the universal principles and teachings of Islam, the Halal industry is yet to use one universal set of determinants and one all-encompassing mark.

Based on a report by Thomson Reuters, the global expenditure in Halal food sector alone stood at US$1.128 trillion in 2014 and this is expected to grow to $1.585 trillion by 2020. The global market for Halal food and lifestyle sector including travel, fashion, media and recreation, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics was valued at $1.8 trillion in 2014. It is estimated that this will increase up to $2.6 trillion by 2020.

Within this context, Abdulla Abdul Qader Al Maeeni, attributed the success achieved by the UAE Scheme for Halal Products and Halal Mark to the robust legislative environment boasted by the country as well as the openness policy adopted by the government that has been conducive to expanding the list of Halal products to embrace commodities other than foods, including cosmetics, textiles, and medications.

Al Maeeni noted that the Federal Republic of Russia is the latest country to join the list of halal certification bodies registered with ESMA, which is comprised of a large number of countries, including Argentine, Canada and Australia.

While the Islamic economy can be considered an excellent opportunity to promote Halal industries and Halal-based businesses around the world, it faces structural and operational challenges in the area of regulation, standardisation, compliance, supply chain integrity, innovations, research and development, consumer education and awareness. And herein lies the significant role played by the UAE in developing mandatory standards for the halal mark.

According to the regulation, the halal certificate is a document guaranteeing that the product, service or their respec­tive schemes are compliant with Islamic Sharia. This includes certificates for halal slaughtering and halal est­ablishments, such as farms and slaughterhouses, as well as halal certificates of raw food materials, food additives, ingredients with meat derivatives, extracts, as well as animal smells, gelatin, fats, oils and their derivatives.

Over the years, ESMA has necessitated the provision of quality infrastructure, monitored the activity of credit through development, sustainability, ensured compatibility and met requirements of international practices, and procedures with the demands of the region.

Within this context, ESMA has taken prior measurements and introduced the UAE Scheme for Halal Products, which comprises of basic elements pertaining to Halal commodities, destination certificates and accreditation bodies such as the Halal certification mark that constitutes the optimal model to ensure the sequence of processing, and obtaining Halal products.

The system opens up new ventures for understanding and applying appropriate applications for Arab specifications and applies to all public and private sectors operating within the country.