Halal certification in Indonesia



As the largest Muslim majority country, halal product is an unavoidable standard that needs to be guaranteed for Indonesia citizen. According to Islamic Law, eating halal product is an obligation as stipulate in Quran and Sunnah of Prophet mentioning that if Muslims do not consume halal product, their prayer will be rejected by Allah. Because of that need, Indonesia government has been trying to codify specific rules pertaining Halal Certification. That effort has been implemented on all aspects including in trade matters by regulating Halal Certification Standard toward the product that will be commercialized in Indonesia’s market. Those rules can be seen in some regulations including in the law No 8 years of 1999 (the law of consumer protection) and the law No 33 Year of 2014 (the law regarding Halal Product). The primary purpose of implementation of Halal Certification is to make sure that Indonesia citizen can consume halal product as stipulated in consideration of Halal Product Law.

What does Halal mean?

The word ‘halal’ literally means permissible and in translation it is usually used as lawful. Definition of Halal (?????? ?al?l) is derived from Islamic Law which has opposite meaning that so-called Haram. Halal means any object or action which is permissible to use or engage in. The Law No 33 years of 2014 does not mention what halal is. It just explains halal in specific terms such as “halal product”, “halal label” and “halal certificate”.

In international level, definition of halal can be found in the FAO General Guidelines for Use of the Term “Halal”. According to Article 2, Halal Food means food permitted under the Islamic Law and should fulfil the following conditions:

  1. Does not consist of or contain anything which is considered to be unlawful according to Islamic Law;
  2. Has not been prepared, processed, transported or stored using any appliance or facility that was not free from anything unlawful according to Islamic Law; and
  3. Has not in the course of preparation, processing, transportation or storage been in direct contact with any food that fails to satisfy point 1 and 2.
  4. Halal food can be prepared, processed or stored in different sections or lines within the same premises where non-halal foods are produced, provided that necessary measures are taken to prevent any contact between halal and non-halal foods;
  5. Halal food can be prepared, processed, transported or stored using facilities which have been previously used for non-halal foods provided that proper cleaning procedures, according to Islamic requirements, have been observed.

History of Halal Certificate

According to World Halal Council, Halal Certificate firstly started in the West in the mid of 1960s in the United States by Muslim food and technical experts. It did not actually start in the Muslim countries but it had transformed as a necessity for Muslims living in non-Muslim society such as the United States, Europe and in some parts of Asia and the Pacific. This practical safety measure of Muslims living in non-Muslim societies to preserve their Muslim identity and fulfil their religious obligation became a useful tool to guarantee that the products produced in non-Muslim countries are acceptable to the Muslim world.

When globalization became a direction of the world trading system which removed the barriers from one country and another, there was no more safety device that can prevent the importing country from accepting products from the other for quite some time.

It was observed that the Jewish people which are fewer in numbers than the Muslims are enforcing their religious requirements on products to be acceptable to them through their certification and accreditation called the “Kosher”. Then, Muslims in the United States started to follow the precedent established by the Jews in the U.S.

Criteria for using of the term “Halal”

Under the Islamic Law, all sources of food are lawful except the following sources, including their products and derivatives which are considered unlawful:


Food of Animal Origin 


  1. Pigs and boars.
  2. Dogs, snakes and monkeys.
  3.  Carnivorous animals with claws and fangs such as lions, tigers, bears and other similar animals.
  4. Birds of prey with claws such as eagles, vultures, and other similar birds.
  5. Pests such as rats, centipedes, scorpions and other similar animals.
  6. Animals forbidden to be killed in Islam i.e., ants, bees and woodpecker birds.
  7. Animals which are considered repulsive generally like lice, flies, maggots and other similar animals.
  8. Animals that live both on land and in water such as frogs, crocodiles and other similar animals.
  9. Mules and domestic donkeys.

10. All poisonous and hazardous aquatic animals.

11. Any other animals not slaughtered according to Islamic Law.

12. Blood.

Food of Plant Origin  Intoxicating and hazardous plants except where the toxin or hazard can be eliminated during processing
  1. Alcoholic drinks.
  2. All forms of intoxicating and hazardous drinks.
Food Additives 


All food additives derived from previous  Items


All lawful land animals should be slaughtered in compliance with the rules laid down in the Codex Recommended Code of Hygienic Practice for Fresh Meat and the following requirements: 

  1. The person should be a Muslim who is mentally sound and knowledgeable of the Islamic slaughtering procedures.
  2. The animal to be slaughtered should be lawful according to Islamic law.
  3. The animal to be slaughtered should be alive or deemed to be alive at the time of slaughtering.
  4. The phrase “Bismillah” (In the Name of Allah) should be invoked immediately before the slaughter of each animal.
  5. The slaughtering device should be sharp and should not be lifted off the animal during the slaughter act.
  6. The slaughter act should sever the trachea, oesophagus and main arteries and veins of the neck region.

Benefit for Traders

Economically, having Halal Certification will give benefit for traders such as easy procedure for market access and marketing a product in Muslim countries.

Where do Traders have to register Halal Certificate in Indonesia?logo_mui

Before the law no 33 year of 2014 legislated, only The Indonesia Council of Ulama (MUI) had the power to administer Halal Certificate. Then, after the Halal Product Law entered into effect in the end of 2014, there were some fundamental changes regarding procedure for obtaining Halal Certificate. That power was delegated to BPJPH (Article 5), a credible certifying institution intended to regulate Halal Certification. 

Unfortunately, until now BPJPH has yet to come into being. Since this article was made, there was no further information about when BPJHP would be set up. According to article 64 of the law no 33 year of 2014, that body must be established at least 3 years after its promulgation day. Because BPJPH does not come into existence, it means that MUI still has the power to issuing Halal Certificate in transition period.

MUI still prevails

In contrast to the law no 33 year of 2014 stipulating that MUI is not primary institution for administrating Halal Certificate, MUI still prevails because of the absence of proposed institution intended to it. Until now, that primary institution (BPJPH) is being prepared by Ministry of Religion.

Under MUI administration, there is a special body, The Assessment Institute for Foods, Drugs and Cosmetic (LPPOM-MUI) which runs MUI function in protecting Muslim consumers in consuming particular product such as  foods, drugs and cosmetics. General Halal Certification Procedure conducted by LPPOM-MUI is as follow:

Step 1 Company requesting certification whether for new registration, development (product or facility) or renewal. Each of those can be done by using online registration through LPPOM-MUI website.
Step 2 Fill in the registration data
Step 3 Pay the registration fee
Step 4 Fill the required document in the registration process in accordance certificate status (new/development/renewal) and business purposes (processing industry, slaughterhouse, restaurant/catering and service industries).
Step 5 After completing the required document, there will be Pre Audit Assessment.


Process flow diagram:

Upcoming procedure in accordance with the law no 33 years 2014

While waiting for the establishment BPJPH, the following will describe possible procedure that will be applied by BPJPH.

According to Halal Certification law, all requirement documents must be submitted to BPJPH. If the proposal is completed and accepted, then all documents will be delivered to LHP. In this stage, LHP will analyse the substance of product that will be commercialized. After analysing stage is passed, the document and its result will be returned to BPJPH. Subsequently, BPJPH will coordinate with MUI to determine whether the assessing product is halal or not. The procedure is listed as follow:

Step 1 Halal Certificate request is submitted by traders to BPJPH, then BPJPH will decide definitive schedule for examining requested product.
Step 2 Halal Auditor will investigate halal substance when processing process of a product is being held. If the product is positively contaminated with non-halal substance, auditor will conducted laboratory examination.
Step 3 The result of examination will be delivered to BPJPH. Furthermore, BPJPH will coordinate with MUI in order to determine whether that product halal or not by asking MUI to conduct Fatwa Hearing which will carry out up to 30 days
Step 4 After MUI renders a decision, there will be 2 possibilities:

  1. If halal, Halal Certificate will be issued.
  2. If not, the proposal will be rejected
Step 5 Accepted Halal Certificate will be valid 4 years and must be renewed at least 3 months before expired day.

Because halal is a compulsory requirement for all product selling in Indonesia, we highly recommended for traders to fulfil that requirement.

Latipulhayat – Rusamsi & Partners, Law Office, Jakarta