Malaysia: Single halal certificate beginning April

PUTRAJAYA: The single halal logo and certification will come into force by April next year, said Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the draft of the amendments to the Trade Description Act 1972 that would allow for a single Malaysian halal logo and certification was finalised at a meeting between the ministry and the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) yesterday.

He said all the state religious departments had agreed to the amendments and the draft given the green light by the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

“The draft (Bill) will be tabled in Parliament later this month and we expect to have it gazetted and enforced by April next year,” he said at a joint press conference with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom here yesterday.

One of the amendments is to standardise the issuance of the halal logo and certification in all states.

Jamil Khir said once the new logo and certification came into force, manufacturers and companies could no longer get their halal certification from private companies.

Fears have been raised in the past on the risk that certification from private agencies did not strictly adhere to standards or requirements and that enforcement and monitoring might also be lacking.

Jakim Halal Hub Division director Saimah Mukhtar said all applications for certification would be processed within a month.

She said this was made possible because the state religious departments would be empowered to conduct the necessary checks and issue the approvals on its behalf.

“This includes products for export, which previously had to be certified direct by Jakim,” she added.