OIC Stresses Need For Sole Regulator Of Halal Certification

By Siti Baaqiah Mamat and Nur Ashikin Abdul Aziz

OIC secretary-general Tan Sri Iyad Ameen Madani
OIC secretary-general Tan Sri Iyad Ameen Madani

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 (Bernama) — Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Tan Sri Iyad Ameen Madani has stressed the need for having one regulatory body for Halal certification, led by the Jeddah-based organisation.He said an OIC-level body should act as the referral organisation for halal certification as there have been too many regulatory bodies set up in countries worldwide for such certification.

“Because Halal is Halal, it doesn’t matter whether it is in Jakarta or Senegal or Armenia or Saudi Arabia. There has to be one definition, one standard, one technical description,” he told Bernama in an interview.

“Not only the member states, but also the chambers of commerce and industry, they have to be involved as it is to their advantage for this to be regulated,” he said.He explained that the OIC would “not license the products, but we will license the centres that have the right to produce Halal certification in their own country.”

Madani said having one universal Halal standard could create peace of mind among the over 1.6 billion Muslim consumers worldwide.

According to reports, there are more than 400 Halal certifying bodies and organisations in the world, but not all are recognised or registered with some international organisations.

In April last year, the OIC gave the mandate to the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC) to introduce a Halal standard that would be acceptable to all Muslims.

The SMIIC is responsible for developing a set of universal Halal standards, called the OIC-SMIC Halal standards, for Halal manufacturing units, certification bodies and accreditation agencies.

The global Halal market, worth US$1.1 trillion in 2013, is estimated to reach US$1.6 trillion in 2018.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak received a courtesy call from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) secretary-general Tan Sri Iyad Ameen Madani at Perdana Putra. The meeting was part of Madani’s itinerary during his three-day working visit to Malaysia, his first to this country since assuming the post in January 2014. Madani, who was accompanied by his delegation, spent nearly 30 minutes with Najib at the prime minister’s office.
According to a member of his delegation, the high-profile meeting among others discussed pertinent issues relating to the status of the peace agreement on the Southern Philippines brokered by Malaysia. According to the Foreign Ministry’s statement, the visit demonstrates Malaysia’s continued commitment to playing an active role in OIC, and its dedication in addressing issues and challenges faced by the Muslim ummah.