In one of its final actions before its term ended, Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR) passed the first law on halal labeling in the Muslim majority nation.While the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) welcomed the new law, saying that it would give comfort to the Muslim community, both the foreign and local business community appeared anxious over whether it would mean extra costs for them to secure the correct halal certification.
Who will be affected?
The Halal labeling law will affect most consumable products, including food and beverages, medicines, cosmetics, chemicals and biological products.
It will also apply to functional goods that can be worn, used, utilized, imported and circulated in Indonesia’s territory.
Under Islamic law, some materials are considered haram (forbidden, the opposite of halal) for consumption, including pork, alcohol, blood and other things considered as containing impurities. The law was enacted to protect the nation’s Muslim population from being exposed to non-halal products.
The new law states that halal checking will also include the manufacturing process, packaging, distribution, sales and serving. Muslims need to ensure that halal products are not mixed with non-halal products during production and distribution.
Non-halal products circulated in Southeast Asia’s largest economy must be labeled “non-halal.”
Previously, halal certification was supervised by the MUI. However, the new law now mandates the establishment of a new agency, the Halal Product Guarantee Agency, known as BPJPH. This agency, which will be supervised by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, will be responsible for issuing halal certificates to producers.
2019, halal labeling will be mandatory for all products circulated in Indonesia.
By AmCham Correspondent