Jakim to improve SOPs for foreign halal cert bodies

by NUR HANANI AZMAN / graphic by TMR

THE Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) will be improving its existing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for foreign halal certification bodies for cosmetic, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages.

In a statement yesterday, Jakim said it will fine-tune the application used to track products which had been given the halal status by foreign bodies.

“We will also review new applications, renewals and the withdrawals of recognition for foreign halal certification bodies in accordance with the latest SOPs,” it said.

A roundtable discussion is scheduled to be held on Jan 11 between importers and distributors of meat and meat products, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP), Malaysian Quarantine Inspection Services Department (Maqis) and the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.

Discussions will touch on issues faced by importers and distributors, as well as to provide an explanation on the need for them o comply with the SOPs.

“Jakim also encourages the application of the Malaysian Halal Certification through the Logistics (Warehousing) scheme.

“We require certificate holders to obtain meat supplies from importers or distributors who have been certified halal under this scheme,” it said.

Additionally, Jakim has prepared an action plan to address the smuggling of non-certified meat into the country after a discussion with KPDNHEP, Maqis and the Customs Department on Tuesday.

The discussion focused on coordinating actions and taking the necessary measures to address the issue, besides having an Integrated Action Plan for meat products and imports. Through the action plan, Jakim would also promote the list of approved foreign halal certification bodies.

To date, a total of 84 halal certification bodies in 46 countries have been recognised by Jakim.

“With this, consumers can identify the halal logos recognised by Jakim on the packaging of imported products and importers can easily identify the products they want to bring into Malaysia, to avoid doubt and losses.

“Malaysians travelling abroad can refer to the recognised logos and ensure they consume certified halal foods and products,” it added.

Jakim will intensify visits to slaughterhouses and imported meat warehouses to ensure issues such as non-certified meat does not arise.