Jakarta, IO – Halal certification in Indonesia has been showing positive yet sluggish development. Over the past five years, since the establishment of the Halal Certification Agency (BPJPH) in October 2017, roughly 750 thousand products have been halal-certified. Every year, an average of 250 thousand products, food particularly, have been halal-certified. This is a significant leap compared to 100 thousand products per year before 2017.
Data from the BPJPH of the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) shows that around 2,200 halal certifications have been issued since the beginning of 2023. They include 38,500 products, mainly foods, including products from Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs). The business and the public look forward to seeing whether the target of 10 million halal certifications in 2024 can be achieved, since Indonesia has a vast number of MSEs, around 40 million units, dispersed even in remote areas.
MSEs in the food industry face three main challenges in obtaining halal certification, particularly a self-declaration, namely (1) the limited number and capacity of human resources as halal supervisors, (2) lack of knowledge and skills in creating basic halal manuals and (3) inability to provide a list of halal materials and their supporting documents, which often results in rejection from the Fatwa Committee of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).
This article analyzes the conduct of the halal certification policy, problems at organizational and administrative levels and their resolution. The article concludes with a recommendation for the acceleration of halal certification.
Halal certification policy reform
Reform of halal product guarantee regulation is outlined in Government Regulation No. 39/2021 (PP 39/2021) on the Implementation of Halal Product Guarantee, derived from Job Creation Law No. 11/2020. The ruling of a product’s halal status is carried out through a Halal Fatwa Appraisal by the MUI. The MUI then delivers the decision of a product’s halal status to MoRA’s BPJPH (Article 33).
The Indonesian Government has been building up the Halal Audit Agency (LPH). It can now be conducted by incorporated Islamic institutions and state and private higher education establishments managed by incorporated Islamic institutions or Islamic foundations (Article 13). Thus, Islamic institutions can provide halal auditors (Article 14). Halal certification for MSEs is free of charge (Article 44). The responsibility for halal certification is declared by the MSEs based on halal standards set by the BPJPH (Article 14). The process of obtaining halal certification for MSEs takes 21 days at the latest (Articles 29-35).