Act No. 33 of 2014 concerning Halal Product Assurance (UU JPH) and its amendments are steps and efforts by the Indonesian government to make Indonesia a world halal center. Of course, this is not impossible, considering Indonesia has great potential to make this happen.
Based on the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2022, Indonesia is in the top 4 countries in a solid Islamic economic ecosystem, in the top position as a food consumer market country (2021) with a spending value of US 145.7 billion, in 7th position out of 10 food exporting countries halal to OIC countries, position number 2 out of 10 OIC countries that import halal products.
Unfortunately, the implementation of JPH regulations is not always smooth. In Law No. 6 of 2023 concerning Job Creation (UU Ciptaker), which includes several recent changes to JPH regulations, the Association of Indonesian Halal Inspection Institutions (ALPHI) found several notes which were then raised in the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and workshop with the theme “Synergy Strengthening Halal Ecosystem Regulations for Muslim Consumer Protection. This activity will be held on September 21, 2023, at the Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta. The Assessment Institute for Foods, Drugs, and Cosmetics Indonesian Council of Ulama (LPPOM MUI) was present and supported the holding of this event.
“There are six major points discussed in this FGD. Later, we will propose today’s results to amend the Ciptaker Law. These include the implementation of the self-declaration scheme, the authority of the MUI fatwa hearing, conflicts of interest, the validity period of halal certificates, product halal inspections, and overseas halal certification,” explained the Chairman of ALPHI, Ir. Elvina A. Rahayu, MP.
The First is about the implementation of the self-declaration (SD) scheme. This scheme still needs to help micro (ultra micro) small businesses in Indonesia because the government pays the financing. Even so, the implementation requires paying attention to several points. One of them is that there must be fair sanctions for entities in the SD mechanism if fraud is found.
Second, the authority of the MUI Fatwa Session. One of the highlights in this matter is the addition of the Halal Product Fatwa Committee nomenclature for the certification process using the SD scheme. However, this institution can carry out the function of determining a fatwa if the MUI fatwa commission does not carry out the determination process within the stipulated SLA time of 3 days. Therefore, ALPHI proposes to set up a communication mechanism between the MUI Fatwa Commission and BPJPH as well as internal MUI Central/Provincial/City/Regency and MPU regarding agreement on the time for the fatwa hearing and conveying the obstacles that occur if the stipulated time is not reached, before making the transfer to the Product Fatwa Committee Halal.
Third, conflict of interest. The existing JPH regulations make BPJPH and MUI certification bodies. To avoid conflicts of interest and impartiality, conflicts of interest are not only limited to LPH but all entities involved in the halal certification process, namely BPJPH, MUI Fatwa Commission, Halal Product Fatwa Committee, and LPH.
Fourth, the validity period of the halal certificate. The Job Creation Law, Articles 25 and 42 states that the validity period of the Halal Certificate does not apply unless there is a change in the composition of materials and/or the Halal Product Process (PPH) and it is reported to BPJPH. To equalize implementation perceptions regarding ingredient composition from a halal perspective, ALPHI proposes several points. One of them is related to surveillance. For micro and small businesses, surveillance is carried out once a year by reporting no changes in material composition and PPH, as well as sampling audits/pick tests by BPJPH. Meanwhile, for medium and large businesses as well as overseas, surveillance is carried out once a year at the expense of the business actor by the LPH, where the inspection is carried out.
Fifth, check product halalness. To efficiently carry out audit costs while maintaining the guarantee of halal products, several new regulations are needed. One of them is the rules for sampling for similar factories/outlets by adopting IAF MD 1: 2018, Issue 2, dated January 29, 2018 – IAF Mandatory Document for the Audit and Certification of a management system operated by a multisite organization, Chapter 6 Methodologies, in particular, 184.108.40.206 “Sampling of a set of sites is permitted where the sites are each performing very similar processes/activities”.
This arrangement, of course, still considers the uniformity and consistency of SJPH implementation in multisite organizations.
Sixth, Overseas Halal Certification. This is related to ALPHI’s support for Indonesia to become the world’s halal center and protection for MSE products, the number of which reaches 64 million MSEs. So, it is hoped that there will be regulations regarding mutual recognition only for halal certificates for raw materials, additional materials, auxiliary materials, and slaughter products from Overseas Halal Institutions. Meanwhile, for halal product (final) certification, it must go through BPJPH.
“Overall, we hope it can be a solution to all the halal certification problems that currently exist. “Of course, this is also a form of ALPHI’s support in supporting the government’s efforts to create a good halal ecosystem in Indonesia,” said Elvina.