Making Sense of Halal Implementation
HHP law firm gave a briefing on the 2019 Halal Ministerial Regulation
Feb 25, 2020 | By Peter Sean Lie

Representatives from various companies, mostly in the food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries, gathered for a briefing on Ministry of Religious Affairs Regulation 26/2019 (MORA Regulation 26/2019) on Implementation of Halal Product Assurance.

The briefing was held by Hadiputranto, Hadinoto and Partners (HHP) law firm on Jan. 30, attracting more than 30 participants, mostly from the legal and regulatory departments of companies.

Cahyani Endahayu and Reagen Mokodompit from HHP opened the briefing by outlining relevant articles in Regulation 26/2019. They pointed out that the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) controlled the halal certification process before the Halal Product Assurance Agency (BPJPH) was established under the 2014 Halal Law to put halal certification in government hands. 

The briefing continued with an explanation of the timeline stages for halal compliance on different products, with food and beverages being the first priority. Food and beverages have been given a five-year grace period before they need to be halal certified – Oct. 17, 2024. Grace periods for cosmetics and personal care products range from seven to 15 years. Pharmaceuticals and most medical devices will have their grace periods outlines under a separate Presidential Regulation.

The discussion progressed to one of the most anticipated topics, comparing the old halal certification process with the new one. The speakers meticulously compared the old process and the new system under BPJPH. They concluded the new system under BPJPH is more complicated and burdensome than the old one under MUI. Now the system seems headed for a hybrid of the old and the new, given the difficulties companies are having understanding the BPJPH approach.

Lastly, the briefing gave suggestions to companies on what to do and what position they should take. Halal certification compliance should be flagged as due diligence issue with medium risk, the participants were told. Being aware of the timeline for compliance and understanding which category a product falls into are crucial in thriving under the new halal system.

A Q&A session followed, giving the chance for companies to share experiences, express concerns and air confusion over MORA 26/2019.