Companies who want to sell halal products in Malaysia are required to first get a Halal Certificate from the country’s central government. Consumers are informed by a Halal Certificate that a product satisfies the requirements set out by Malaysia for a product to be considered halal.
Malaysia, which is home to around 16 million Muslims, is a key market in Southeast Asia for the manufacturing and consumption of halal products due to the country’s large Muslim population. Because Malaysia is an important supplier for nations with substantial Muslim populations like Indonesia, its halal products have an annual export value of 35.4 billion ringgit (US$7.46 billion), which accounts for 5.1 percent of the country’s total exports.
Halal certification is important for a wide range of products, including food products, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals, because these categories all contain animal byproducts. In this article, we explore the meaning of halal in Malaysia as well as the procedures that must be followed for a company to be awarded a Halal Certificate.
What is considered Halal food in Malaysia?
Halal food in Malaysia refers to food and beverages that are prepared and consumed in accordance with Islamic dietary laws. The term “halal” means permissible in Arabic. To be considered halal in Malaysia, food must meet certain criteria:
1. Meat and Poultry: The meat and poultry must come from animals that have been slaughtered according to Islamic guidelines. The process involves reciting a prayer and ensuring that the animal is slaughtered in a humane manner to allow the blood to drain from the body.
2. No Pork or Pork Products: Pork and pork products are strictly prohibited in halal food. This includes bacon, ham, and any products containing pork-derived ingredients.
3. **No Alcohol or Intoxicants**: Food and drinks containing alcohol or any form of intoxicants are not considered halal.
4. No Carnivorous Animals: Carnivorous animals and birds of prey are generally considered not permissible for consumption in halal food.
5. Halal Certification: Many food products and establishments in Malaysia are certified halal by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) or other recognized halal certification bodies. This certification ensures that the food has been prepared and handled in compliance with halal standards.
6. Utensils and Preparation: Utensils and equipment used for cooking, serving, and storing halal food must not have been contaminated by non-halal items. Cross-contamination with non-halal items is avoided.
7. Ingredients: The ingredients used in food preparation must also meet halal criteria. Any ingredient derived from animals must come from halal sources.
8. Seafood: Seafood is generally considered halal as long as it meets the criteria of being properly slaughtered or harvested according to Islamic principles.
It’s important to note that while these are general guidelines for halal food in Malaysia, there might be variations based on personal interpretations and cultural practices. To ensure the food’s halal status, many Muslims look for halal certification symbols on packaged foods or dine at restaurants that are officially certified as halal.
What other product can be a Halal Certificate in Malaysia?
In Malaysia, the concept of halal extends beyond just food and beverages. Various products and services can also be certified as halal to cater to the needs of the Muslim population. Here are some examples of other products and sectors that can be certified as halal in Malaysia:
a) Cosmetics and Personal Care Products: This includes items like skincare products, makeup, perfumes, and toiletries. Halal-certified products in this category ensure that they do not contain any non-halal ingredients or components.
b) Pharmaceuticals and Medications: Halal certification for pharmaceuticals ensures that medications do not contain non-permissible ingredients and are produced in compliance with Islamic principles.
c) Healthcare and Medical Services: Some hospitals and healthcare facilities in Malaysia seek halal certification to ensure that their services, from patient care to medications and food provided to patients, adhere to Islamic guidelines.
d) Food Processing and Manufacturing: Beyond raw ingredients, processed and packaged foods, snacks, and ready-to-eat meals can also be halal-certified to ensure they meet Islamic dietary requirements.
e) Halal Logistics and Transportation: Some transportation and logistics companies in Malaysia offer halal-certified services to ensure that products are handled and transported in accordance with Islamic guidelines.
f) Food Supplements: Food supplements, also known as dietary supplements, can also be certified as halal in Malaysia. These are products that are taken orally and are intended to supplement the diet with vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, or other dietary ingredients.
How to apply for a Halal Certificate in Malaysia?
Applying for a Halal Certificate in Malaysia involves several steps and requires adherence to specific guidelines set by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM). Here’s a general overview of the process:
1. Determine Eligibility: Ensure that your product, service, or establishment falls within the scope of halal certification and that you meet the criteria outlined by JAKIM.
2. Prepare Documentation: Gather all the necessary documents and information required for the application process. This may include details about your product, ingredients, manufacturing process, and more.
3. Submit Application: Submit your application to the JAKIM Halal Certification Division. You can do this online through the Malaysia Halal Certification System (MyHACCP) platform.
4. Application Review: JAKIM will review your application and the accompanying documents to ensure they meet the halal certification requirements.
5. On-Site Inspection: JAKIM may conduct an on-site inspection of your premises to verify that your processes and practices align with halal standards.
6. Certification Decision: After the review and inspection, JAKIM will make a decision regarding your halal certification application.
7. Issuance of Halal Certificate: If your application is approved, you will receive a halal certificate indicating that your product, service, or establishment is compliant with halal requirements.
8. Ongoing Compliance: Halal certification is not a one-time process. You will need to continue adhering to halal standards and regularly renew your certification.
Please note that the specific steps and requirements may vary depending on the type of product or service you are seeking to certify, and whether you are applying for individual certification or applying as a company or establishment.
To get the most accurate and up-to-date information on how to apply for a Halal Certificate in Malaysia, it’s recommended to visit the official JAKIM website or contact their Halal Certification Division directly. They can provide you with detailed guidance, forms, and information specific to your situation.