Indonesian Halal Policy Update

Government Regulation (GR) No. 31 of 2019

as Implementing Directive to Halal Product Assurance Law No. 33 of 2014

29 April 2019 Indonesian President Joko Widodo signed the government regulation number 31 of 2019 concerning the Halal Product Assurance or Jaminan Produk Halal (JPH) –in Indonesian language- entered into force on 3 May 2019. This regulation serves as the implementing directive to the Halal Product Assurance Law number 33 of 2014 that compels standardised halalness of products entering and distributed in Indonesian markets with Halal Certificates.

This regulation 31/2019 essentially authorises the Indonesian BPJPH or Halal Product Assurance Organizing Agency to be officially operating from 17 October 2019 onwards. BPJPH itself has a number of legal rights to take administrative actions including registration, testing, and certification process. Its main authority is to develop and establish detailed policies regarding Halal Product Assurance. These include criteria and standards of halal assurance, the guiding principles of the halal audit, and the procedures of the halal label and certificate registration.

GR 31/2019 key provisions include the classification of products to be halal certified, stages in halal implementation, the role of the Halal Product Assurance Organizing Agency (BPJPH) and other related agencies in halal implementation coordination, as well as international cooperation with overseas halal certification bodies (HCBs).

GR 31/2019 indicates that food and beverage products should begin to comply and be halal certified as of 17 October 2019. However, the regulation does not provide with a hard timeline for the implementation of the halal certification requirement. But in reference to the requirement under Halal Product Assurance Law, a halal certificate must be obtained within five years after the issuance of the Halal Product Assurance Law (i.e., 17 October 2019).

Key protocol includes inter alia :

  1. Article 25 (2) of the GR 31/2019 states that in consultation with the respective Ministers working on Foreign Affairs, international cooperation in Halal Product Assurance shall be in the form of: JPH development; conformity assessment; and recognition of Halal certificate.
  2. GR 31/2019 implicitly highlights that for the continuation of the international trade relations between Indonesia and its trade partners, there will be complementary process at : a) the state level (Article 26 para 2) that is a G-to-G Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning the conformity assessment, and b) the HCB levels (Article 26 para 4)that is the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) concerning the halal certificates.
  3. In the interim, for the existing approved Dutch HCBs to continue issuing halal certificates for exports to Indonesia, they have to be re-registered at the BPJPH system. Later for the extension of the current approval decree, the HCBs must have a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with the BPJPH that is still under preparation.

What might be the challenges?

  1. A lot of countries do not have compatible Halal government agency to secure a G-to-G agreement at the state level. Along these lines many countries do not institute governmental Halal policy as the state’s guideline.
  2. Meanwhile, for the MRA between HCBs and the Indonesian BPJPH, the G-to-G MoU is key element beside a number of requirements concerning the technicalities of the mutually accepted Halal Certifying Process.
  3. Based on Chapter IV of GR 31/2019, the location, place and equipment of any Halal Product Process must be kept separate from the location, place and equipment of non-halal products. The location, place and equipment that must be kept separate, as referred to the above, cover slaughtering, processing, storing, packaging, distribution, sales and presentation.
  4. As in chapter VII, following products can only be imported, distributed and traded in Indonesian territory if they are halal certified:
  • food
  • beverages
  • drugs
  • cosmetics
  • chemical products*
  • biological products*
  • genetically modified products*
  • worn, used or utilized goods  which are sourced from and/or contain animal elements (i.e., (1) clothing, headgear, accessories (worn); (2) household supplies, household equipment, worship supplies for Moslems, food and beverages packaging, stationery and office supplies (used); and (3) medical devices (utilized))

*Note: These products are only related to food, beverages, drugs and cosmetics.

5. Further in chapter VII, he following types of  services must also be halal certified before the products can be delivered to Indonesian territory:   

  • animal slaughtering;
  • processing;
  • storage;
  • packaging;
  • distribution;
  • sales;
  • presentation.

Transitional Provisions for Business Guidelines:

  1. Any halal certificate issued before GR 31 is valid and will continue to be effective until it expire;
  2. GR 31 does not provide any definitive sanction for noncompliance with the halal certification requirement. The regulation only mentions that supervision will be done by the BPJPH and in cooperation with ministries and governmental bodies.
  3. In good anticipation of more detailed provisions to be issued by the Indonesian government, the Ministry of Religious Affairs through BPJPH has been preparing various drafts and series of further implementing regulations. It is not yet clear when these series of further implementing regulations will be issued and whether these regulations would have detailed and definitive provisions that can address business and market concerns and doubts on the halal certification implementation.