Egypt: Updates for the new ISEG Halal implementation
Do you know that ISEG Halal certificate will be a mandatory requirement from 15th of December to be able to export to Egypt?
Following up to our last bericht, ISEG Halal announced that they will issue Halal certifications for free till 15th of December to encourage more companies get certified.
On 20th of October, 16 EU embassies including the Dutch embassy together with the American and Canadian embassies met with a representatives from ISEG Halal, Mr. Wael Hana (President of IS EG Halal), Hussein Mansour (Chairman of the National Food Safety Authority (NFSA), Dr. Ahmed Abdel Karim (acting as Head of Veterinary Quarantine in the Ministry of Agriculture), to share concerns of several European and Dutch companies regarding the lack of clarity of the recent Halal regulations.
The National Food Safety Authority (NFSA) announced on the 5th of August that ISEG Halal would be the only competent authority recognized by the Egyptian government to issue Halal certifications for all food products and factories. All imported food products will need to be Halal certified by ISEG Halal to enter Egypt. Certification by ISEG Halal of shipments that come from establishments already certified by other companies, leads to higher costs of products offered in the Egyptian market.
NFSA was not pleased with the halal certification processes offered previously by international halal certification companies. It claimed that no shipment has been stopped at the border until now due to the lack of the ISEG Halal certificate. Some companies however told the embassy that there were denied import permits, as they did not have an ISEG Halal certificate.
ISEG Halal shared with the following updates:
- The cost of halal certification by IS EG Halal is per shipment (1500 USD per container of dairy and 2000 USD per container of meat) and there is no additional cost of certifying the establishments.
- Egypt will be flexible with the question of halal labelling and will give companies some months to adjust the labels’ stocks
- ISEG Halal claims it has already certified 119 milk and dairy establishments worldwide.
- Most factories in the EU exporting to Egypt have been already halal certified in the past by other companies; they just need a quick re-certification by IS EG Halal.
- ISEG Halal stressed that the certification process was very quick (up to 72 hours); therefore companies should wait for the result of the certification before sending their goods.
- ISEG Halal does not foresee to collaborate with local halal certification bodies in EU member states. Instead, the company might place individuals in countries where no IS EG Halal offices are available.
- ISEG Halal is opening an office in Germany.
- In the future, halal certificates will be integrated into the Advance Cargo Information system (ACID).
- EU competent authorities will not play a role in this process; veterinary health certificates need not reflect halal
- ISEG Halal announced that they would issue Halal certifications for free until 15th of December to encourage more companies get certified.
More clarity is needed about ISEG Halal’s processes and Egypt’s Halal standards in practice. The agricultural team of the embassy will follow up on developments and stand ready to provide updates when needed: KAI-LNV@minbuza.nl