Halal food refers to food that:
does not consist or contain any part or matter of an animal prohibited by Hukum Syarak* and Fatwa*
does not contain anything that is impure or intoxicating according to Hukum Syarak and Fatwa
is not prepared, processed or manufactured using any instrument that is contaminated with impure substance according to Hukum Syarak and Fatwa
in the course of preparing, processing or storing, has not been in contact with food that fails to satisfy a and b.
*Note: Hukum Syarak means Islamic Law. Fatwa generally refers to the legal opinion issued by any Musilim jurist in Malaysia on any controversial questions relating Hukum Syarak.
Competent Authority and Responsibilities
The regulatory body for Halal certification in Malaysia is known as JAKIM (The Halal Department Division under the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia), whose responsibility is to certify food, goods or service is halal.
Besides abiding by the specific regulations on halal certification and requirements, halal food is also required to comply with general food regulations, such as Food Act 1983.
(defines halal and other expressions related to halal; defines an offense for deceiving or misleading consumers that the item pertains to halal; defines penalties)
(defines JAKIM as the competent authority; illegalizes self-declaration; all halal-declared products/consumables must obtain halal certification, imported products bearing halal logo must be recognized by halal certification body accredited by JAKIM; creates offenses and penalties)
Trade Descriptions (Certification and Marking of Halal Fees) Regulations 2011
There are also two guidelines stakeholders shall pay attention to, which were issued by JAKIM.
(a reference document for Halal certification; specifying terms and requirements of Halal certification, application procedures, certification process, fees, etc.)
(setting out the principles in establishing and maintaining a Halal assurance system)
Relevant Malaysian general food standards should be followed as well.
Halal Certification Requirements
Malaysian Halal Certification is an official document stating the Halal status of products and/or services. Applicable scope includes consumer goods, cosmetic, food products, beverages, food supplements, etc. Such products must be certified as Halal and marked with a specific logo as shown in the right.
1. Raw materials and ingredients
All the ingredients shall be halal and safe.
The source of imported animal-based raw materials shall come from approved factories by JAKIM and the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS).
Raw materials, processing aids, product and menu must be listed in the application form.
2. Processing and transportation
The preparation, handling, processing, packaging, storage or transfer of products must be in compliance with the requirements under Islamic law and must adhere to the standards of Good Manufacturing Practice and Good Hygienic Practices in Malaysia.
No mixing between raw materials or products with non-halal sources, or those with uncertain halal status.
Transportation facility shall be for halal products only.
3. Packaging and labeling
Every packaging label should be printed prominently, clearly and indelible.
Packing must contain the name of the product and the Malaysia Halal logo.
The Malaysia Halal logo cannot be used for product promotion in conjunction with non-Islamic religious festivals or together with non-Islamic emblem.
The packaging material shall not be made from materials which are classified as Najs. Najs means impure matters such as blood, urine and faeces. Under Islamic law, Najs will nullify prayer.
4. Factory and food premises
Equipment used in the manufacturing of halal food products shall be free from Najs or any hazardous materials, and does not result in side effects to the products produced.
Non-halal food and beverages are not allowed to be brought into the factory compound.
Liquor and materials derived from liquor is strictly prohibited to be in the factory compound.
Export of Halal Food into Malaysia
1. Obtain the certificate from a qualified certification body
All imported food marketed in Malaysia must
obtain a Halal Certificate issued by JAKIM; or
certified as Halal by the foreign halal certification body recognized by JAKIM (List of recognized foreign halal certification bodies).
The importer or manufacturer must mark the logo and/or the name of the said certification body on the food package.
With a recognized foreign Halal Certificate, distributors can immediately sell the food product with the halal logo from such recognized foreign body.
2. Other requirements
When exporting poultry, milk, preserved meat, pasta, ice cream into Peninsular Malaysia and Labuan, the importation shall be subject to inspection and approval by the Department of Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Service (MAQIS). Moreover, an import permit released by MAQIS is also required.
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