The government has revoked the authority of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) to certify halal products, following the inauguration of the Halal Certification Agency by Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Halim Saifuddin on Thursday.
This approach may provide transparency and accountability of previously lucrative certification. The current product with halal certification from MUI will be re-assesed and indonesian government will have the legal ability to push producers and vendors to register their products and services for business license.
The establishment of the agency was based on Law No. 33/2014 on halal product guarantee.
Lukman said the agency was not allowed to collect fees from businesses for issuing certificates. “We will make it as simple as possible. There will be no certification fee at all. It is an online service,” he said as reported by kontan.co.id.
The inauguration of the agency ends the MUI’s authority to issue halal certificates.
MUI deputy chairman Zainut Tauhid Sa’adi welcomed the government’s decision, saying that the MUI was behind the drafting of the Halal Product Guarantee Law and the establishment of the agency.
“Anything that relates to the protection and guarantee of halal products is now the responsibility of the government,” Zainut added in a statement on Friday.
He expressed the hope that there would be more legal certainty regarding the requirements for halal certification with the establishment of the agency.
“We have to support it and law enforcement has to start applying the law,” Zainut said, adding that obtaining halal certification was not compulsory.
Under President Jokowi’s administration, the multi-billion Halal certification in Indonesia is now being processed by the newly established government bodies. This new approach will surely boost confidence for many Muslim consumer and tourists as well as business alike to enjoy and apply the products with government certified clearance.