27 April 2022

General Overview On Government Regulation No. 39 Of 2021: Procedures And Requirements Of Halal Certification In Indonesia

Nusantara Legal Partnership


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Indonesia is one of the largest Muslim populations in the world. For that reason, the country becomes the most potential market for halal products.
Indonesia Consumer Protection
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Indonesia is one of the largest Muslim populations in the world. For that reason, the country becomes the most potential market for halal products. Furthermore, the government is responsible to provide information and assurance on the halal status of consumable products. Therefore, a comprehensive regulation regarding halal products is essential.

Pursuant to Law No. 33 of 2014 on Halal Product Assurance/ Jaminan Produk Halal, as lastly amended by Job Creation Law ("JPH Law"), all products that are sold in Indonesia must obtain the halal certification issued by the Halal Product Assurance Organizing Agency (Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Produk Halal or "BPJPH") under the Ministry of Religious Affairs ("MoRA"). Products made of non-halal materials or ingredients are exempted from this requirement. However, they must provide non-halal statement on the products. Under JPH Law, the government and/or the public can establish the Halal Inspection Agency ("LPH"), which is an independent agency to assess whether the goods or services are halal according to BPJPH standards. The assessment not only covers the materials or ingredients, but also the process, storage, packaging, display, distribution, serving, and sales to guarantee that the products are halal (Proses Produk Halal or "PPH").

For further amendment to JPH Law under Job Creation Law, the Indonesian government issued Government Regulation No. 39 of 2021 on Implementation of Halal Product Assurance ("GR 39/2021") that provides the procedure of halal certification, including scope of authority of BPJPH, procedure of halal certification, halal and non-halal labelling, and other related subjects. In this article, we will provide you with the general overview on the key points of GR 39/2021.

A. Subjects of Halal Certifications and Halal Assurance Obligation

Article 135 of GR 39/2021 requires halal certification for the following goods and services:

  1. Food and Beverages
  2. Medicines
  3. Cosmetics
  4. Chemical products
  5. Biological products
  6. Genetically modified products
  7. Other utilized goods
  8. Processing services;
  9. Storage services;
  10. Distribution;
  11. Animal slaughter;
  12. Sales; and/or

B. Halal Certification Process

To obtain a halal certificate, businesses are required to submit an application to BPJH. For this, the applicant shall:

  1. submit an application together with the required documents and business permits through the online system to BPJH;
  2. separate the locations, slaughter, process, storage, packaging, distribution, sales, and serving of halal and non-halal products.
  3. have a halal supervisor (Penyelia Halal), who will be responsible in supervising PPH in the company. Business actors have the right to choose their own halal supervisors.

Upon the submission of complete application, the applicant and BPJH shall choose the Halal Examination Agency (Lembaga Pemeriksa Halal or "LPH") to assess the relevant products and documents' validity. The LPH will then appoint a Halal Auditor to conduct the assessment within 10 days for domestic products or 15 days for foreign products since the LPH appointment date. The period of assessment can be extended for 10 days for domestic products, or 15 days for foreign products.

Once the assessment has been completed, LPH will relay the report to the Indonesian Council of Ulama (Majelis Ulama Indonesia or "MUI") and BPJH, who must decide on the product's halal status within three days after receiving the LPH report on the relevant product. After the decision has been made, BPJH will publish the halal certificate which valid for four years, and can be extended not less than three months before the expiry date, this also applies to foreign products. If there are changes in the composition of the materials or ingredients of the products, the relevant businesses must report such changes to BPJPH.

Please also note that Article 85 (1) of GR 39/2021, any fees for the application of halal certificate shall be borne by the applicant. The fees are non-refundable even if the applicants cannot proceed with their applications due to negligence.

C. Halal Certification for Small Micro Enterprises ("SME")

Halal certification of products of SMEs are subject to simpler and slightly different procedure.

Article 79 (1) of GR 39/2021 stipulates that SMEs' obligation to process halal certification shall be based on their self-declaration statement. Furthermore, Article 79 (4) of GR 39/2021 provides that the statement declared by the business owners should contain the (i) halal status and materials or ingredients of the products, and (ii) PPH. These declaration forms are submitted to BPJPH, who will relay them to MUI.

Once MUI have issued their halal fatwa, BPJPH will issue the halal certificate of the relevant SMEs applicants.  Article 81 (1) of GR 90/2021 provides that the halal certification applied by SMEs is not subject to any fee, but it is subject to the state finance and certain criteria for priority industries/products, based on BPJPH regulation.

D. Halal Certification of Foreign Products and Registration of Foreign Halal Certificate

Every foreign product already granted with a halal certificate issued by a foreign agency should be registered in Indonesia according to the applicable law, so the product is recognized as a halal product in Indonesia.  Article 128 of GR 39/2021 stipulates that a product importer or their official representatives shall submit the halal certificate registration to BPJPH with the following documents:

  1. applicant data;
  2. copy of the foreign halal certificate validated by an Indonesian representative abroad (e., the Indonesian Embassy or Consulate General);
  3. list of imported goods equipped with a harmonized code system; and statement letter stating the documents are true and valid

However, Article 127 paragraph 1 states that importers of products with halal certificates issued by foreign halal agencies collaborating with BPJPH shall be exempted from the requirement to submit such reapplication.

E. Applicable Sanctions

Violation to the halal certification obligation shall be subject to administrative sanctions. Article 149 (2) of GR 39/2021 stipulates that the applicable sanctions against the violators are as follows:

  1. written warning;
  2. administrative fines;
  3. halal certificate revocation;
  4. and/or withdrawal of goods from the market.

In addition to businesses, LPH is also subject to the following administrative sanction due to breach of JPH process:

  1. written warning;
  2. administrative fines;
  3. suspension of operation.

The sanctions shall be imposed by BPJPH on the relevant business actors in stages, or in cumulative grounds. The maximum administrative fine as referred to GR 39/2021 is IDR 2 billion (two billion Rupiahs).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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