Jakarta (ANTARA) - Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan emphasized that the policy necessitating products to have halal certificates by October 2024 must be implemented and not be postponed.

The minister made the statement in response to the suggestion of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Minister Teten Masduki to postpone the implementation of the halal certification obligation, especially for products of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

"It is mandatory. If they are not ready yet, when will they be ready?" Hasan told the press here on Saturday.

According to the minister, the policy is implemented for the sake of consumers in Indonesia. Consumers have the right to get products that are not only halal but also safe, healthy, and hygienic.

Minister Masduki had earlier stated on April 1, 2024, that his ministry will discuss the obligatory halal certification policy with various parties, including the Ministry of Trade and the Halal Product Assurance Agency (BPJPH).

He assessed that it is challenging to meet the deadline of the halal certification policy, set for October 2024, especially for MSME players in the food sector.

To this end, he suggested to make it easier for MSMEs, which fall into the green category. For instance, if their products and raw materials are halal, then they can self-declare or make a statement of halal status on their own.

In addition, Masduki proposed postponing or extending the deadline, so that there would be no legal violations by MSME players.

Government Regulation Number 39 of 2021 on Halal Product Assurance Implementation requires three product groups to be halal-certified by October 2024

The three groups are food and beverage products; raw materials and food additives; as well as products from animal slaughtering and slaughtering services.

The policy applies to products produced by large-scale businesses as well as micro, small, and medium enterprises, including street vendors.

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Translator: Shofi Ayudiana, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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