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Friday, 4 July 2008

OIC To Submit Final Draft On Halal Standardisation, Accreditation And Certification In 2009


By Azril Annuar

KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 (Bernama) -- The Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) will submit the final draft of the proposed common international halal standardisation, accreditation and certification to its members during the Tenth OIC Standardisation Experts' Group Meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in February 2009.

"Our aim is to avoid future problems and protect our food exporters and consumers from the rising costs of certification because it can be easily duplicated," Turkey's Foreign Trade Specialist, Undersecretariat of the Prime Minister for Foreign Trade, Korkut Yavuz told Bernama on the sidelines of the Developing 8 Countries (D-8) Business Forum here today.

Turkey took the lead in drafting the proposals under two OIC special committees, Halal Food Standard (HFS) and Halal Certification and Accreditations (HCA), formed in April 17 2008.

The committees were formed following the recognition that there were no integrated multinational approach for such standards and members have different standards and certification procedures.

Turkey has submitted the drafts to the special committees' members which included Malaysia and Indonesia, acknowledged to be experts in halal food standardisation, certification and accreditation.

"We must come up with a common OIC international halal standard. This is very important to protect our consumers and ensure trust for exports of food stuff throughout the OIC nations.

"The Halal Mark, is an OIC marking affixed on halal goods. It verifies that the product is halal because it has been evaluated by a third-party conformity assessment body called Halal Assessment Body (HAB).

"The HAB is assigned by OIC member states and is recognised by the OIC general secretariat," said Yavuz.

Yavuz said OIC member states could appoint their own public or private HAB and members without a HAB could appoint a different public or private body for this task as long as it was "technically capable".

The accreditation must also be mandatory for all HAB.

Meanwhile, Yavuz denied Turkey would compete with Malaysia to become a global halal hub.

"Our aim is not to become a halal hub. We do not want any competition with Malaysia because we see Malaysia as a brother.

"We have learned a lot from Malaysia, and we want a good atmosphere and brotherhood. We will not gain anything if we compete against Malaysia," he said.

The Sixth D-8 Summit, to be convened here on July 7 and 8, will adopt and accept a business roadmap which emphasises intra-trade for implementation by all member states, D-8 secretary-general Dr Dipo Alam announced here Thursday.

Malaysia is the host for this year's summit.

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