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Halal Certification

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the difference between Halal & Halal certification?
    The Arabic word ‘Halal’ literally translates to permissible, allowable or lawful and is applicable to all activities of a Muslim. Halal certification in the Food & Beverage industry is systematic process of validating & confirming that a product conforms to the guidelines of Halal.
  2. Can Muslims consume products that are not Halal certified?
    Yes, they can, however a Halal certified product would always have a greater appeal to a Muslim consumer.
  3. What is the concept of Halal and what qualifies for Halal in food?
    All products are Halal to consume except for products that belong to the following categories:
    • Carrion – dead animals or animals improperly slaughtered
    • Hazardous, Poisonous & Harmful substances
    • Blood & blood by-products
    • Pig and all its by-products
    • Carnivorous animals and birds of prey
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Reptiles, Rodents & Insects
    • Human body parts
  4. Why should a non-Muslim consume Halal certified food?
    A Non-Muslim has a choice of refusal, however consumption of Halal certified food will assure an individual that the aforementioned list of Non Halal items (mentioned in Q3 found above), will not be present.
  5. Why cannot the SLSI issue Halal certification? Aren’t these requirements covered by SLS or ISO based certifications?
    Some aspects of Halal certification are monitored through other certifications based on standards of SLS & ISO. Currently the SLSI has not developed a standard to carry out Halal certification.
  6. How is Halal certification similar or different to that of GMP (good manufacturing practices), HACCP (Hazard analysis and critical control points) and other governing laws associated with hygiene?
    GMP is a composition of good manufacturing practices, which differs from industry to industry, whereas HACCP is a systematic preventive approach to food safety from biological, chemical, and physical hazards in a production processes. While Halal certification shares commonalties of the aforementioned standards, the concept of Halal certification is different and most definitely unique.
  7. What percentage of HAC’s clients are Non-Muslims?
    Approximately 80%
  8. Should the Muslim community pay for a religious based certification such as Halal?
    Certainly not. Despite the Muslim community looking at it from a religious angle, all of HAC’s clients use Halal as a commercial based certificate, as it makes business sense.
  9. Despite Halal being a matter of controversy in Sri Lanka, why hasn’t most Food & Beverage (F&B) Fast Moving Consumer Good (FMCG) based product manufacturers opted out of it?
    Organizations continue with Halal certification, as it clearly it proves to be financially profitable.
  10. How does Halal certification impact non-Muslim owned businesses?
    It aids non-Muslim owned businesses to attract the Halal conscious consumers.
  11. *What percentage of F&B exported from Sri Lanka are Halal certified?
    Approximately 65% of total F&B exported annually from Sri Lanka are Halal certified.
  12. Will Sri Lankan exports be adversely impacted without Halal certification?
    If Sri Lankan based organizations are exporting to clients that demand for products to be Halal certified, then most certainly they would be impacted. This pre requisite is not necessarily limited to exports to Muslim majority countries, but is also applicable to countries like Thailand, Japan and Korea who have adapted Halal certification as a growth strategy to boost Tourism.
  13. Which non-Muslim countries have Halal certification?
    HAC works with approximately 52 Non-Muslim majority countries that house their own Halal certification bodies, which include Thailand, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, USA, UK, to name a few.
  14. Can Halal certification be considered as a Non-Tariff barrier?
    A Non-Tariff barrier is a means of restricting trade through forms other than the imposition of a tariff. Depending on the market that an organization caters to, Halal certification can be considered as a Non-Tariff barrier.
  15. Is Halal being used as scape goat by some local politicians?
    Most definitely yes. It has been used to stir racism and create unrest amongst Sri Lankans.
  16. What is the fee structure for the obtaining of Halal certification?
    The structure is based on several discernible factors contributing towards the determination of an equitable fee computation system. Details of the fee structure is currently published on HAC’s webpage & can be viewed via link Certification Fee
  17. Where does all the money go and how is it spent?
    HAC employs over 40 full time staff which include Food scientist technologist and professionals with industry related experience. HAC is an internationally recognised certification body that has been certified for ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and has obtained accreditation from the Gulf Cooperation Council Accreditation Centre (GAC). All revenue earned is spent on facilitating and maintaining of the above. As a policy HAC has not received, nor disbursed any form of charity since its inception in January 2014, which is further established through its audited financial, by KMPG.
  18. Are the directors and founder members of HAC remunerated in any form?
    HAC, is registered as an organisation limited by guarantee & duly incorporated under the Companies’ Act No. 7 of 2007. Through this form, the directors and its founder members are not allowed to be remunerated unless they are full time employees.
  19. What is ACJU’s involvement with HAC?
    ACJU’s involvement with HAC is limited to the obtaining of theological rulings, only.
  20. Why has the politicians and policy makers not taken any action to address the concerns revolving Halal, raised by the majority of Sri Lankans?
    HAC believes that the stakeholders in concern are purposely turning a blind eye, so that they may facilitate and use Halal in their favour of promoting one’s selfish political agenda.