JAKARTA – The Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs launched a free halal certification programme last month called Sehati, which aims to target 15,000 micro and small businesses (MSBs) by the end of 2021. The programme ultimately aims to target one million MSBs, according to Mastuki, the Acting Chairperson Halal Product Guarantee Agency at the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
“This year we allocated 10.8 billion Rupiah ($760,563) from the state budget for the program, up from last year's free halal certification budget of Rp 8 billion ($563,380), Mastuki told Salaam Gateway. “This year, in addition to 3,200 MSBs with regular halal certification mechanism, we want to see a five-fold increase to 15,000 MSBs.”
“Next we want to almost double it to at least 25,000 MSBs, and in the long run as the Minister said himself, we want to reach at least 1 million MSBs. It is possible to achieve this once the Halal Inspection Agency (LPH) is established massively across local government offices,” he added.
MSBs play a significant role in driving Indonesia’s economy. Out of a total of around 64 million micro, small and medium-sized businesses , 98.74 percent are micro businesses, 1.15 percent are small and 0.1 percent are medium-sized, according to the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs.
Halal certification for all halal products became mandatory in Indonesia in October 2019 as stated in Law No. 33 of 2014 concerning Halal product guarantee.
BPJPH has the final say to approve certification but works with external auditors, such as universities, religious organizations, LPPOM, and fatwa body MUI, as part of the halal certification process.
To join the free certification program, MSBs must have assets below Rp 2 billion ($140,845) and have been operational for at least three years, with at least one production facility. In addition, eligible MSBs must not have previously received halal certification, have a business identification number and not be product resellers.
BPJPH is currently completing its online system applications for halal certification registration. The system, called Sihalal, is currently connected to the Electronically Integrated Business Licensing or Online Single Submission (OSS) and in the future will be integrated with the Indonesian National Single Window (INSW) and applications developed by the Halal Inspection Agency, as well as other applications as part of the halal ecosystem.
“Through this Sehati programme, we ensure that all submissions, registrations, product inspections, audits, determination of halal fatwas and issuance of halal certificates are based on Sihalal. This is solely to speed up the process and make it easier for business actors to access halal certification from wherever they are. And we are currently in the process of digitizing services. The halal certificate that we currently issue is in the form of an e-certificate with a digital signature that is connected to the Electronic Certification Center (BsrE) system, the National Cyber and Crypto Agency (BSSN),” said Mastuki.
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