The Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) is finalising the amendments on reduced fee for the Halal Permit raised by the public, especially for the micro and small businesses producing food and beverages, Acting Assistant Director at the Islamic Legal Unit Dr Noryati binti Haji Ibrahim said.
She said this while presenting updates for Halal Certificate and Halal Label (Amendment) Order 2017 during the International Seminar on Halal Thayyiban Products and Services (SPPHAT IV) held in-conjunction with the ongoing Brunei Halal Showcase (BruHAS) 2019.
Previously, a BND50 fee was imposed for Halal permit per product without an expiry date. Now, the permit must be renewed every three years and has been tiered according to the size of the business from as low as BND5 per permit.
She provided examples whereby micro companies with one to four employees will only pay BND5 per permit, while macro companies with over 100 employees have to pay more.
However, she reminded that all businesses are still required to apply for the certificate or permit from the Halal Food Control Division at the Department of Syariah Affairs.
Under the Halal Certificate and Halal Label Order 2015, all consumables – including medicine and supplements – produced in the Sultanate, are required to be certified. Non-Halal eateries must also apply for an exemption, which must be renewed annually.
The exemption will only be determined during the on-site audit by MoRA, who will also counsel with the business owner directly to assess if they legitimately cannot meet the halal requirements at this point in time, she added.
In view of this, the following presentation was on verification and validation of food authentication by Scientific Officer at the Department of Scientific Service (DSS) of the Ministry of Health Noorhasifah binti Tengah. She pointed out that the purpose of the presentation was to demonstrate the validation of analytical and biological test methods used by DSS to detect non-Halal ingredients and the authenticity of food products.
In 2018, DSS received 5,739 samples along with 13,836 analysis requested and performed by the department.
This was to provide scientific support services especially MoRA for Halal certification. It also can detect contamination in raw or finished products for the Halal market to ensure quality and safety of local or imported food or products.
The products tested include food additives, contaminants, nutrients, compositions and adulterants.
Among those present at the seminar were BruHAS vendors, government representatives, academia as well as students from Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA).
The seminar continues today with parallel sessions at Bridex Hall 2, Jerudong.