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Guidelines for halal meat product certification are announced by the ministry of commerce

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    Meat and its products will be allowed to be exported as 'halal certified' only if they are produced, processed and packaged in a facility having a valid certificate issued by a body accredited by a board of the Quality Council of India, the commerce ministry said on Thursday. However, it said that the procedure for export of non-halal certified meat and meat products will remain unchanged.

    It also said that the export consignments to countries where there is a regulation on halal, the producer/supplier/exporter would have to meet the importing country's requirements.

    In January this year, with the aim of streamlining the halal certification process for export of meat and meat products from India, draft guidelines on halal certification for export of meat and its products were proposed by the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT).

    DGFT is an arm of the ministry which deals with exports and import-related issues.

    Policy conditions for halal certification process of meat and meat products is notified," the DGFT said in a notification.

    It added that all existing halal certification bodies would have six months time to seek accreditation from NABCB (national accreditation board for certification bodies) for i-CAS (Indian conformity assessment scheme) Halal.

    "Meat and meat products shall be allowed to be exported as 'halal certified', only if produced, processed and/or packaged in facility having a valid certification under the i-CAS of the Quality Council of India (QCI), issued by a certification body duly accredited by the NABCB as per the guidelines issued/amended from time to time," the notification said.

    Products covered under this notification include meat of bovine animals, fish and chilled; meat of sheep and goats; and sausages and similar products of meat.

    With an objective to streamline the certification of meat and meat products as halal from the country, a scheme titled 'India Conformity Assessment Scheme (i-CAS)' has been developed.

    Earlier there was no mandatory halal certification system in India regulated by the government as India does not have a national regulation for the certification.

    The global halal food market reached a value of USD 1978 billion in 2021. Looking forward, the market is projected to reach USD 3,907.7 billion by 2027.

    It said that India's large Muslim population represents huge opportunities for halal-based entrepreneurs.

    In India, the country's halal industry is still in its infancy. There are no specific labelling requirements for halal food products imported into India.

    Halal certification is given by many private companies in India which marks the food or products permissible. The major halal-certifying organisations in India include Halal India Pvt Ltd and Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust.

    The International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF) is an international network of accreditation bodies mandated to enforce halal standards in their economies.

    Countries across the globe including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, the UAE, Pakistan and others have their own halal standards; however, so far there have been no global halal standards.

    The rapid growth of halal industry has not only led to the halal technologies and innovations but also the halal related laws and regulations which are still not harmonised globally, it said.

    Due to changed consumer perception, the halal market not only attracts muslim population but also non-muslim consumers.


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