Job Creation Law challenges: Indonesia delays halal mandate for small food firms by two years in view of slow progress

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

The Indonesian government has announced a two-year postponement of its mandate for all food and beverage enterprises to be halal certified.
The Indonesian government has announced a two-year postponement of its mandate for all food and beverage enterprises to be halal certified.

Related tags Indonesia

The Indonesian government has announced a two-year postponement of its mandate for all food and beverage enterprises to be halal certified, originally set for this year, in view of governance changes and the slow progress being made.

Within the Job Creation Law or omnibus law introduced by Indonesian President Joko Widodo back in 2020​, one of the targets was for all food and beverage firms as well as animal slaughter services to fall under a halal certification mandate by October this year, but with numbers falling short and the deadline fast approaching, a decision has been made to delay this deadline.

“The original regulations were to see halal certification obligations for food products, beverages, slaughter products and services all completed by October 17 2024, but there have been [multiple challenges along the way] and many products coming from Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) have not yet been certified,”​ Spokesperson for the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs Haryo Limanseto said via a formal statement.

“One of these challenges has been around the authority determining product halal-ness and certification eligibility, which have involved the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) at various levels, the Acheh Ulama Consultative Council, as well as the newer Halal Product Fatwa Committee taking over duties from the Ministry of Religion.

“The issuance of halal certificates was targeted at 10,000,000 products – but since 2019, we have seen that only 4,418,343 certificates have been issued, which is less than 50% of target.

“We also know that there are a total of around 28 million MSE businesses in Indonesia, so this number is not sufficient, and for this reason the President has decided that the mandate implementation will be postponed for the food, beverage and other MSEs in the country from 2024 to 2026.

He further emphasised that halal certification obligations for all food and beverage products will remain in effect after October 17 2024 for medium and large businesses, as this postponement only applies to micro and small players who will be given leeway until October 17 2026.

Imported products

Countries exporting food and beverage products into Indonesia will see halal mandates according to existing Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) arrangements that are in place – but if none are in place, no mandates will be imposed until October 17 2026, similar to MSEs.

“Products from countries that have already signed MRAs with Indonesia will see the halal mandate enforced because the goods from these markets should already have been certified halal in the respective countries of origin, so will be allowed to enter,”​ he added.

“For markets that have not signed any MRA with Indonesia however, no mandate will be imposed or enforced as the same postponement of implementation will be given to imported products as to MSEs, which is until 2026.”

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