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Moratorium on the accreditation of Halal certification bodies extended

THE MORATORIUM on the required accreditation of Halal certification bodies has been extended, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) announced Sunday.

In an advisory, the EMB said the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Board has approved a resolution for the moratorium on the implementation of Sections 11.6 and 13(b) of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act of 2016 or Republic Act No. 10817, which took effect in August 2017.

Section 11.6 of the IRR states that “[n]o Philippine Halal certification body can certify products, processes and services for export as Halal after one and a half years from the effectivity of the IRR, unless accredited by the Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB).”

In its resolution, the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Board said the transition period for Section 11.6 ended in February 2019.

Meanwhile, the transition period for Section 13(b) ended in August 2019. This section states that “[n]o product, processes and services whose outputs or benefits accruing or flowing outside Philippine territory claimed, promoted or branded as Halal can be allowed to be exported after two years from the start of the effectivity of this IRR, unless they have been certified by PAB-accredited Halal certification bodies or PAB-recognized foreign certification bodies.”

The board extended the moratorium on Section 11.6 until December this year and on Section 13(b) until June 30, 2022.

The reason for the extension is that Philippine Halal certification bodies are facing “difficulty” in complying with the requirements of accreditation, according to the board resolution.

“The Philippine National Halal Certification Scheme or the manual, which serves as one of the bases in granting accreditation was only signed and approved on 1 October 2018 and was published on 14 February 2018,” it said.

The board also noted, “The accreditation process will require time and attention.”

It said the moratorium was proposed by Halal certification bodies due to the restriction on the movement of accreditation activities brought about by the pandemic.

The moratorium is applicable to Halal certification bodies with existing international recognition and have already submitted application for accreditation to PAB.

“If after six months, from the receipt of the notice of delinquencies from PAB, the applicant does not make corrective/appropriate action with regard to its application, the moratorium will no longer be applied to products, processes, and services it certified as Halal,” the board said.

Former President Benigno S.C. Aquino III signed Republic Act No. 10817 on May 16, 2016 “to promote the growth and ensure the integrity and quality of Philippine Halal exports.” — Arjay L. Balinbin

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