IHAF aims to gain agreement on the most pressing issues facing the Halal Industry and provide advanced collaborated solutions to move the industry forward. These FAQ’s are a work in progress, and IHAF plans to engage in an ongoing dialogue with key partners and stakeholders to enable the Halal Industry to fully contribute to Halal Awareness, Global Trade and encouraging conformity & greater standardisation.
Derived from the core principles and teachings of Islam, halal is an Arabic word that means “permissible”,
with its opposite being haram, “not permissible”.
With all the concerns surrounding halal products, people are likely to believe that halal applies only to the food they eat and the items they patronize—but this is not the case.
Halal is a way of life. From your relationship with God, honoring your mother and father, respecting life, people and the sanctity of your faith, down to keeping your promises—going halal is choosing to be in the right path.
No, halal products are NOT all food. All other items you use in your daily life may or may not be halal, especially if they contain ingredients derived from animals.
You may view a list of haram animal sources here and a list of halal/not halal non-food products here.
The International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF) is an independent, non-government network of accreditation entities mandated to harmonize halal standards globally. It aims to protect the growing number of halal consumers and to facilitate international trade through harmonizing the accreditation conformity assessment practices and standards in the halal field.
It is anchored on the belief that greater cooperation among regional and international organizations is key to creating a Halal industry that is strong, stable, reliable and responsive to the needs of consumers and businesses across the world.
IHAF is hosted by the UAE and the initiative is spearheaded by the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Center (DIEDC) and the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA).
On the contrary, the standardization of requirements, streamlining of operations to expedite processing and harmonizing halal criteria and practices may lead to lesser operational cost for halal products in the global market.
IHAF aims to bring confidence back to the halal market and aspire for countries, Islamic or non-Islamic, to be confident that products certified under the IHAF network will have fully satisfied Shariah (principle) requirements as well as international safety and quality standards.
* IHAF does not take part or interfere with either any accreditation bodies or conformity assessment bodies on the fees or other financial matters.
Assured that the halal products traded within the IHAF sphere have been thoroughly examined and certified based on mutually accepted criteria; thus; streamlining procedures and minimizing re-evaluation costs.
• Conformity assessment bodies are verified and regularly monitored
Given IHAF’s global reputation in ensuring halal criteria are strictly enforced, halal products and systems of an IHAF MRA signatory country are essentially qualified to circulate within the network and are thus recognized by other signatory member countries.
Slaughtering houses and manufacturers
For Industry users
Provided with customer satisfaction that the halal-marked products they buy in the market are safe, fully halal and Sharia-compliant, and have been examined and tested according to global standards.
HAF aims at leading worldwide halal accreditation practices by unifying halal criteria and practices all over the globe and by bringing together like-minded authorities which would ease the flow of goods between countries and create a credible halal market that consumers can trust.
Stakeholders benefit from IHAF in various ways.
• Can be assured that the Halal products traded within IHAF sphere have been thoroughly examined and certified based on mutually accepted standards; thus streamlining procedures.
• Also given the opportunity to strengthen bilateral ties and forge multilateral trade agreements for Halal products
• Assured that the conformity of assessment bodies are verified and regularly monitored
• Provided with the trusted tools that ensure the safety, quality and Shari’ah-compliance of Halal-marked products within IHAF’s parameters
• Given IHAF’s global reputation of ensuring strictly enforced standards:
• Halal products and systems of an IHAF member country are qualified to circulate within the network and are thus recognized by other member countries
• slaughter houses and manufacturers gain access to the global market by virtue of IHAF’s global reputation and its wide network of Halal accreditation bodies,
• certification and inspection bodies are able to offer their services to other IHAF member countries;and
• accreditation agencies gain confidence as their competencies are widely recognized and meet best global standards
IHAF membership is open to all governmental and non-governmental entities that work in the field of Halal accreditation and as specified in Article 11 in the IHAF Bylaw. Full and Associate Memberships are open for accreditation bodies only.
While regional groups of accreditation bodies, relevant parties that have objectives similar to, and compatible with IHAF can be an Associate Member of IHAF, these parties could consist of Associations of Laboratories and Inspection Entities, Sharia and Regulatory Authorities, Consumer Associations, Trade Organizations and Standardization Bodies, National coordinating bodies that handles the management of accreditation activities in some countries. A regional cooperation body in the accreditation field that consists of accreditation bodies representing at least four States with the condition that one of its members holds recognition from IHAF.
Eligible parties interested in becoming a member of IHAF
• ACCREDIA (Italy)
• American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA-USA)
• American National Standards Institute, International Accreditation Service (ANSI – USA)
• Chamber of Commerce Argentine Emurati (CAMERA – Argentina)
• Dubai Municipality (DAC – Dubai Accreditation Centre)
• Egyptian Accreditation Council (EGAC – Egypt)
• Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ENAS – UAE)
• Entidad Mexicana de Acreditacion (EMA – Mexico)
• Entidad Nacional de Acreditacion (ENAC – Spain)
• GCC Accreditation Centre (GAC) (Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain)
• Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ – Australia – New Zealand)
• Jordanian Accreditation System (JAS – Jordan)
• National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB – India)
• Nemzeti Akkreditáló Hatóság (NAH – Hungary)
• Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC – Pakistan)
• Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB – Philippines)
• Saudi Accreditation Committee (SAC – Saudi)
• The National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards (NSC – Thailand)
• United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS – UK)
All IHAF MRA Signatories have to undergo strict evaluation procedures and audits before they are approved as the IHAF MRA Signatories. These accreditation bodies are not just governed by IHAF Bylaw but also by IHAF’s partners, i.e. IAF and ILAC, which are two strong and credible bodies in the field of accreditation. Besides that, the IHAF requirements and rules will be controlled and evaluated by MRA Committee to ensure adherence with IHAF rules, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.
The AB IHAF member could be terminated if:
• the member is found not complying with the rules set down by IHAF;
• there is proof that the member has not committed to the IHAF Bylaw and other supporting regulations set by IHAF; or if the member has not paid the membership fee.
The acceptance criteria for CABs’ results depend on the credibility of the accreditation body in the halal field, which can be ensured through full membership in IHAF.
Reports and certificates issued by CABs accredited by IHAF Members who are Signatories of IHAF MRA will be accepted even if the CABs and Non-Muslim entities.
Reports and certificates issued by CABs accredited by AB who are not signatories of IHAF MRA will not be accepted even if the CABs and Muslim entities.
Any eligible body interested in having a membership in IHAF needs to apply via online here. They need to complete the application form and submit it together with the required documentation. The application will be screened by the IHAF General Secretariat and reviewed by both the IHAF Secretary-General and the IHAF Board of Directors before being approved by the IHAF General Assembly.
IHAF Memberships are classified into three categories, which are Full Membership, Associate Membership and Associate Membership. There are another two sub-categories under the Associate Membership, which are Accreditation Bodies/ Regional Accreditation Bodies and Stakeholder. These memberships have different criteria and requirements. Click here to know more.
IHAF aims to ensure a global halal market for Muslims by coordinating with standardization bodies for the aim of harmonizing halal standards worldwide, practices and procedures related to halal. Developing conformity assessment systems through R&D while ensuring compliance with Shariah (principle), is the focus, thereby creating a Halal market that consumers can trust.
Certification / Inspection bodies
• Essentially enabled to offer their services in other IHAF member countries and access to new markets that require accreditation.
• Confident that their competencies are widely recognized and are up to the best global standards
No, it is not possible. IHAF’s Full and Associate memberships are open for accreditation bodies only, and Affiliate membership is open for:
• Accreditation bodies with small activities of accreditation services,
• Parties that have objectives similar to and compatible with IHAF, e.g. associations of laboratories and inspection entities, Shariah (principle) and regulatory authorities, consumer associations, trade organizations and standardization bodies,
• National coordinating bodies that handle the management of accreditation activities in some countries,
• Regional cooperation bodies in accreditation representing at least four accreditation organizations.
Identifying products as halal is a process that involves proper quality control. An authentic, certified halal mark is the ultimate determinant of a halal product. But before an official mark is placed on an item, stringent measures are imposed, and proper procedures are required.
Having halal certificates to products demarcates that they are permissible to be consumed by the Muslims. With the Muslim population of 1.8 billion worldwide, halal certificates will increase the purchasing power of Muslims around the world. On top of that, halal-certified products have to go through stringent procedures involving safety, quality, and hygiene; which make them more appealing to non-Muslims.
Halal assessments done by certification bodies are based on ISO 22000 as the technical base; however, there are other requirements that the products have to comply with.
Slaughtering processes, on the other hand, involved both technical and Shariah requirements that need to comply with if they wish to be recognized as halal-certified entities.
IHAF aims to construct a solid foundation for the global industry and to harmonize accreditation practices in halal filed globally. This, in turn, will lead to IHAF target of facilitating halal trade worldwide and will consequently impact countries economy.
Proof that the accreditation body is licensed in its country as a provider of accreditation services, or obtained and maintained Full membership from ILAC/IAF
In addition to passing the peer evaluation successfully in accordance with Multi-Lateral Recognition Arrangements issued by IHAF.
IHAF Membership is classified into three categories, which are Full Membership, Associate Membership and Associate Membership. There are another two sub-categories under the Associate Membership, which are Accreditation Bodies/ Regional Accreditation Bodies and Stakeholder. These memberships have different criteria and requirements. Click here to know more.