Prime Certification and Inspection Asia Pacific Inc. (Prime) was officially awarded as the first local Halal Certification Body (HCB) accredited by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB), in a virtual ceremony held recently.
With the accreditation, Prime is able to strengthen the country’s Halal industry and allow Philippine companies to tap into the lucrative global Halal economy estimated to reach PHP158.98 trillion (USD3.2 trillion) by 2024. This enables Philippine homegrown businesses producing and developing Halal products as well as services to competitively penetrate the international market.
A DTI advisory released earlier specified that only Halal products certified by an internationally accredited and/or recognized Philippine HCB will be allowed by the Bureau of Customs to exit the country, given that the HCB has already applied for accreditation with PAB prior to the shipping out of the products.
In addition, the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Republic Act No. 10817 states that no Philippine HCB can certify products, processes and services for export as Halal after one and a half years from the effectivity of the said IRR, unless accredited by PAB. HCBs are given until December 31, 2021 to abide by this regulation.
Ahead of the deadline, Prime became the first HCB found to be in adherence to the requirements of PAB, and was granted accreditation to ISO/IEC 17065:2012 – Conformity Assessment – Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes, and services, in addition to the Philippine National Halal Certification Scheme (PNHCS) of 2018. This permits Prime to Halal-certify food products, beverages and food supplements.
“The PAB management and technical team congratulate Prime for this accreditation which reflects their commitment to deliver Halal certification services in compliance with the international standards, requirements and practices. Through this accreditation, PAB wishes to assure that the Halal products, processes and services certified by PAB accredited HCBs truly comply with the general, technical and religious requirements,” says Engr. James Empeño, Director of DTI-PAB.
Further, Prime is the only local HCB accredited by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, which also follows the requirements and standards of the Organization of Islamic Countries. The company is, likewise, an accredited and approved HCB by the governing authorities of the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, State of Qatar, and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
Halal certification guarantees that products and services abide by specified processes, systems, and requirements of the relevant Halal standards. Meanwhile, accreditation ensures that HCBs do their work correctly, competently, and without bias.
Benefits of being Halal-certified and working with Prime
Through Prime, exporters can comply with both national and international Halal standards and meet manufacturing as well as hygiene requirements. This gives them the opportunity to gain a better share of the global Halal business and trade their products to the largest Halal consumer markets.
“We have gone through series of rigid and strict accreditation processes just to ensure that we provide the highest quality of Halal certification service, while ultimately benefitting Philippine companies across various sectors. This presents an opportune time for them to expand their business internationally and widen their customer base by attracting Muslim and non-Muslim consumers of Halal products worldwide,” says Dr. Mary Jane Alvero-Al Mahdi, Group CEO of Prime Group of Companies, the mother company of Prime Certification and Inspection Asia Pacific Inc.
She adds, “Halal certification is a competitive advantage because it does not only verify that religious necessities are met but it also signals the implementation of an effective hygiene, health, and safety management system. It gives a seal of trust, demonstrating that products are fit, safe and pure for consumption, and that services are of superior quality.”
Since Prime has the required national and international accreditations, companies need not to approach multiple HCBs in order to comply with the Halal regulations that are in place in different countries and regions.
It is backed by the competency of highly experienced Halal auditors and technical experts who implement a well-established certification process. They perform comprehensive assessments supported by Halal integrity analysis through laboratory testing, in addition to a systematic Halal shipment inspection procedure.