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Policies & Regulations

  1. Food Additives Regulatory Bodies
  2. Food Act 1983 and Food Regulations 1985
  3. Trade Descriptions Act 2011
  4. Food Export Requirements
  5. Import Requirements
  6. Malaysia Protocol for Halal Meat and Poultry Productions 2011
  7. Halal Agencies in Malaysia

Food Additives Regulatory Bodies

Malaysia United Kingdom
United States of America Japan
Australia/New Zealand European Commission

Food Act 1983 and Food Regulations 1985

The act was introduced and Be It Enacted by the Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong with the advice and consent of the Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat in Parliament. The Food Act 1983 and Food Regulations 1985 is fully utilize by Ministry of Health under Food Safety and Quality Division to ensure and uphold the nation's integrity in food safety and quality. The division will ensure:

  • All imported and local manufactured food is safe and in compliance with Food Act 1983 and Food Regulations 1985.
  • Food consignments exported by the country is in compliance with regulations imposed by the importing countries.
  • Food Regulations 1985 is reviewed and updated to be in line with Codex Alimentarius and other country legislation.
  • Participation in planning, monitoring and evaluation of all activities with regards to the WTO (SPS & TBT agreements) trade agreements and Regional Affairs.

Food Safety Information System of Malaysia (FoSIM) operates as intelligent web-based information system enhancing management of food safety surveillance in Malaysia. Integrated with Custom Information System, FoSIM will allow importers/agents at entry points to manage food importation activities using ICT effectively.

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Trade Descriptions Act 2011

Enforcement of Halal

The Enforcement regarding the expression ‘Halal’ is implemented under the Trade Descriptions Act 2011, Trade Descriptions (Definition Of Halal) Order 2011, Trade Descriptions (Certification And Marking of Halal) Order 2011 (hereinafter referred to as “its subsidiary legislations”). The Act offers protection to traders/consumers from unethical trade practices. The use of ‘Halal’ expression is construed as a trade description for the purposes of this Act.

A. Trade Descriptions (Definition Of Halal) Order 2011

  • The use of the “Halal” description or any other such descriptions is voluntary under the current legislations. However, Trade Descriptions (Definition Of Halal) Order 2011 provides that when food or goods are described as halal or are described in any other expression to indicate that the food or goods can be consumed or used by a Muslim, such expression means that the food or goods:
    1. neither is nor consist of or contains any part or matter of an animal that is prohibited by Hukum Syarak for a Muslim to consume or that has not been slaughtered in accordance with Hukum Syarak;
    2. does not contain anything which is impure according to Hukum Syarak;
    3. does not intoxicate according to Hukum Syarak;
    4. does not contain any part of a human being or its yield which are not allowed by Hukum Syarak;
    5. is not poisonous or hazardous to health;
    6. has not been prepared, processed or manufactured using any instrument that is contaminated with impure according to Hukum Syarak; and
    7. has not in the course of preparing, processing or storing been in contact with, mixed, or in close proximity to any food that fails to satisfy paragraph (a) and (b).
  • When services in relation to the food or goods including the transporting, storing and processing raw materials, serving and retailing of such food or goods are described as halal such expression means that the services in relation to the food or goods are carried out in accordance with Hukum Syarak.
  • Any person not in compliance with the Order commits an offence and upon conviction, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM 1 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or both. The penalty for a body corporate is a fine not exceeding RM 5 million.

B. Trade Descriptions (Certification And Marking of Halal) Order 2011

  • Under the Order, only the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) and the Islamic Religious Council (MAIN) in the respective States are appointed as the competent authorities to certify that any food, goods or services in relation to the food or goods is halal in accordance with the Trade Descriptions (Definition of Halal) Order 2011.
  • All food, goods or service shall not be described as halal unless it is:
    1. certified as halal by the competent authority (JAKIM/MAIN); and
    2. marked with the logo issued by the competent authority (JAKIM/MAIN) as follows:
      Halal Malaysia Logo
  • Any person not in compliance with the Order commits an offence and upon conviction, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM 100,000.00 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or both. The penalty for a body corporate is a fine not exceeding RM250,000.00.

MDTCC with the cooperation of JAKIM/MAIN consistently conducts inspections to ensure the authenticity of the halal expressions used. MDTCC encourages the public to report any false or misleading used of the ‘halal’ expression so immediate action can be taken.

Source : Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism (MDTCC)

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Food Export Requirements

A. Product Certification

True enough it is not easy to market product internationally. However, by adapting to international standards and needs, it will lead to amplify market opportunities thus, bring up bigger return in investment. In addition, it will increase competitiveness in the global marketplace which facilitate to faster, easier access to foreign markets. This requirement will also help to avoid cost and need for testing and re certification when hoping to another potential market.

In food and beverage sector, requirement for standard or certification is compulsory due to safety and quality factor of the products. Listed below is some of standard/certification related to F&B sector:

  • Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)
  • Codex Standard and Codex Alimentarius
  • Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
  • Good Hygiene Practice (GHP)
  • Halal certificate
  • Health certificate
  • Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP)
  • Quality Assurance Programme
  • ISO 9000
  • EU Registration Number (EU No. for seafood)

For further information on every country import and export standards, please refer to FAO site (link available for each country sections).

B. Country Specific Requirement

Some country will have more stringent requirement than others depending on their regulatory and policies. Most of country will required at least certification on HACCP, in Malaysia; exporters can apply for HACCP certification and other certification through Food Safety and Quality Division. Compliance with other standards will make it simpler to exchange technical information with experts in other countries due to the fact that, standards are constantly changing and exporters always need to keep up date.

Australia
  1. HACCP - meat and meat product
  2. Health Certificate - frozen cooked prawns
Brunei
  1. Free Sales Certificate - food products
  2. Health Certificate - general food products
Canada
  1. HACCP - meat and poultry establishment and storage facilities
China
  1. Free Sales Certificate - food products
  2. Health Certificate - edible palm oil, palm olein and general food
England
  1. HACCP - meat and meat product
European Union (UN)
  1. HACCP - meat and meat product and fish and fish products
  2. EUREPGA - fruits and vegetables
Indonesia
  1. Free Sales Certificate - food products
  2. Health Certificate - general food products
India
  1. Free Sales Certificate - food products
  2. Health Certificate - edible palm oil, palm olein and general food
Japan
  1. Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) and Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS) HACCP - all food products
  2. Heat Process Meat Certificate - food products
New Zealand
  1. HACCP - animal product processing business
Saudi Arabia
  1. Saudi Arabian Standards Organizations (SASO)
Thailand
  1. Non-Genetically Modified Food (GMO) - declaration on the non-use of GMO in raw material
United States of America
  1. USDA - fruits and vegetables
  2. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) - plants, meat and animal products
  3. HACCP - meat and meat product and fish and fish products
Vietnam
  1. Free Sales Certificate - food products
  2. Health Certificate - edible palm oil, palm olein and general food

Reference: MATRADE Business Handbook

C. Exporting Halal Products

In effort to encourage competitiveness of local Halal products in global market, as well to cultivate new investment in Halal food manufacturing, Investment Tax Allowance (ITA) for Halal food production has been introduced. This will facilitate manufacturer of Halal food to explore opportunities of producing high quality Halal food that comply with international standard and also help in increasing utilization of modern technology in food manufacturing.

Companies with Malaysia Halal Certificate are eligible to be given ITA of 100% of qualifying capital expenditure incurred within a period of five years. This allowance can be offset against 100% of the statutory income in the year of assessment. Any unutilized allowances can be carried forward to subsequent years until fully utilized. Applications should be submitted to MIDA.

To apply for Malaysia Halal Certification, please refer Halal Certification Web page. On top of having Halal certificate, to become export ready for local Halal food product, Companies may require one or all of the following certificates from Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH):

In the case of exporting meat, poultry and other livestock products, several additional documents are required by the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS):

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Import Requirements

Import Licence in Malaysia

Import licence is a permit that allows an importer to bring in a specified quantity of certain goods during a specified period. Import licences are employed as means of restricting outflow of foreign currency to improve a country's balance of payments position and to protect the domestic industry from foreign competition.

At present as per the Malaysian import trade policy, most imports can be admitted under an open general licensing regime. However, specific import licences are required for certain controlled items which are intended for import into the country. These items are explosives and firearms, motor vehicles, plants, certain pharmaceuticals, tin ore, soil samples and various foodstuffs. A restrictive import licensing regime is also charged on heavy construction equipment, electrical household appliances, and iron and steel products. Applications for import licences should indicate the identities of the purchaser and supplier and a general description of the items and market value.

Malaysia has based its customs tariff regime on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System of goods clarification. Tariff duties are from 2% to 60%, with an average tariff level of 15%. Higher duties are imposed on so called "luxury" items and items that are deemed to be in direct competition with locally produced goods.

Any imported beef and poultry products must be certified "halal". Items prohibited from being imported include corrosive chemicals and any "indecent or obscene" materials. Items from the former Yugoslavia and Israel are prohibited.

Direct selling companies wanting to operate in Malaysia must comply with certain regulations set by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry before a license can be granted. The company must have at least 70% local ownership and must be locally incorporated, 80% of the products must consist of local content and any proposed price increases must be approved by the ministry.

Operating licenses are granted for one-, two- and three-year terms, and existing regulations stipulate that paid-up capital, quality assurance standards and marketing plans must be submitted before any such licenses are granted.

Guidelines for Application of Import Licence (AP)

  1. Objective
    The purpose of this guideline is to explain the procedures and conditions for the issuance of Import Licence (AP) on plastic wastes under tariff code 39.15.
  2. Background
    • The Prohibition Order on plastic wastes importation under tariff code 39.15 has been transferred from First Schedule to the Second Schedule, Part 1, (Prohibition of Imports) (Amendment) Order 2008, Customs Act 1967 with effect from 1 February 2008.
    • The importation of plastic wastes is subject to Import Licence to be issued by Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
  3. Eligible Manufacturers
    • Manufacturers who undertake recycling activities of plastic wastes for their own use; or
    • Manufacturers who undertake recycling activities of plastic wastes for local market and export; or
    • Manufacturers who import plastic wastes that have been cleaned and can be used as raw material directly in the production process of products.
  4. Conditions for Import Licence (AP)
    • Manufacturers must submit a letter of approval issued by Department of Environment (DOE) to carry out recycling activities;
    • Imported plastic wastes which are not listed as Scheduled Waste or Hazardous under the Environmental Quality Act 1974, Pesticides Act 1974, and Poison Act 1952;
    • Importation of product under tariff code 39.15 is not permitted for purposes of re-export under the same tariff code;
    • Import Licence is required for every consignment or each time plastic wastes are imported under tariff code 39.15.
    • 4.1 Other Conditions
      • Manufacturers must abide by all existing laws of the Country;
      • Manufacturers are advised to register with the Department Of Solid Wastes Management, Ministry of Housing and Local Government;
      • Manufacturers are advised to obtain an ISO 14001 certificate issued by bodies accredited by Department of Standards, Malaysia.
  5. Validity Period of Import Licence
    Import Licence (AP) issued carries a validity period of 3 months from the date of issue.
  6. Documents for Application of Import Licence
    • FOR FIRST TIME APPLICATION ONLY
      • Approval letter from Department of Environment to carry our recycling activities;
      • Manufacturer Licence from MITI or other government agencies (if available);
      • For private limited companies:-
        • Memorandum & Articles of Association
        • Form 49, Form 24
      • For private enterprise or partnership:-
        • Form A
        • Form B
        • Form D
      • Form 13, Companies Commission of Malaysia (for changes to the name or details of companies)
      • Check List Form (available on web site www.miti.gov.my)
      • Customs Form JK69 (available at Percetakan Nasional Berhad );
      • Invoice /packing list/ proforma invoice/purchase order/ sales agreement;
      • Bill of lading (if unavailable, manufacturers are required to submit to MITI within 3 days of importation. Failure to do so may affect subsequent application.
    • FOR SUBSEQUENT APPLICATION
      • Check List Form (available on web site www.miti.gov.my)
      • Customs Form JK 69 (available at Percetakan Nasional Berhad );
      • Invoice /packing list/ proforma invoice/purchase order/sales agreement;
      • Bill of lading (if unavailable, manufacturers are required to submit to MITI within 3 days of importation. Failure to do so may affect subsequent application.
  7. Submission of Application

    Application for Import Licence is to be submitted to:
    Director
    Import and Export Control Division
    Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
    2nd Floor, Block 10
    Government Offices Complex
    Jalan Duta
    50622 Kuala Lumpur
    Tel: 03-6203 4817 (Pn Azrilah Abd. Aziz)
    03-6203 4814 (En Azlan Shahid)
    03-6203 5534 (En Ariffatri )

    Source : SMEinfo

Implementation of Inspection Services at Foreign Abattoirs and Processing Plants for Export of Meat and Products of Animal Origin to Malaysia » Full Article

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Malaysia Protocol for Halal Meat and Poultry Productions 2011

Malaysian Protocol for the Halal Meat and Poultry Productions was developed by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) to give clear guidance in the production of halal meat and poultry. This protocol is intended to support the implementation of Malaysia’s requirements for halal meat, poultry and their products. This protocol is applicable to all establishments producing halal meat, poultry and their products including those intending to export to Malaysia under the Animals Act 1953 (reviewed 2006). It shall be used together with the Malaysian Standard MS 1500:2009 Halal Food – Production, Preparation, Handling and Storage – General Guidelines (Second Revision). » Full Article

Note: Please read some related references in Halal Market Information

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Halal Agencies in Malaysia

Related article: Halal Agencies in Malaysia

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