1. What's Accreditation ?
According to ISO 17011, accreditation is defined as “A third party attestation related to a conformity assessment body conveying formal demonstration of its competence to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks”. It is also described as “a procedure by which an authoritative body, the accreditation body, gives formal recognition that a body (or person) is competent to carry out specific tasks”.
2. What's Halal Accreditation ?
Halal accreditation is the evaluation, recognition and inspection of the halal conformity assessment bodies, in other words, halal certifiers, according to internationally accepted OIC/SMIIC standards that form the basis for the operations of the HAK.
3-What is conformity assessment? What is a conformity assessment body?
Conformity assessment is the evaluation of the compliance of a product or service with the relevant technical regulations or standards by an adequate and authorized institution or organization and the issuance of a certificate of conformity for these products and services that are approved.According to ISO 17011, a conformity assessment body (CAB) is “A body that performs conformity assessment activities and that can be the object of accreditation.”A CAB is an organization that performs conformity assessment activities including calibration, experiment, certification, inspection, verification, production of reference materials and provision of proficiency testing.There are different types of CAB’s that can undertake conformity assessment techniques and activities. CAB’s can be in an organizational form and ownership, commercial or not-for-profit entities as well as government agencies, national standards bodies, trade associations, consumer organizations, or private or publically owned companies.
4- What are the duties and authorities of the HAK?
The HAK; a public entity with administrative and financial autonomy is the only authorized institution to provide halal accreditation services in Turkey. The HAK, by law has been given the following duties and authorities; To provide halal accreditation services to the halal conformity assessment bodies. To determine and apply the criteria and measures related to halal accreditation. To conduct bilateral or multilateral mutual recognition agreements. To create awareness about halal concept and certification. To conduct national and international researches, trainings, congresses, conventions and seminars.
5- Which other institutions in Turkey have the authority to provide halal accreditation?
By law numbered 7060, the HAK is the only authorized institution to accredit halal conformity assessment bodies in Turkey. Therefore, no other real or legal person can operate in matters that fall within the scope of the HAK, can accredit halal conformity assessment bodies and can make a statement regarding the provision of services related directly or indirectly to halal accreditation.
6- Will the HAK decide whether a product or service is halal or haram?
No. The HAK is not a fatwa authority and will not be issuing halal certificates. The HAK, by accrediting halal conformity assessment bodies; in other words, by granting them the required warrants and auditing these bodies, claims to establish a halal quality infrastructure that is reliable and recognized globally.
7 -Are the products or services that do not have halal certificates considered haram?
According to Islamic jurisprudence, halal means lawful or permitted. This definition includes the compliance with the criteria for health and hygiene in food and other products. In this respect, the certification by halal certification bodies accredited by the HAK comprises the requirements of internationally accepted standards for food safety, hygiene and health. However, it should not be concluded that the product which does not own a halal certificate will be deemed haram. The benefits of halal certification include reliability to the consumer and competitive advantage to the producer in quality and ease in foreign market entry.
8- Shall The HAK issue halal certificates?
No. Providing halal accreditation services to the halal conformity assessment bodies established in Turkey and abroad as well as determining the criteria and measures related to halal accreditation and implementing them are among the objectives of the HAK. In this context, halal certification activity is not within the scope of the duty and authority of the HAK.
9- Against which standards shall the HAK provides accreditation?
HAK provides accreditation through the OIC/SMIIC standards. Among those standards, halal food and halal cosmetics are at the forefront. In near future, with the publication of halal standards in additional sectors, halal conformity assessment bodies can apply for accreditation for these sectors.
10- What is the convenience of adhering to OIC/SMIIC standards
The SMIIC has four halal compliance standards namely; “OIC/SMIIC 1:2019 General Requirements for Halal Food”, “OIC/SMIIC 2:2019 Conformity Assessment - Requirements for Bodies Providing Halal Certification”, “OIC/SMIIC 3:2019 Conformity Assessment - Requirements for Halal Accreditation Bodies Accrediting Halal Conformity Assessment Bodies” and “OIC/SMIIC 4:2018 - Halal Cosmetics - General Requirements” These standards have been prepared by a commission composed of the representatives from the OIC member countries aiming to meet the sensitivities of all Muslims. There are several more commission that operate under the SMIIC to prepare additional OIC/SMIIC standards on other sectors subject to halal. Moreover, SMIIC sets up these standards in line with the ISO standards.
11-Which areas shall the accreditation scope of the HAK cover?
The HAK may provide accreditation services in all sectors that are subject to halal standards. The Agency shall decide on the scope of those services. Currently The HAK will be providing halal accreditation services in the areas identified in OIC/SMIIC standards. The focus of the HAK will be on the halal food and halal cosmetics sectors. Furthermore, in the near future, the HAK may start accreditation on the other areas such as tourism and related services, halal supply chain, transportation etc.
12- What is the application procedure for the halal certification bodies?
The Regulation on the Accreditation of Halal Conformity Assessment Bodies published in the Official Gazette dated October 16, 2019 No: 30920 and other related application guidelines (accessible via our website: english.hak.gov.tr) identify the basic rules and procedures for all applicant conformity assessment bodies.
13- What is the application procedure for halal accreditation?
In general terms, an applicant shall be subject to some basic procedures such as document and information confirmation and assessment. Likewise, once the applicant is granted with an accreditation certificate, there will be regular surveillance assessments.All accreditation processes will be transparent within the framework of the HAK quality management system. In line with this goal, HAK is planning to use the most competent digital tools in the application and evaluation processes. Furthermore, establishing a sustainable quality management system is dispensable part of the HAK’s working principles. In addition, the Board of Directors and the HAK personnel shall all adhere to objectivity, impartiality and confidentiality principles.
14-What are the advantages of acquiring a halal certificate in foreign trade?
The HAK argues that halal certification should be adequate in meeting the needs of the Muslim world. In order to overcome the fragmented structure in this area and to ensure harmonization, there is a necessity to adopt a common approach on halal standards and certification. If harmonization is achieved, technical barriers to trade within the Muslim geography as regards to halal certification will be eliminated and halal certification will contribute positively not only to trade but also to the quality image of halal products and services.
15-Are all halal certification bodies subject to the HAK audit?
No! The HAK has the authority to audit the certification capabilities of the bodies it has accredited, solely. The audit of the halal certification services performed by bodies that have not been accredited by the HAK is not within the scope of the duties and authority of the agency.
16-How will The HAK pool of assessors/experts be established? Who may be in the assessor/expert pool?
Persons involved in the HAK's accreditation audits must be able to meet both the minimum requirements set out in OIC/SMIIC standards and the requirements of the HAK's own quality policy.For this purpose, the HAK formed a pool of assessors and technical/Islamic experts, and process of expansion of this pool is continuing. Candidates who meet the necessary requirements can apply to The HAK by completely filling out the “Assessor / Expert Pool Application Form”.Candidates are required to send all the necessary documents to the HAK including their bachelor or postgraduate diploma, training certificates and all other documents indicating their expertise in the relevant area.We are planning to establish a qualified pool of assessors/experts for the audits regarding accreditation in due time. The assessors/experts in the pool should be familiar with and capable of interpreting the most current versions of ISO/IEC 17021-1, ISO/TS 22003 and ISO/IEC 17065 standards as well as the OIC/SMIIC standards.Furthermore, the personal and technical qualifications of the persons who will apply to be in the assessor/expert pool are defined in the related documents of the HAK. Applicants must meet the requirements set in these documents. The pool may also include civil servants.
17- What is the market size of the halal certified products and services?
When the consumption habits of the 1.8 billion Muslim population in the world are assessed in terms of halal certified goods and services, it could be seen that the expenditure for products such as food, textiles, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and services such as tourism and travel related services has amounted to USD 2.2 trillion with an 5,2% increase in 2018. The islamix finance, on the other hand, has reached the volume of USD 2.5 trillion by increasing 6,2% at the same year. In overall, with the addition of the financial sector to aforementioned goods and services, the global halal economy has reached a size of USD 4.7 trillion. (Resource: Thomson Reuters-State of the Global Islamic Economy 2019/2020)