On July 2, negotiations were held between the Russian side and the General Secretariat of the International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF) within the framework of the Russian Government Order No. 1008-r of May 26, 2013 on the participation of the Federal Service for Accreditation (RusAccreditation) in the activities of the International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF) as its full member.
The meeting with the General Secretary of IHAF Mohamed Salekh Badri and the Advisor to the Secretary General of IHAF, Farah Alzaruni, was attended by the Head of the Department Alexey Khersontsev and the Deputy Head of the Service Sergey Magin from the Federal Service for Accreditation (RusAccreditation) and General Director Olga Nikitina as well as Deputy General Director Natalya Serova from the subordinate institution of RusAccreditation the National Institute of Accreditation.
The discussion of the issues relating to obtain a full (with the right to vote) membership of the Federal Service for Accreditation (RusAccreditation) in IHAF, which would allow to create new services for Russian exporters of Halal products and services, as well as to take an active part in professional discussions and decision-making was the central topic of the negotiations.
The parties discussed the opportunities and prospects of bilateral co-operation, including issues of conformity assessment of products and services to Halal requirements, adoption of international Halal standards, their relationship with other quality and safety requirements of products and services, export and access to foreign markets with IHAF certificates, as well as the possibility of specialized training in the field of Halal accreditation.
Alexei Khersontsev, the Head of Federal Service for Accreditation (RusAccreditation) noted the high importance of project implementation for Service, which would provide serious support to Russian exporters. “We believe that the accession of Federal Service for Accreditation (RusAccreditation) to the IHAF activities will contribute to introduction of domestic goods and services to the external markets of the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa”, said the Head of the Federal Service for Accreditation (RusAccreditation).
In turn, the IHAF Secretary General, Mohamed Saleh Badri said that over the past 20 years the Halal market system has received intensive growth and evolved. “For many years, the concept of Halal has been reduced to only a few protocols – for example, the absence of alcohol and the procedure for animal slaughter – and in a broader context were not considered. Over the past two decades, the Halal products market has evolved from an exclusive niche into a global phenomenon. Halal products were previously only a concentration of food ingredients, now they are used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, tourism, services”.
During the meeting, the parties confirmed their interest in the development of effective co-operation, agreed to continue intensive dialogue in order to reach a sustainable interaction on the issues of Halal accreditation, conduct appropriate training and receiving full membership in the IHA by Federal Service for Accreditation (RusAccreditation)
The International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF) was established in 2016. The key goal of this organization is to unify the common international standards and requirements for the certification of Halal products and services, as well as to protect the growing number of consumers of Halal products. 29 states are members of the organization. According to the statistics of representatives of the Dubai Airport Freezone, the turnover of the global halal industry reaches $ 4 trillion per year. One of these markets is the Gulf countries. The annual import of products to the Gulf countries is estimated at $180 billion. The presence of a recognized certificate of compliance with Halal standards becomes a required condition for the import to these countries.