Meat Notice 13-08 - Australian Government Authorised Halal Program (AGAHP) Manual Halal certification procedures and revised formatting of manual Halal certificates

​​Issue Date: 18 September 2013

Contact Officer:

Con Sullivan
Food Exports Branch
Ph 02 6271 6609
Email: Con Sullivan

Date of Effect: Immediately

Date of Expiry: 2 October 2014


1. Purpose

  • This notice:

    • advises of the implementation of reformatted manual Halal certificates, template versions EX237 and EX237A (Figures 1 and 2). These reformatted manual certificates now closely resemble the corresponding versions of the electronic Halal certificates
    • reminds industry, Approved Islamic Organisations (AIOs) and Department of Agriculture staff regarding the protocol to be followed to issue Halal certificates
    • advises that certification for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia market remains on the old format manual Halal certificate EX237 (Figure 3) until further notice and that the ordering of these old format manual Halal certificates has changed to a manual ordering system
    • reminds that the EX37 (Halal Sadiq Services), EX38 (Perth Mosque) and EX40 (Australian Federation of Islamic Councils) certificate templates were revoked in October 2012 and the six month transition period to use up existing stocks introduction by Meat Notice 2012/02 has now ended; and
    • reminds that the RFP number must be included on the quadruplicate copy of the Halal certificate. This notice should be read in conjunction with Meat Notices 2009/08 and 2012/02.

2. Scope

This notice applies to:

  • all Export registered establishments responsible for raising Halal certification for Halal red meat and/or meat products for export
  • Department of Agriculture on-plant staff at export registered establishments responsible for signing Halal certification for Halal red meat for export
  • all exporters of Halal meat and Halal meat products
  • Approved Islamic Organisations (AIOs) that are approved to assess the Halal status and undertake the certification of Halal meat for export
  • Area Technical Managers (ATMs) and Field Operations Managers (FOMs)
  • Department of Agriculture regional staff involved in signing and issuing Halal certification; and
  • state/territory regulatory authorities responsible for monitoring state regulated meat export registered establishments (which are state registered establishments eligible to consign product to 'Tier One' countries).

This notice does not apply to export registered establishments that produce, process and /or store Halal poultry and/or ratite meat and/or poultry or ratite meat products for export as these products are not covered by the Australian Government Authorised Halal Program (AGAHP).

​​3. Actions and responsibilities

3.1 Establishment management

  • Copies of the new format manual Halal certificate templates (EX237 ¡V for generic Halal and Egyptian markets, EX237A — for the United Arab Emirates market) are available now and can be ordered as appropriate for export needs.
  • For all Halal markets except Saudi Arabia, stop using the old format manual Halal certificate — last day to use the old format manual Halal certificate is Tuesday 01 October 2013
  • Begin using the new format manual Halal certificates for Halal red meat and Halal red meat product exports departing from Wednesday 02 October 2013 where manual Halal certification is required. Electronic Halal certification can be continued to be used for all markets except Saudi Arabia.
  • Continue to use the old format manual Halal certificate (requires Australian Government seal and the official Halal mark) from Wednesday 02 October 2013 only for the Saudi Arabian market until further notice.
  • Return excess stocks of the old format manual Halal certificate (ie excess to management's needs for exporting to Saudi Arabia) to: Con Sullivan Halal Technical Officer Food Exports Branch Department of Agriculture GPO Box 858 Canberra ACT 2601
  • Follow the protocol for obtaining Halal certificate as described in Section 6 of this notice.
  • Ensure the establishment's Approved Arrangement implements the requirements and changes specified in this notice. Amend the AA as required and submit the amendments to the Department of Agriculture for approval.
  • Ensure revoked Islamic Organisation Halal certificates (EX37, EX38, EX40) are not used for certification of Halal red meat and meat product exports.

3.2 Department of agriculture on-plant staff

  • Verify that the last day of use for the old format manual Halal certificate for all markets except Saudi Arabia is 01 October 2013.
  • Verify the new format manual Halal certificates are used for Halal product exported from 02 October 2013.
  • Verify the old format manual Halal certificate (requires Australian Government seal and the official Halal mark) is only used for the Saudi Arabian market from 02 October 2013 until further notice.
  • Review establishment's AA to ensure it incorporates the requirements of this notice and submit to the Area Technical Manager (ATM) for approval.
  • Verify that excess, unused stock of old format manual Halal certificates are returned to the Canberra office at the address given in section 3.1.
  • Those on-plant staff involved in signing and stamping manual Halal certificates — see section 3.4 for further responsibilities and actions.

3.3 Area Technical Manager (ATM)

  • Review and where appropriate approve proposed amendments to an Establishment¡¦s AA.
  • Conduct an audit of Halal certification protocols post October 2013.

3.4 Department of Agriculture staff involved in issuing Halal certification

Ensure that 01 October 2013 is the last day the old format manual Halal certificate is issued for all markets except Saudi Arabia.

  • The old format manual Halal certificate continues to be used for the Saudi Arabia market until further notice.
  • Ensure that from 02 October 2013 only the new format manual Halal certificates are issued for all markets excluding Saudi Arabia, where manual Halal certification is required.

The Department of Agriculture officer (with the appropriate delegations) signing manual Halal certificates must:

  1. Verify that the description of the meat and/or meat products on the Halal certificate is correct and is the same as described in the RFP.
  2. Once satisfied with point 1 above, sign the manual Halal certificate and stamp it with the Australian Government seal (as per Order 13.14 of the Export Control Prescribed Goods General Orders 2005).
  3. Retain the quadruplicate copy,enter the RFP number to which the Halal certificate relates on the quadruplicate copy and file it accordingly in the National Standard Filing System.

3.5 State Regulatory Authorities supervising export registered Australian Standard meat establishments

  • Verify and approve amendments to an Establishment's AA as appropriate

3.6 Approved Islamic Organisations (AIOs)

  • Endorse and sign the electronic or manual Halal certificate once satisfied that the goods comply with the Halal procedures as specified in the establishment's AA.
  • Only endorse and sign Halal certificates that are true, accurate and complete.
  • If the Halal certificate contains inaccuracies or is incomplete, the AIO must not sign the certificate and initiate procedures for correcting the inaccuracies.
  • Keep copies of the fully completed Halal certificates (both electronic and manual versions) for a minimum of two (2) years and have them available for presentation to Department of Agriculture or importing countries when required.
  • Review and amend the AIO AA as necessary to ensure that procedures for the raising and completion of Halal certificates comply with the requirements of this notice.
  • Submit amended AIO AA to the Department of Agriculture AIO auditor for approval by 18 October 2013

3.7 Department of Agriculture officer Approved Islamic Organisation auditor

  • Review and approve the AIO AA for compliance with the requirements of this notice.

4. Background

The Halal certification system was changed on 4th October 2012, to allow Industry an option of using an electronic Halal certificate. This option provided a reduction in certification costs, and eliminated the need for both the Australian Government seal and the official Halal mark being applied to the certificate.

All electronic certificates used a new template format which no longer required 2 official stamps (the Australian Government seal and the official Halal mark) being placed on the certificate.

Some markets required more information on their certificates, thus the department developed four different versions of the electronic Halal certificate: EX 237 (generic), EX 237A (United Arab Emirates), EX237E (Egypt) and EX237S (Saudi Arabia).

The difference in the old format manual Halal certificate and the electronic Halal certificate has created some confusion at the port of entry. To reduce the risk of port of entry issues, the department has developed a new format of manual Halal certificate that closely resembles the format of the electronic Halal certificate. The electronic versions of the Halal certificate can continue to be used for all markets except for Saudi Arabia.

5. Certification changes

In line with Meat Notice 2012/02, Australian Government Authorised Halal Program ¡V introduction of the EXDOC based electronic certification system, the department has changed the manual Halal certificate format to closely resemble the various versions of the electronic Halal certificate. This action has eliminated the need to use the official 'square' Halal stamp on manual Halal certificates.

The new format manual Halal certificate versions have the same certificate template code as the corresponding electronic version of the Halal Certificate i.e. EX237, EX237A.

There is no EX237E manual Halal certificate. The generic EX237 manual Halal certificate is to be used for the Egyptian market if using manual Halal certification.

The new format of the manual Halal certificate is to be used for all markets, except Saudi Arabia. (See section below for further details on Saudi Arabia).

The last day for issuing the old format manual Halal certification for all markets (except Saudi Arabia) is 01 October 2013.

All manual Halal certificates will be issued on pad issued Halal certificate paper. This will not be Department Of Agriculture security certificate paper. Only EXDOC generated Halal certificates will be issued on departmental security certificate paper.

5.1 Halal Certificates for Saudi Arabia

A new manual version of the electronic Halal certificate EX237S has not been agreed at this time. The department is currently negotiating an agreed certificate format with the Saudi authorities.

On 19 March 2013 the department placed a hold on the use of the electronic Halal certificate developed for the Saudi market pending outcomes of negotiations with the Saudi authorities.

While these negotiations are ongoing, the old format of the manual Halal certificate must continue to be used for the Saudi market. This old format Halal certificate requires 2 Government stamps ¡V the official 'square' Halal mark and the Australian Government seal.

The department will keep industry, Department of Agriculture staff, State Regulatory Authorities and the Approved Islamic Organisations (AIOs) apprised of developments in these negotiations.

5.2 Stocks of old format manual Halal certificates

Establishments are to review their current stocks of old format manual Halal certificates. Establishments are to retain sufficient supplies of this certificate to meet their immediate future needs for exporting Halal red meat and meat products to Saudi Arabia. All other unused excess stock must be returned to:

Con Sullivan
Halal Technical Officer
Food Exports Branch
Department of Agriculture
GPO Box 858 Canberra ACT 2601

5.3 Manual re-ordering protocol for old format manual Halal certificates for Saudi Arabia

While exporters must use the old format manual Halal certificate for the Saudi Arabia market, further supplies must be ordered directly, via email from Con Sullivan, Halal Technical Officer.

The Approved Supplier ordering process cannot be used for the certificates to be used for the Saudi market.

Any attempts to order the old format manual Halal certificate from the Approved Supplier will result in receiving supplies of the new format manual Halal certificate. This new format manual Halal certificate cannot be used for the Saudi market.

Allow a 2 week turnaround time for receiving the requested certificates using this manual ordering process.

5.4 Revoked Islamic Organisation certificates (EX37, EX38, EX40)

Meat Notice 2012/02, Australian Government Authorised Halal Program - introduction of the EXDOC based electronic Halal certification system, issued October 2012, advised that Halal certificates, versions EX37 (Halal Sadiq Services), EX38 (Perth Mosque) and EX40 (Australian Federation of Islamic Councils), have been revoked.

The six month transition period introduced by the meat notice to allow for existing stocks to be used has now ended. Halal certificate templates EX37, EX38 and EX40 must not be used for providing Halal export certification for Halal red meat and meat product exports.

6. Certification protocol

6.1 Generating electronic Halal certificates in EXDOC

The generation of electronic Halal certificates using the EXDOC system remains as advised in section 5 of Meat Notice 2012/02. These details have been included in Appendix 1 of this notice for reference with instructions relating to electronic certification for Saudi Arabia being removed.

6.2 Manual Halal certificates for all markets except Saudi Arabia

The manual Halal certificates have been re-formatted to closely resemble the format of the electronic Halal certificates.

The new format manual Halal certificates no longer require two government official stamps. They require only the Australian Government seal. The official square Halal stamp is no longer required on Halal export certification, except for the Saudi market.

The new format manual Halal certificate versions available are:

EX237A — for the United Arab Emirates market; and

EX237 — for all other Halal markets, including Egypt, but excluding Saudi Arabia.

These blank manual Halal certificate pads are now available through the Department of Agriculture Approved Supplier ordering process.

6.3 Preparation and signing of all manual Halal Certificates (EX237 and EX237A)

  • Exporter fills in details on the Halal certificate and includes a copy of the Request For Permit (RFP) with the certificate for presentation to the Department of Agriculture for signing. The exporter advises the department of the AIO that will counter sign the Halal certificate and market for which goods will be exported to.
  • Department of Agriculture Authorised Officer (at establishment or regional office with the appropriate delegations) Note: exporter may arrange for attendance of Food Safety Auditor (FSA) to sign the certificate at exporting establishment in the metro region.
    • Verifies details of the consignment with the RFP number
    • Inserts the RFP number on the quadruplicate copy of the certificate o Confirms the eligibility of the nominated AIO to counter sign the Halal certificate (If the nominated AIO is ineligible for the intended market return the unsigned certificate to the exporter.)
    • Signs and stamps the Halal certificate with the Australian Government seal (official mark 13.14 of Export Control (Prescribed Goods-General) Order 2005.
    • Files quadruplicate copy of the Halal certificate and copy of the corresponding RFP on departmental file o Returns original, duplicate, and triplicate copies to the exporter if at the establishment, else certificate is available for collection from the Department of Agriculture regional office.
  • Exporter sends the Department of Agriculture signed and stamped Halal certificate to the nominated Approved Islamic Organisation (AIO) for signing and stamping:

    o May be sent to the AIO representative on plant
    o Sent to AIO by courier or mail
  • AIO verifies that the goods comply with the Halal procedures in the establishment¡¦s AA
  • Where the goods comply with Halal requirements, AIO signs and stamps Halal certificate
  • AIO returns certificate to exporter

7. References

Malaysian Protocol for the Halal Meat and Poultry Productions, 2011

Meat Notice 2012/02 — Australian Government Authorised Halal Program - introduction of the EXDOC based electronic Halal certification system.

Meat Notice 2009/08 — Australian Government Authorised Halal Program - guidelines for the preparation, identification, storage and certification for export of Halal red meat and red meat products

Paul Nixon
A/g Director Export Meat Program
18 September 2013


Figure 1

EX237 Manual Halal certificate for all markets except UAE and Saudi Arabia — to be used from 21 September 2013

An example of the certificate to be used for all markets except UAE and Saudi Arabia 

Figure 2

 EX237A — Manual Halal certificate for United Arab Emirates — to be used from 21 September 2013

 Example of form to be used - Manual Halal certificate for United Arab Emirates

Figure 3

EX237 — Old format manual Halal certificate — to be used for Saudi Arabia until further notice

 Example of an old format manual Halal certificate ¿ to be used for Saudi Arabia

APPENDIX 1

Excerpt from Meat Notice 2012/02 with reference to electronic certification to Saudi Arabia being removed.

5. Generating electronic halal certificates in EXDOC

Initiating a request for an electronic Halal certificate

Functionality has been introduced into EXDOC with a new Halal Product Indicator field being included. This indicator is on each line of the Request For Permit (RFP). 'Y' must be entered if the product is required to be exported as Halal. 'N' must be entered if the product is not required to be exported as Halal.

Halal certification is available through the extra certificate field in the RFP.

Where a Halal certificate is required

  • The correct code must be included in the extra certificate field
    • EX237 for all Halal certification other than Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates
    • EX237A for United Arab Emirates

The Halal certificate must be requested prior to the RFP reaching a status of 'COMP'.

Completing a request for an electronically generated Halal certificate

The Approved Certifier and Average Age of Animals fields now appear in EXDOC.

For all electronically generated Halal certificates

The Approved Certifier field must be completed for RFPs with an electronic Halal certification requested. Each AIO has been provided with a code (the software suppliers have a list of valid codes). This code must be entered into the Approved Certifier field for the information to be placed on the Halal certificate. The list of AIOs for Halal certification is available on the Department of Agriculture website for guidance.

Additionally for United Arab Emirates

Durability dates must be provided for United Arab Emirates in the RFP.
Note that the slaughter dates will also appear on the electronically generated Halal certificate for United Arab Emirates.

Additionally for Egypt

Egypt requires the electronic certificate to be signed by Department of Agriculture staff and representative of Islamic organisation manually as described in the Appendix 3.

Authorisation of the request for the electronically generated Halal certificate


Inspector Comments field must be populated when the RFP is authorised. The words 'Complies with Australian Government Authorised Halal Program' must be entered for product that is intended to be exported as Halal under AGAHP.

Printing and distribution of copies of the electronically generated Halal certificate

Four copies of the Halal certificate are printed (simultaneously with the health certificate copies). If remote printing is approved by the department, a quadruplicate copy of the Halal certificate is automatically printed at the Regional Office, the other three copies (original, duplicate and triplicate) are received by the Exporter. In the absence of remote printing, all four copies are printed at the Regional Office with the original, duplicate and triplicate to be collected by the Exporter.

The Exporter must forward these three hard copies of the Halal certificate to the AIO. The AIO representative endorses and signs all three copies. The AIO retains the triplicate copy, the remaining two copies (original and duplicate) are returned to the Exporter.

The original copy of the Halal certificate should accompany the export consignment, while the Exporter should retain the duplicate copy.

A flowchart of the process of generating Halal certificates via EXDOC for all countries, except Egypt is attached (Appendix 2).

Appendix 2

Flowchart for the issuance and signing of the electronically generated Halal certificateFlowchart for the issuance and signing of the electronically generated Halal certificate 

 

Appendix 3

Flowchart for the issuance and signing of the electronically generated manually signed Halal certificate for Egypt

Flowchart for the issuance and signing of the electronically generated manually signed Halal certificate for Egypt 

Other format