BSTI starts issuing halal certificates
The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) has started issuing halal certificates for food and other products.
The standards agency provided halal certificates for nine products of three companies of Olympic Industries yesterday, according to a press release.
However, the BSTI is the second organisation in Bangladesh to award halal certification for locally made products, mainly food.
The Islamic Foundation Bangladesh has been issuing such certificates since 2007 to support the shipment of processed foods to international markets, mainly the Middle East.
Addressing yesterday's certificate awarding ceremony, BSTI Director General Md Nazrul Anwar said Bangladesh has adopted three international standards related to halal certification.
He said the BSTI has started the formal process of issuing halal certificates in favour of products following the appropriate process.
BSTI has taken the initiative as a member of the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIC) -- the halal certification body of OIC member countries -- to expand the export of domestic products, Anwar said.
As a result of issuing the halal certificate from BSTI, traders will now get the quality certificates and halal certificates of their products from a single platform.
Earlier in September last year, the BSTI added the provision of halal certification to the BSTI Regulations, 1989.
It said it would issue halal certification marks for processed goods, cosmetics, medicines and other processes or services in line with Islamic laws to facilitate exports of processed foods to the Middle East and other Muslim-majority countries.
Meanwhile, BSTI issued a notification last year saying that the certificate or renewal fee for small industries is Tk 1,000, Tk 3,000 for medium-sized industries and Tk 5,000 for large industries.
The certificate is given for three years, after which the companies can apply for renewal, as per the notification.
According to Islamic Foundation, there is over a trillion-dollar market for halal items globally, and the foundation has issued halal certificates to 130 companies for more than 700 products as of September last year.
More than 40 companies are exporting products to at least 35 countries after securing the halal certificates, it said.