Update July 12th – The Consulate General in Dubai has received confirmation from the Dubai Municipality that Canadian halal certification bodies that were previously approved by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and are currently undergoing an assessment for accreditation by the Emirates International Accreditation Centre (Dubai Accreditation Centre) will have temporary approval to certify halal products, under the scope defined by their previous MOCCAE accreditation. This transitional measure applies for products entering the UAE through Dubai.
It will be valid until the certification body is assessed and accredited under the new Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) halal regime.
Update May 29 – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada received today written confirmation from the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) that they are providing flexibility in the application of the May 31st deadline. The May 31st deadline will refer to the certificate issuance date. Therefore, if a shipment is on route to the UAE and certified before June 1, 2017, by a halal certification body approved under the old halal regime by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment , the product will be accepted, even if it arrives after May 31, 2017.
After May 31, 2017, only ESMA approved certification bodies can provide halal certification for products exported to the UAE. Please see the following link to the ESMA website , which provides the list of ESMA registered and approved CBs: http://halal.ae/en-us/Open-Data/Pages/Navigation.aspx.
Update – May 11th – The consulate General of Canada in Dubai met today with the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) regarding the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) new halal regulations for the accreditation of halal certification bodies (CBs).
ESMA confirmed that the authority for accreditation of halal CBs has been fully transferred from the Ministry of Climate change and Environment (MOCCAE) to ESMA. As the UAE is transitioning from the old to its new system, the ESMA website currently carries two lists: (1) EMSA registered halal CBs and (2)CBs registered with the MOCCAE under the previous halal system. The MOCCAE list will expire on May 31, 2017, and from that point forward only ESMA registered CBs will be able to certify halal products entering the UAE market. The two Canadian halal CBs on the MOCCAE approved and registered list, IFANCC and ISNA, are not currently on the ESMA approved and registered list.
Canadian exporters need to seek the certification services of an ESMA registered and approved CB for exports anticipated to arrive at the UAE after May 31, 2017. Please see the following link to the ESMA website , which provides the list of ESMA registered and approved CBs: http://halal.ae/en-us/Open-Data/Pages/Navigation.aspx.
Please inform Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Market Access Secretariat (email@example.com) if there any shipments expected to arrive at the UAE, after May 31st, with a halal certificate from a CB not registered with ESMA.
They will continue to keep you apprised if there any further developments.
Update – April 13th – This is a follow up to the original post below: The Consulate General of Canada in Dubai has made an official request to the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) for an extension of the deadline for Canadian exporters to present halal certificates issued by certification bodies accredited by ESMA under the new UAE halal regime. The request pointed out that it was not feasible for a single accredited North American CB to cover the entire North American market, and that an extension should be granted until more North American CBs have achieved accreditation under the new halal regime.
The Consulate has followed up several times for a response from ESMA. Today ESMA indicated that an official response is being prepared and will be sent to the Consulate via the diplomatic channels.
At this point, no indication has been given by UAE officials regarding an extension of the March 31 deadline. At this point, the recognition of halal certificates at the ports in the UAE is still based on the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment’s (MOCCAE) list of approved halal CBs. The MOCCAE list was most recently updated on April 5th and the Canadian CBs that were approved based on the previous halal regime are still on that list. However, the Government of Canada cannot make any guarantees as to whether these certificates would be accepted by UAE authorities, or if or when the Canadian CBs currently on the MOCCAE list might be removed.
The government hopes to have another update next week.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has introduced new halal regulations for the accreditation of halal certification bodies (CBs). Under, the new halal regime, the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) is responsible for authorizing halal CBs.
The requirement for a halal certificate extends to more than just meat, it also includes products containing animal products. Exporters need to consult the UAE standards to determine whether a halal certificate is applicable or not.
As of March 31, 2017, Canadian products that enter the UAE market, which require a halal certificate, must be accompanied by a halal certificate issued by certification body registered with ESMA. At this time, there are no Canadian certification bodies that have completed the process to be accredited under the UAE’s new halal regime, and therefore there are no Canadian halal CBs currently registered with ESMA. A company, can however, use an American Certification body registered with ESMA to provide halal certification for products exported to the UAE market. There is currently one American CB registered with ESMA, based in Omaha, Nebraska. A number of American CBs have completed the process to be accredited under the new UAE halal regime, and the ESMA list is expected to be updated shortly to include a number of other American CBs.
Please see the following link for a list of CBs registered with ESMA: http://halal.ae/en-us/Open-Data/Pages/LIST-OF-HALAL-CERTIFICATION-BODIES-REGISTERED-WITH-ESMA.aspx
If you have any questions, please contact the Market Access Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org