Bangladesh recently became a member of the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIC) to start certifying Halal goods and services. SMIC is an affiliate organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution soon will start its services based on the SMIIC standard as the country exports different food and non-food items to the OIC member countries.
Exporters said that the certification would help to explore more markets and export diversified items to OIC countries.
Bangladesh Fruits Vegetables and Allied Products Exporters’ Association president SM Jahangir said that Bangladesh produces all halal goods as it is a Muslim majority country but some countries demand halal certification on the products.
‘Export of the products that require halal certification will expand to OIC countries from now,’ he hoped.
International cooperation wing deputy secretary Mohammad Showkat Ali of the Ministry of Industries told New Age that the government allowed BSTI to get the SMIIC membership as this certification might boost export.
An official letter from the ministry to the BSTI issued on June 30 stated that the BSTI would pay Tk 32 lakh for the membership.
BSTI, which is already certifying halal foods in cooperation with other agencies for the domestic market, will start its certification process soon, said officials.
BSTI certification wing director Md Nurul Amin said that Bangladesh was nominated for the membership earlier.
He said that BSTI needs to wait two more years to issue halal certification under the logo of SMIIC as the agency will take the time to observe the BSTI’s expertise.
Bangladesh is one of the consumer goods exporters to the Muslim majority countries, particularly to the Middle East where halal certification of food is very important.
BSTI officials said that SMIIC membership will help them to get technical and training support from the international organization.
‘Now, BSTI can give a halal certificate of goods for the international market as a member of SMIIC,’ said BSTI deputy director Md Reazul Haque.
BSTI is providing halal certification for five products — food and processed food, livestock and fisheries, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and canned food for the domestic market.
Officials said the affiliation would enhance the capacity of BSTI’s laboratory and staff as well.
They said some countries demand halal certificates for many products, including leather and clothing items.
SMIIC was established in 2010 as the competent body of the OIC, the second largest inter-governmental organization, for developing standards and achieving uniformity in metrology, laboratory testing, and standardization activities among member states.
At present, there are 46 members and three observers of SMIIC with its headquarters in Istanbul while OIC has 57 members.