Indonesia’s halal law threatens to trigger trade disputes

JAKARTA – The Joko Widodo government has quietly moderated the controversial 2014 Halal Law which would have given a single agency the power to disrupt Indonesia’s trading relationships with edicts on the halal content of everything from pharmaceuticals to electronics.

The amendment follows a change in the ultra-conservative leadership of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), which oversees halal certification, and intervention from key Cabinet ministers worried about the law’s impact on the economy and trade.

The main concern among foreign business leaders, however, continues to center around the government-to-government agreement requirement for foreign halal certification, materials classification and halal assurance implementation in general.

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