Institutions from a number of countries from Spain to Kosovo and from Russia to Croatia have applied to Turkey's Halal Accreditation Agency (HAK) for accreditation, promotion and training, HAK General Secretary Hasan Sağkol said.
HAK is the only competent authority for certifying and accrediting halal products and services in Turkey.
In a statement to Anadolu Agency (AA) Sağkol emphasized that the agency will hold a workshop with all parties in relevant industries participating to determine principles and procedures regarding supervision of halal products and services, one of the important components of accreditation services, Sağkol said. "We will start accreditation activities this year following the formation of HAK's board of directors and the publication of secondary legislation whose technical studies have been completed to a large extent," Sağkol stated.
According to Sağkol, the terms of reference that will form the basis of co-evaluation and mutual recognition systems among accreditation agencies of member countries of the Organisation Islamic Cooperation (OIC) were accepted by the Accreditation Council of the Standards and Metrology Institute for the Islamic Countries (SMIIC) last year. The terms of reference should be approved by the SMIIC Board of Directors, scheduled to convene in Istanbul on April 8-9.
Underlining that some countries issued demands for HAK that were showcased at last year's World Halal Summit, Sağkol said: "Institutions from a number of countries from Spain to Kosovo and from Russia to Croatia have applied to HAK for accreditation, promotion and training. Thus, we paid our first visits to Cameroon and Iraq. To improve dialogue and cooperation between countries and to promote HAK in the eyes of certification bodies in partner countries, we continue to hold meetings to establish close contacts with the major countries of the Islamic world such as Morocco, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Tunisia and Jordan."
According to Sağkol, Kosovar, Croatian, Italian, Colombian, Russian, Korean, Colombian and Polish compliance assessment bodies certifying halal products and services that joined last year's World Halal Summit and the OIC Halal Expo in Istanbul conveyed their requests to HAK for accreditation in the shortest time. With the finalization of legislation, formal steps for these accreditations will start.
In addition to Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Uzbek accreditation and standardization institutions, a Kosovar institution that certificates halal products and services has requested technical training from HAK regarding accreditation. Since the Croatian halal certification institution has demanded an accreditation certificate and training from HAK, Sağkol said that the same body has requested a Turkish-Croatian Halal Forum in Zagreb in September.
Sağkol added that Spain, an important player in the halal products and services market, has invited HAK to promote the activities of HAK to industries that sell products and services to the Islamic world and that they will hold a promotional event at the Barcelona Halal Forum in April.