New Egyptian halal accreditation could affect NZ export market

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Dairy and meat exporters to Egypt will have to gain halal accreditation from just one new company approved by its government, which critics worry will have a “chilling” effect on future trade.

‘IS EG Halal’ was established by the Egyptian Government as the state entity responsible for halal certification of all animal products imported and exported from Egypt world-wide. Halal refers to food fit for consumption according to Muslim food customs.

Dairy exports to Egypt from New Zealand were about $221 million, and meat exports about $9m, for the year ending June 30.

New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) market access director Steve Ainsworth said IS EG Halal had been certifying meat imports from the Americas for about 18 months, and began certifying all global imports from August 1.

New Zealand exporters to Egypt, like dairy and meat processing premises, would need to register with IS EG Halal and request a halal certificate for each consignment, rather than from MPI’s approved halal organisations.

MPI and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade had “actively engaged with the Egyptian government” and were working closely with the industry about the situation.

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