Rushan Abbyasov: Without the Halal mark, exporting products to Muslim countries would be practically impossible
First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Muftis of Russia Rushan Khazrat Abbyasov told the portal "Made in Russia" about the requirements that Muslim countries have to import Russian products.
- Rushan Rafikovich, how does the Council of Muftis of Russia promote trade relations between Muslim countries and Russian producers?
- Countries of East and Asia traditionally treat goods marked "Made in Russia" well. The Muslim world is primarily interested in goods marked "Halal" produced in Russia, so we fully support the development of such production.
In particular, the International Center for Standardization and Certification "Halal" has been established in Russia, namely in Moscow. Its work takes into account the experience of other Islamic countries, where halal industry standards are highly developed.
In the countries of the Arab-Islamic world, in what restaurant you would not go, in what shop you would not buy products, you already automatically know that they are "halal" and allowed. Products made in Russia require additional labeling, certification and inspection to confirm that there are no prohibited components for Muslims.
The halal marking means that these products are safe, useful and religiously permissible. Without it, it is impossible to trade with states with predominantly Muslim populations.
Today our center has concluded partnership agreements with such countries as the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Indonesia and others. Residents of these countries actively buy Russian products marked "halal".
Halal" products are the whole segment for the domestic Russian market, because more than 20 million Muslims live in our country. Therefore, this marking opens new opportunities for manufacturers, a special segment of the market where they can prove themselves.
- What is "halal"? Tell us more.
- The term "halal" is literally translated from Arabic as "allowed, allowed". A righteous Muslim is prohibited from eating pork, the dead of any animal, products harmful to the body, such as alcohol. Tobacco, drugs and various intoxicating substances are prohibited. But I note that "halal" is the safety and quality of products, as well as integrity in terms of cooperation and relationships, including financial.
- What products are labelled on?
- Everywhere, from meat to water, chocolate, confectionery products.
- That is, even Coca Sola can be halal?
- Unless doctors and scientists can prove that it is useful and does not harm the body. According to the creed, the Day of Judgment will come and a man will be asked for his deeds, including the way he treated his organism, that's why God says: "Eat useful or permitted", i.e. permitted - "halal".
- Have there been cases of unfair use of "halal" marking in Russia?
- After studying the experience of Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries, we realized that it is necessary to protect the market of "halal" products in order to avoid the appearance of counterfeits, to prevent the activities of unscrupulous manufacturers. Previously, it was not uncommon for us, for example, to take a stack of dumplings on which a mosque, Muslim symbols and pork are drawn. For a Muslim, according to the Koran, and for the representatives of Abrahamic religions, the meat of this animal is sinful, it is forbidden to eat.
We have registered appropriate trademarks to protect believers from unscrupulous entrepreneurs. We detect and stop violations of the law.
- Is it enough to get "halal" marking in Russia to get domestic products on the counters of Muslim countries, or do you need to be re-certified after transportation?
- Our certificate is quite enough. For example, recently representatives of the United Arab Emirates came to us. They visited several enterprises that have passed our certification, made sure that all products are produced in strict accordance with the standards of "halal", correctly slaughtering the animal, all sterile, clean and high-quality.
All labelling is in three languages: Russian, English and Arabic.
- How is the Halal certification process organized?
After receiving a corresponding request from the company about the desire to get a certificate, our specialists go to the site, study the production process, research the product itself. We have already signed a contract with several laboratories, which on our order, examine the composition of products for compliance with the requirements of "halal".
After carrying out the necessary research, an expert is appointed to monitor the further production of products. As a rule, this is a representative of the local Muslim community who has undergone training, professional development courses.
- Is there a single standard of certification "halal" for all, or are there any branches, deviations?
- There are deviations in some countries, but not critical. For example, in some Arab countries, where a good horse costs like two Rolls-Royces, it is forbidden to eat horse meat, and in our country Tatars cannot live without horse.
Alexey Yaushev was talking.