Bylaw for the Establishment of Foundation of the International Halal Accreditation Forum

Derived from the core principles and teachings of Islam, halal is an Arabic word that means “permissible”, with its opposite being haram, “not permissible”.

With all the concerns surrounding halal products, people are likely to believe that halal applies only to the food they eat and the items they patronize—but this is not the case.

Halal is a way of life. From your relationship with God, honoring your mother and father, respecting life, people and the sanctity of your faith, down to keeping your promises—going halal is choosing to be in the right path.

As you pay attention to every aspect of living, your daily choices for sustenance matter. This is where halal food and products come into consideration.

• IHAF:The International Halal Accreditation Forum

• Hosting Country:United Arab Emirates.

• Halal:Derived from the core principles and teachings of Islam, halal is an Arabic word that means “permissible”.it is used for any object or action which is lawful to use or engage in, according to Islamic law Shariah (principle).

• Accreditation: The formal recognition granted by an impartial third party of the competency of conformity assessment bodies in a specific field for a defined scope.

• Accreditation in Field of halal:The formal recognition granted by an impartial third party of the competency of halal conformity assessment bodies in a specific field for a defined halal scope.

• Conformity Assessment Body in Field of halal:A body performing halal conformity assessment services, including: testing and calibration laboratories, medical labs, inspection bodies, certification bodies for systems, products and personnel, and Proficiency Testing Providers (PTP).

• Accreditation Bodies: Authoritative body that performs accreditation

• Halal Accreditation Bodies: Are accreditation bodies that grant accreditation in the field of halal and have recognition within its economy as a provider for accreditation services.

• Multi-Lateral Recognition Arrangement:is a signed agreement between IHAF member accreditation bodies, whereby the signatories accept and recognize halal accreditation certificates issued by other members signing on the same agreement. The agreement is signed by IHAF member Accreditation Bodies after ensuring their compliance with the specific requirements defined in IHAF arrangement document.

• Peer Evaluation: It is a process to evaluate the work performed by halal accreditation bodies and their compliance to IHAF requirements for the purpose of establishing confidence in certificates and reports issued by accredited conformity assessment bodies. The process is carried out by experts from other halal accreditation bodies who are qualified as peer evaluators.

• The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC): is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations which has number of Islamic Countries as members. The Organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world and ensuring to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world.

• The Standards and Metrology Institute for the Islamic Countries (SMIIC): is an affiliated institution to Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), it works on harmonization of standards among the OIC countries and for preparation of new ones, aims at realizing harmonized standards in the Member States and eliminating technical barriers to trade.

• International Organization for standardization (ISO): is an independent, non-governmental international organization has national standards bodies as members. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.

• International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC): is the international organization for accreditation bodies operating in accordance with ISO/IEC 17011 and involved in the accreditation of conformity assessment bodies including calibration laboratories (using ISO/IEC 17025), testing laboratories (using ISO/IEC 17025), medical testing laboratories (using ISO 15189) and inspection bodies (using ISO/IEC 17020).

• International Accreditation Forum (IAF): is the world association of conformity assessment accreditation bodies and other bodies interested in conformity assessment in the fields of management systems, products, services, personnel and other similar programmes of conformity assessment. Its primary function is to develop a single worldwide program of conformity assessment which reduces risk for business and its customers by assuring them that accredited certificates may be relied upon.

The main objectives of IHAF are:

3.1 To harmonize halal accreditation and conformity assessment practices Fully complying with Islamic principles Shariah (principle).

3.2 To develop and maintain arrangements for halal Multi-Lateral Recognitions among IHAF accreditation bodies’ members to facilitate international trade in field of halal.

3.3 To assist and Support halal industry Sector.

3.4 To assist IHAF members in building their conformity assessment infrastructure to meet the needs of all interested parties who seek for competent testing, inspection and certification services in the fieldof halal.

3.5 To cooperate with other regional and international bodies to meet IHAF objectives.

IHAF organizational structure consists of:

4.1 General Assembly.

4.2 Board Of Directors

4.3 General Secretariat.

5.1 General Assembly is the supreme decision-making power in IHAF. It is responsible for the development of IHAF policies and strategies, and monitoring its performance.

5.2 General Assembly is composed of Full, Associate and Affiliate Members’ representatives.

5.3 General assembly shall take all needed decisions and actions to achieve IHAF objectives within the limits of this bylaw.

6.1 Endorsement of IHAF Bylaw and its amendments.

6.2 Endorsement of IHAF organizational structure.

6.3 Endorsement of IHAF strategic plans and its annual work programs.

6.4 Endorsement of IHAF Membership policy.

6.5 Endorsement of IHAF Steering Committees’ establishment

6.6 Endorsement of IHAF internal systems and their amendments.

6.7 Endorsement of peer evaluation results.

6.8 Endorsement of Members acceptance in IHAF.

6.9 Endorsement of IHAF annual budget.

6.10 Endorsement of IHAF mechanism to manage fund investment

6.11 Approve IHAF closing accounts.

6.12 Endorsement of IHAF Financial Sources Acceptance Policy.

6.13 Approve the establishment of other office(s) for IHAF.

6.14 Approve IHAF annual report.

6.15 Elect Steering Committees’ Chairs.

6.16 Endorsement of IHAF Secretary General appointment.

7.1 The General Assembly shall meet at least once per year. It may hold extraordinary meetings on demand of the Chairman.

7.2 General Assembly Meetings shall be held in the headquarter unless otherwise decided by the General Assembly.

7.3 Chair of the Board of Directors shall Chair the GA meetings.

7.4 The quorum for the meeting shall be the presence of at least 70% of the members. If the quorum is not achieved; the Chairman shall invite the members for the meeting in one month and the number of participants shall be used as the quorum. The quorum shall be treated as legal.

7.5 Resolutions shall be made based of agreement of the majority 70% of the participants in the meeting, each member has one vote.

7.6 Each member shall bear the cost of the participation of its representative in the General Assembly meetings.

7.7 The General Secretariat of IHAF, shall act as the Secretariat of the General Assembly.

8.1 The Board of Directors consists of a permanent member of the hosting country and eight Full members; four representing halal accreditation bodies who are Multi-Lateral Recognition Arrangement signatories in IHAF, and four are representing accreditation bodies that are Full member of ILAC\IAF and signed an agreement with halal accreditation bodies in IHAF.

8.2 General Assembly shall elect members of the Board, its Chairperson and Vice Chair as per the voting rules.

8.3 The term of membership in the Board of Directors is for a period of three years only.

8.4 Secretary-General shall participate in the meetings of the Board of Directors without having voting right.

8.5 Board of Directors shall meet twice a year at least and may hold extra meeting at the request of the Secretary-General and the Chairman.

8.6 The quorum for the meeting shall be the presence of at least 70% of the members if the quorum is not achieved, the Chairman shall invite the members for the meeting in one month and the number of participant shall be used as the quorum. The quorum shall be treated as official.

8.7 The General Secretariat of the Forum act as the secretary of the Board of Directors.

8.8 Each member shall bear the costs of participation of its representative in the Board of Directors meetings.

9.1 Review IHAF Bylaw and its amendments before raising it to the General Assembly for endorsement.

9.2 Review the organizational structure of IHAF and its General Secretariat before raising it to the General Assembly for endorsement.

9.3 Review IHAF strategic plans and its annual work programs before raising it to the General Assembly for endorsement.

9.4 Review IHAF Membership policy before raising it to the General Assembly for endorsement.

9.5 Review IHAF internal systems and their amendments before raising it to the General Assembly for endorsement.

9.6 Review the General Secretariat’s report on peer evaluation results and raise recommendations to the General Assembly.

9.7 Review the General Secretariat’s report on the status of the received membership requests in IHAF and raise recommendations to the General Assembly.

9.8 Review IHAF annual budget before raising it to the General Assembly for endorsement.

9.9 Selection of the Financial Auditing Firm (external auditors)

9.10 Review IHAF closing accounts before raising it to the General Assembly for approval.

9.11 Review and approve the General Secretariat reports and IHAF committees’ reports.

9.12 Review IHAF Financial Sources Acceptance Policy before raising it to the General Assembly for endorsement.

9.13 Review and approve IHAF mechanism to manage fund investment

9.14 Recommend the establishment of other office(s) for IHAF.

9.15 Review IHAF annual reports before raising it to the General Assembly.

9.16 Nominate IHAF General Secretary.

9.17 Establishment of IHAF Steering Committees’ that supports IHAF work as defined below:

  • 9.17.1 Multi-Lateral Recognition Arrangement Committee
  • 9.17.2 Advisory Committee for Islamic Shariah (principle).
  • 9.17.3 Technical Affairs Committee
  • 9.17.4 Marketing and Media Committee
  • 9.17.5 Any other steering committees deemed necessary by the board
IHAF shall have General Secretariat to manage IHAF functions, having Secretary General appointed for three years that could be re-appointed with the following responsibilities:

10.1 Ensure that all the Agreements concluded between IHAF and other parties are done in accordance with the provisions of IHAF Bylaw and the halal requirements.

10.2 Implement the internal system of IHAF and appoint staff as per approved budget.

10.3 Ensure Full implementation of IHAF activities in accordance with the provisions of this bylaw, rules and internal systems.

10.4 Prepare IHAF strategic plans and annual work programs, and submit the necessary recommendations to the Board of Directors.

10.5 Manage peer evaluations in Multi-Lateral Recognition Arrangement activities.

10.6 Propose to the Board of Directors the budget for the next financial calendar year and recommend for approval.

10.7 Propose a mechanism for managing fund investment and implement the mechanism once endorsed.

10.8 Submit Recommendation to the Board of Directors for selection of a suitable financial auditing firm.

10.9 Coordinate the cooperation between IHAF and relevant regional and international organizations related to accreditation and conformity assessment in the field of halal.

10.10 Ensure adequate communication and coordination between all members of IHAF with respect to the management of the Multi-Lateral Recognition Arrangement.

10.11 Ensure adequate communication and coordination between IHAF committees, record their achievement, and submit a report to Board of Directors for approval.

10.12 Develop and implement outreach plans for promoting and marketing IHAF requirements in accordance with its strategic plans.

10.13 Develop assistant plan for accreditation body members seeking assistant in conformity assessment infrastructure and submit to the Board of Directors for approval.

10.14 Review membership applications and submit recommendations to the Board of Directors for approval.

10.15 Prepare annual report of General Secretariat achievements and submit it to Board of Directors for approval.

11.1 IHAF membership shall be open to all accreditation bodies for conformity assessment activities working in the field of halal, in addition to interested parties (stakeholders) in accordance with the procedures approved by the General Assembly.

11.2 IHAF shall have different categories for membership. The specific criteria, voting rights and fees are based on the membership type.

11.3 The General Assembly shall have the right to adjust and change the categories for membership, the specific criteria and the fees if deemed necessary.

11.4 For all categories of membership specified in article 12 below, each member shall nominate an official representative who will represent it in IHAF General Assembly.

11.5 A member whose representative was chosen as a Chairperson of the General Assembly shall have the right to nominate another member to represent it at IHAF.

11.6 Voting right is dedicated to Full members only. If any member represented by more than one representative, it shall be entitled to one vote only.

IHAF membership shall be classified to the following categories:

12.1.1Accreditation bodies that are constituent members of IHAF.

12.1.2Halal accreditation bodies who are Multi-Lateral Recognition Arrangement signatories in IHAF.

12.1.3Accreditation bodies that are Full member of ILAC\IAF and signed an agreement with halal accreditation bodies in IHAF.

12.2.1 Accreditation bodies that have accreditation activities in the field of halal.

12.2.2 Accreditation bodies that have recognition within their operating economies as a provider of accreditation services in the field

12.3.1 Accreditation bodies that having accreditation activities and are in the developing stage of halal accreditation field.

12.3.2 Relevant parties that are established on national, regional or international level having objectives similar to, and compatible with IHAF, and that are committed to IHAF Rules. These parties could consist of Associations of Laboratories and Inspection Entities, Sharia and Regulatory Authorities, Consumer Associations, Trade Organizations and Standardization Bodies.

12.3.3 National coordinating bodies that handles the management of accreditation activities in some countries.

12.3.4 Regional cooperation bodies in accreditation field that consists of accreditation bodies representing at least four.

13.1.1 Full members are required to provide the following documents as per membership application requirement:

  • 13.1.1.1 Declaration to abide to bylaw and any other supporting documents.
  • 13.1.1.2 Proof that the Accreditation Body is recognized officially in their country as a provider of Accreditation Services.
  • 13.1.1.3 Proof that the Accreditation Body is recognized officially by their regional economies it represents as a provider of Accreditation Services.
  • 13.1.1.4 Proof that the accreditation body is licensed in its country as provider of accreditation services, or obtained and maintained Full membership from ILAC/IAF

13.1.2 Passing the peer evaluation successFully in accordance with Multi-Lateral Recognition Arrangements issued by the IHAF.

13.1.3 For accreditation bodies that wish to change their membership status from Associate Member or Affiliate Member to a Full Member, they shall be subjected to the process of peer evaluation as per IHAF procedure and decision for accepting as Multi-Lateral Recognition Arrangements’ signatory shall be made by General Assembly.

13.1.4 A decision shall be made to accept members as Full members by voting either in a meeting or by using approved electronic media by all Full Members. The voting is based on “Yes” or “No “. Full membership shall be granted based on 70% voted “Yes”. In case of refusal the Full membership reasons shall be provided. The applicant has the right to appeal as per Article 21 of this Bylaw.

13.2.1 Associate Member are required to provide the following documents as per membership application requirement:

  • 13.2.1.1 Declaration to abide to bylaw and any other supporting documents.
  • 13.2.1.2 Proof that the Accreditation Body is recognized officially by their government.
  • 13.2.1.3 Proof that the Accreditation Body is recognized officially by their regional economies it represents as a provider of Accreditation Services.
  • 13.2.1.4 Declaration that the Accreditation Body has been established as per international norms and requirement of IHAF.

13.2.2 Application for membership shall be reviewed by Secretariat and recommendations shall be submitted for endorsement.

13.2.3 A decision shall be made to accept members as Associate members by voting either in a meeting or by using approved electronic media by all Full members. The voting is based on “Yes” or “No”. Association membership shall be granted based on 70% voted “Yes”. In case of refusal, reasons shall be provided. The applicant has the right to appeal as per Article 21 of this Bylaw.

13.3.1 Declaration to abide to bylaw and any other supporting documents

13.3.2 Application for membership shall be reviewed by Secretariat and recommendations shall be submitted to Board of Directors.

13.3.3 Membership shall be granted as per decision of Board of Directors endorsed by General Assembly.

14.1General Assembly is responsible to endorse policy for membership fees.

14.2Membership fees are due from the first of January of each year.

14.3 Membership fees are mandatory for all membership categories.

14.4 Membership fees are covered for a period of twelve months.

14.5Membership fees for new members are calculated based on proportion to the month of the membership to the whole year.

15.1General Assembly is mandated to cancel membership of any member in the event of proof that the member has not committed to this bylaw and other supporting regulations set by IHAF.

15.2 General Assembly is mandated to cancel membership of any member in the event of proof that the member has not committed to paying the membership fee.

15.3The General Secretariat shall inform the member on the General Assembly’s decision and the reasons for cancelation of its membership. The member has the right to apply for appealing the decision and request for re-consideration in accordance with Article 21 of this bylaw.

Any Member is entitled to withdraw its membership from IHAF, it shall notify IHAF by an official letter addressed to Secretary General. The withdrawal shall be affective 6 month after the receival of the withdrawal letter, and the member shall be responsible for all its commitments for the period prior to withdrawal.
A member may loses its right to vote if it does not settle the annual fees within six months from the date of notification issued by the Secretariat unless the justification for not settling the dues is accepted by the Secretariat.
18.1 General Assembly is mandated to terminate membership of any member in the event of not settling its dues for one year or the member has not committed to this bylaw or engaged in an action that suspend the work of IHAF. The terminated member is mandated to settle all the dues.

18.2 If the member whose membership has been terminated wishes to re-apply for membership, the application shall not be processed unless all the dues have been settled.

19.2Hosting Country shall provide the budget for the period of three years after establishment. After that, the budget shall be provided by members as per membership system endorsed by General Assembly.

The General Secretary of IHAF is entitled to legally represent IHAF as per country’s laws and regulations.
21.1 Any Accreditation body subject to denial or termination or stopping, of membership has the right to appeal and submit a request to reconsider the decision – Appeal request.

21.2 IHAF and the appellant shall use specific process endorsed by General Assembly for handling appeals.

21.3 For any dispute settlement between IHAF and the appellant, the endorsed Appeals Procedure.

22.1 Winding-up of the forum shall not be initiated unless all of the Full members and the hosting country agree on winding-up the forum. Upon winding up of IHAF, the Secretariat shall be authorized to wind up IHAF.

22.2 IHAF shall keep its legal status and remaining obligations and responsibilities during the execution of the winding-up decision to enable it to take all necessary proceedings for settlement of its rights and obligations.

22.3 During the process of winding up, the provisions of this Bylaw shall remain valid as far as necessary for the settlement of IHAF’s affairs.

22.4 IHAF assets shall be considered as the right of the Headquarters state

23.1 Arabic and English shall be the official languages of IHAF.

23.2 If needed, other languages could be added by decision of the General Assembly in accordance with the policy adopted by IHAF.

24.1 Amendments to this Bylaw are feasible after prior approval from General Assembly for modification.

24.2 The Bylaw shall be amended at the request of 70% of the members or a proposal from the Secretariat.

24.3 The proposal for amendment shall be sent to the Secretariat for the Board of Directors’ review.

24.4 If the Board of Directors has approved the amendment proposal, it shall be presented to the General Assembly for approval.

24.5The amendment shall enter into force after the endorsement by the General Assembly.

The hosting country is requested to be the depositary of this Forum.
The hosting country in Dubai shall initiate the signing of this agreement during the period between the date of the founding of the Forum and the first meeting of the General Assembly. And signing on this bylaw shall be considered as agreement and recognition and commitment to this bylaw.
27.1Entry to the enforcement of this bylaw is valid when signed by at least seven of the founding members.

27.2 If the entry to the enforcement of this bylaw is not achieved as per above conditions on November 6, 2016, the depositary body shall request the founding members or the body that has requested for depositary to issue resolution extension of the period for allowing other members to join or take any other action deemed necessary.

No reservations may be made in respect of any of the provisions of this bylaw.
29.1 The provisions of this bylaw shall apply to all IHAF members and staff at all levels long with Board of Directors and its Committees and the Secretary General Office.

29.2 The headquarter of the forum shall be in Dubai – United Arab Emirates.

29.3 IHAF may have other office(s) based on approval of the General Assembly.

29.4 IHAF General Secretariat and the Board of Directors are not responsible financially or legally for previous budgets if closing accounts of those years have been endorsed by General Assembly.

29.5 Secretary General is empower to utilize the budget for operating IHAF until internal systems are endorsed by General Assembly.

29.6 This Bylaw is issued in Arabic and English Language in city of Dubai, UAE on 06 November 2016 as one original document kept in Secretary General Office of International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF). Authentic copies shall be handed over to the members who has signed on the agreement.

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