HQC is accredited by all relevant accreditation bodies around the world, companies are certified in accordance with the standards followed by the accreditation bodies. There are many standards, some of which are specific to certain products such as food or cosmetics, and some of them are related to Halal management systems in companies manufacturing Halal products and other specific standards. To learn more about the standards that are followed at HQC, please refer to Standards section on our website.
HQC is not a governmental body, and as such has no standards of its own, but rather follows the international standards established by various Islamic countries such as the Gulf standard or the Indonesian and Malaysian standards. Of course, HQC has a certification scheme that incorporates the most requirements from different standards.
There are no fundamental differences between halal standards. The standards may, however, differ in formal things, and each standard has its own ways in ensuring that companies abide by the standard, and the standards may differ in assessing risks, but not in terms of Shariah rulings (Halal and Haram) in general.
Halal standards stipulated that the auditor shall be a Muslim with good conduct and behavior and who have the necessary training and appropriate skills and competence, because the certificate is a kind of testimony.
The halal audit team includes a professional and trained staff with the highest certificates in various fields such as Islamic law, food science, chemistry, food technology, food chemistry, biology, or pharmaceutical sciences, among others.
The audit team usually consists of two auditors, one of whom is well-versed in Islamic matters and the other has a technological background. Each member of the team masters auditing techniques. Nonetheless, both team members may work together or separately, and auditor performs his or her audit part to achieve best possible results.
Yes, HQC has a quality management team that ensures that quality management system requirements are implemented within HQC. It defines tasks and responsibilities, creates operating and work instructions (SOPs, instructions and documents) and follows up on their implementation for all staff.
Due to their composition or their manufacturing process, Halal critical raw materials and products may contain haram materials or may come into contact with them during the manufacturing process, and therefore require special assessment and investigation. Examples of critical materials include flavours, enzymes, gelatine, broths, and starter cultures etc.
All products derived from pork, or which may have been in contact with pork materials or contaminated with any of pork derivatives are considered ritually impure and cannot be halal even if their form has been changed. This includes gelatin and collagen products, both for nutritional and cosmetic uses.
It is not acceptable to use any amount of alcoholic beverage, no matter how small, in any of the food, cosmetic or pharmaceutical products certified by HQC. Alcoholic beverage is considered a critical and a ritually impure substance, and its use leads to the non-certification of the product in question.
Not only the raw materials that are evaluated and verified during the halal certification process but all the materials that can come into contact with the product such as packaging materials, cleaning materials and even lubricants that can potentially come into contact with the product.
From a religious point of view, blood is considered ritually impure, and therefore any use of it blood in any product would result in it being classified as non-halal.
HQC does not have special requirements for slaughter and stunning, but it follows international standards in this regard. The standard is applied according to the destination of the final goods, for example, if the customer wants to export meat to Indonesia, he must adhere to the Indonesian Halal Standard MUI HAS 23000, but if he wants to export to Malaysia, he must comply with MS1500:2019 and so on.
Some standards prohibit completely stunning animals, while some standards accept under strict conditions that guarantee the animal's life at the time of slaughter and also guarantee the reversibility of stunning (i.e. animals can return to life after stunning) prior to slaughtering. In both cases, no animal that may have died before slaughter is allowed to be slaughtered, nor is any kind of stunning that could lead to the animal's before slaughtering is allowed.
While most standards allow the automatic slaughter of poultry, it is only accepted when certain strict requirements are met, and surveillance activities are in place to ensure that the slaughter process is completed in accordance with the provisions of Islamic law and that no animal may be slaughtered in a wrong way.
Certification of abattoirs with automatic slaughtering techniques is usually only performed when manual slaughter is not possible. HQC encourages and advises to use the manual slaughter.
Although the Islamic law stipulates that the People of the Book of the Jews and Christians are allowed to slaughter and their slaughter is accepted, most of the halal standards stipulate that the slaughtermen must be Muslims to ensure a full understanding of the halal standards and to eliminate the risks that may result from that.
We at HQC usually only accept Muslim slaughtermen
HQC has a strict system of control that prevents the mixing of halal products with others and requires companies to completely separate halal production from others. HQC ensures companies' compliance with this system through permanent surveillance and periodic facilities audits, and through retroactive records checks and other procedures.
All types of feeds used for animal feeding are subject to clear standards that meat producers and slaughterhouses verify before accepting and slaughtering animals. These standards have been established by the accreditation bodies, which ensure that the feed is compatible with Islamic requirements.
Under no circumstances can a halal certificate be granted to any customer without reviewing all the documents and records related prior to audits and after conducting a physical audit of the manufacturing facility by a high qualified and trained team that combines technological specialists and Islamological experts. After passing all the stages of review and auditing, and if the products are in compliance with Halal standards, the customer will be granted a Halal certificate.
For halal slaughterhouses or critical facilities, monitoring is continuous and on a daily basis through a network of controllers. As for non-critical production sites such as chemical industries, they are audited annually in the presence of a mechanism ensuring consistent and continuous compliance. Management of change at the company is monitored by HQC and all changes related to product or production facilities are subject to HQC approval.
As HQC has a large staff covering most of the international languages such as English, German, French, Spanish, Danish, Turkish, Italian and others. Usually, it is taken into account that the auditor should be able to speak customer local language.
In some cases, and for various reasons this cannot be guaranteed, the customer is always informed of the capabilities and availability prior to any audit.
The list of certified clients is available on our website and can be seen by all visitors of our website under http://www.hqc.eu/en/clients
HQC strives to update the list of its clients continuously, but due to the complexity and size of the Halal market, it is not possible to fully list all certified clients, in addition to that there are many clients which use different trade names in the market, and it is not possible through this list to limit all the certified brands. It should also be noted that in most cases, not all products of a listed customer are certified Halal.
HQC is bound by certification agreements with its clients that compel HQC not to disclose certain client’s information to third parties without the client's consent, except to international accreditation bodies. Most of the information related to products or brands is private information that cannot be disclosed by us. At the same time, we highly recommend that consumer directly communicate with the manufacturers and ask about the product they wish to inquire about. Most of European companies are committed to responding to their customer requests as they meet high standards which consider transparency and customer focus very important for their business activity.
Due to HQC's commitment to fulfilling international quality standards, particularly ISO 17065, HQC is committed to ensure that the principles of impartiality are upheld with all its customers and not to engage in any commercial activities that could affect the impartiality and independence of its decisions. We, therefore, apologize for not being able to provide trading companies and consumers any recommendations related to products or manufacturing facilities as this might compromise our independence and impartiality.
Companies can apply for the certificate through the electronic form on the site, and the customer's situation will be evaluated according to the information contained in the form and based on a number of parameters.
In some cases, the type of products that are manufactured is taken into account and presented to the country in which the production site is located, for example, if the company specializes in the production of biotechnological products such as enzymes and the site is located in a country such as France, the file may be referred to an office other than France because the staff in the other country is more specialized in this field.
There is no fee to be paid when applying for a halal certificate, and all fees and costs are incurred only after the start of certification process and audit.
One of the certification stages that must be fulfilled to comply with Halal standards is the evaluation of the customer's request before it is approved and entering into the contract signing stage. This means that a company that is clearly not qualified to obtain halal certificate is rejected in the first phase. This prevents the certification body's efforts from proving futile and therefore from being charged to the potential client. The application is carefully studied by specialists and the applicant may be contacted in case further clarification is needed.
HQC commits to offer the opportunity to receive the certificate within 4 to 6 weeks when the applicant is ready, and when all documents required for the certification process have been submitted and the audit outcome is positive. This time may be longer if the applicant is not ready and the necessary documents such as those related to raw materials are not ready. We always do our best to reach the best results in the fastest time while meeting requirements of Halal standards.