Oil palm estates bigger than 40ha risk fine if not MSPO-certified

The rules are to fulfil the demand for certified palm oil in global markets beginning in 2020.

KUALA LUMPUR: Oil palm estates of more than 40.47ha and palm oil mills that fail to obtain the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification by Jan 1 next year will be fined and penalised.

Those who have yet to apply for MSPO certification by Jan 1 will also be penalised under the Malaysian Palm Oil Board licensing regulation. This includes having their licence suspended or revoked.

As of Aug 31, 2019, 2,956,925 hectares, or 50.6% of the total 5.85 million hectares of oil palm plantations, including smallholders, have been certified.

Meanwhile, 288 palm oil mills, or 64.29% of the total 448 mills, have been certified.

The MSPO certification will be mandatory from Jan 1, 2020, in line with the government’s announcement on Feb 24, 2017.

The mandatory implementation aims to enhance the image of the country’s palm oil in terms of sustainability while fulfilling the demand for certified palm oil in global markets beginning in 2020.

All smallholders, estates and palm oil mills that have not obtained the MSPO certification, or begun the process of certification, are urged to do so immediately.

To begin the process of MSPO certification, smallholders can contact MPOB centre for sustainability standards & certification at 03-89110179/0180/0182/0193, while estates and palm oil mills may contact the Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council at 03-21810192.

The government has allocated an MSPO incentive fund to lessen the burden borne by the palm oil industry players in meeting the requirements of the MSPO certification.

Only those who have been certified or have applied for certification before Jan 1, 2020, are eligible for the incentives.

Beginning next year, all certification costs would have to be borne by the industry players themselves without government incentives.