Describes the country's standards landscape, identifies the national standards and accreditation bodies, and lists the main national testing organization(s) and conformity assessment bodies.
Last Published: 4/5/2019

Institutional Overview
The Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS), a statutory body under the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, and Industry is responsible for standardization, standards formulation, quality control, quality assurance, import and export quality inspection, certification, and removal of technical barriers to trade.  ZABS develops its own standards by consensus with interested parties within country but has the competence and expertise to certify organizations to QMS ISO9001:2008.  ZABS implements compulsory standards through Import and Export inspections, which fall under the Import Quality Monitoring Scheme mandate.  ZABS has a library, which is a selling Agent for International Standards Organization and the International Electrotechnical Commission, Regional Standards, and Foreign Standards.  It is also the World Trade Organization/Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO – TBT) enquiry point.

ZABS is officially designated WTO – TBT National Enquiry Point (NEP) for Zambia. According to the WTO – TBT Agreement, Zambia's NEP regularly notifies the WTO Secretariat of all proposed government regulations, conformity assessment procedures and standards – related trade information that might significantly affect International Trade.  The Secretariat disseminates the notifications to all WTO members.  The NEP also maintains notifications of proposed foreign regulations and standards issued through the WTO Secretariat.  These are disseminated to interested parties in Zambia for their review and comments.
Zambia develops its own standards and adopts identical international standards developed by international standards and regional trade setting bodies to promote regional trade and regional harmonized standards.

Zambia needs support in implementation and use of standards, training, testing, and certification of products. Zambia is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and currently hosts the Secretariat, coordinating all Standards Harmonization Programs in the SADC region. Zambia has in the past coordinated the harmonization of dairy standards in the COMESA region.

The country does not apply EU directives and standards except in some cases Zambia applies those issued by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN).
The Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency is in charge of the administration and maintenance of compulsory standards.  The agency also ensures compliance with compulsory standards for the purpose of public safety and health, consumer protection, and environmental protection.  The agency gives pre-market approval of high-risk commodities falling within the scope of compulsory standards and conducts market surveillance for products falling within the scope of compulsory standards in order to monitor post market compliance of commodities with compulsory standards.

Zambia has adopted and signed a memorandum of understanding for a number of American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) standards.  Through direct adoption or adaptation, Zambia uses international government standards such as Codex Alimentarius, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.  Zambia also uses private international standards (e.g. International Organization for Standardization, the International Electrotechnical Commission or International Telecommunications Union either through direct adoption or through adaptation.  This also goes for European directives and standards such as the European Committee for Standardization, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute).
Entities that do not have a manufacturing presence can participate in national standards development as advisers or observers.

Testing, Inspection and Certification
Zambia uses the regional accreditation body the Southern African Development Community Accreditation Services (SADCAS) to accredit its laboratories.  The laboratories test both locally manufactured and imported goods in compliance with Zambian standards, international standards, or client specifications.  Test certificates from foreign laboratories are accepted if the laboratories are accredited.  The U.S. testing laboratories can operate in the Zambian market and test U.S. products to comply with domestic regulatory requirements.  As long as the product quality complies with requirements of the relevant standard and the manufactured products adhere to good manufacturing practices products can freely enter the market.
Publication of Technical Regulations
Zambia’s technical regulations, both proposed and final, are published in the Government Gazette.  U.S. entities can comment within the 60 day public enquiry stage during the development process.  Zambia maintains its regulatory activities through the Zambia Bureau of Standards.
Contact Information
Zambia Bureau of Standards
Lechwe House, Freedom Way
P. O. Box 50259
Lusaka, Zambia
Tel: 260-211 231 385
Fax: 260-211 238 483
Patents and Companies Registration Agency
Mwayi House, Haile Selassie Avenue
P. O. Box 32075
Lusaka, Zambia
Tel: 260-211 255 151
Fax: 260-211 255 426
Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority
Plot 6903, Tuleteka Road
P. O. Box 31890
Lusaka, Zambia
Tel: 260-211 220 429
Fax: 260-211 230 458
Commercial Office
Embassy of the United States of America
P. O. Box 31617
Lusaka, Zambia
Tel: 260-211 357000
Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are required under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) to notify to the WTO proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures that could affect trade.  Notify U.S. ( is a free, web-based e-mail registration service that captures and makes available for review and comment key information on draft regulations and conformity assessment procedures.  Users receive customized e-mail alerts when new notifications are added by selected country (ies) and industry sector(s) of interest, and can also request full texts of regulations.  This service and its associated web site are managed and operated by the USA WTO TBT Inquiry Point housed within the National Institute of Standards and Technology, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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