The Honduras’ standards system is mostly flexible and characterized by a market-driven approach, with a prevalence of voluntary standards. Standards-related duties and activities are the responsibility of the National Standards Body (Organismo Hondureño de Normalización, OHN) under the National Quality System, a decentralized agency of the Ministry of Economic Development (created under Decree 29-2011). The main objectives of the standards governmental body are to:
- Formulate and coordinate the execution of normalization and quality control programs adequate to country needs
- Integrate technical committees for individual normalization projects
- Promote the use of standards in technical regulations
The OHN is responsible for implementing the preparation, approval, publication and dissemination of standards to facilitate trade and serve as a basis for technical regulations; facilitation of conformity assessment; industrial development; and providing the basis for improving the quality of goods, processes, and services.
In general, standards issues and related technical obstacles do not pose a major hurdle for U.S. exporters looking to do business in Honduras. At present, work is being done in connection to defining the limits of the procedures described in Executive Decree 29-2011, particularly regarding voluntary compliance terms for a practical development of the national standardization program. Honduras currently has one-hundred and seventeen (117) national standards, issued by the National Standards Body, OHN.
Through CAFTA-DR and implementation of other trade agreements, signatories are expected to intensify their joint work in the field of standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures with a view to facilitating regional trade.
Among the standards developing organizations most commonly accepted in Honduras for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services are ASTM, IEC, and ISO. The operation of the National Standards Body (OHN) is based on international criteria and standards and governed by the principles of full participation, transparency, and consensus, with the consolidated results of experience, science, and technology.
At present, there are approximately 120 national technical norms covering the agricultural sector (coffee, fruits). Other sectors which have been identified as some of the main productive areas for the potential development of standards in Honduras are as follows:
- Agro-industrial production
- Small Hotels
- Wood - Furniture
- Industrial Production
- Energy Efficiency
Honduras is also a subscriber member of the International Standards Organization (ISO). The implementation of ISO certification for local companies is conducted by legally credited international standards institutions. There are over 450 local companies currently certified under ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, and several others are also in the process of obtaining certification.
Testing, Inspection and Certification
Among the most relevant national testing and conformity assessment bodies in Honduras are:
- Ministry of Economic Development: Consumer Protection and Legal Metrology
- Ministry of Agriculture: National Plant and National Health Service
- National Laboratory of Residues (LANAR/SAG); Quality Control Lab for Veterinary Products/SAG
- Ministry of Health: General Directorate of Sanitary and Environmental Regulation
- Ministry of Energy, Natural Resources, Environment, and Mines
- CESCO (Pollution Control Research Center)
- DECA (Environmental Control and Evaluation Directorate) Mining Executive Directorate (INGHEOMIN Laboratory)
- Oficial Laboratory of Honduran Chemical and Pharmaceutical Professionals (Laboratorio del Colegio Químico Farmacéutico de Honduras)
For a complete list of entities and laboratories accredited by the Honduras Conformity Assessment Body (OHA), which leads the country’s voluntary evaluation and accreditation under the National Quality System, please visit: https://oha.hondurascalidad.org
Publication of Technical Regulations
Following a sixty-day comment period, final technical regulations are published in the country’s national gazette: http://www.lagaceta.hn.
Under Article 2.9 of the World Trade Organization’s Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement, Honduras is required to notify drafts of technical regulations that could impact on international trade and which are not international standards, so that other WTO members can consider the regulations and make comments.
Honduran Standards Organization
(Organismo Hondureño de Normalización/OHN)
National Quality System
Address: Edif. Del Sistema Nacional de la Calidad SNC/SDE
Centro Cívico Gubernamental
Tel: (504) 2213-9052; Ext. 121
National Accreditation Body
Organismo Hondureño de Acreditación (OHA)
National Quality System
Tel: (504) 2242-8340, ext. 34115
Post Standards Contact
U.S. Embassy - U.S. Commercial Service
Rossana Lobo, Senior Trade Specialist
Avenida La Paz, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Tel: (504) 2236-9320
Regional Standards Attaché
International Trade Administration
Contact: Lauren Caughlin
(Based in Mexico)
Use ePing to review proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures
The ePing SPS&TBT platform (https://epingalert.org/), or “ePing”, provides access to notifications made by WTO Members under the Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), distributed by the WTO from January 16, 1995 to present. ePing is available to all stakeholders free of charge and does not require registration unless the user wishes to receive customized e-mail alerts. Use it to browse notifications on past as well as new draft and updated product regulations, food safety and animal and plant health standards and regulations, find information on trade concerns discussed in the WTO SPS and TBT Committees, locate information on SPS/TBT Enquiry Points and notification authorities, and to follow and review current and past notifications concerning regulatory actions on products, packaging, labeling, food safety and animal and plant health measures in markets of interest.
Notify U.S., operated and maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) since 2003 to distribute and provide access to notifications (and associated draft texts) made under the WTO TBT Agreement for US stakeholders, has reached its end of life. Per obligation under the TBT Agreement, each WTO Member operates a national TBT (and an SPS) Enquiry Point. National TBT Enquiry Points are authorized to accept comments and official communications from other national TBT Enquiry Points, which are NOT part of the WTO or the WTO Secretariat. All comment submissions from U.S. stakeholders, including businesses, trade associations, U.S domiciled standards development organizations and conformity assessment bodies, consumers, or U.S. government agencies on notifications to the WTO TBT Committee should be sent directly to the USA WTO TBT Inquiry Point. Refer to the comment guidance at https://tsapps.nist.gov/notifyus/data/guidance/guidance.cfm for further information.