The Lebanese Standards Institution (LIBNOR) is a public institution under the Ministry of Industry. Established in 1962, LIBNOR is the sole authority in Lebanon charged with issuing, publishing, and amending Lebanese standards as well as granting the Lebanese Conformity Mark “NL.” A number of state bodies (including the Ministries of Telecommunications, Energy and Water, Industry, Public Health, Environment, Agriculture, Economy and Trade, and Public Works and Transport) issue technical regulations related to products in the form of ministerial decisions and decrees issued by the cabinet.
LIBNOR has accepted and adheres to the World Trade Organization’s TBT (Technical Barriers to Trade) code of good practice for the preparation, adoption, and application of standards and is taking an active role in international standardization activities, even though Lebanon is not a member of the WTO. Programs for drafting standards are set annually. LIBNOR’s Board of Directors approves the annual plans, submitted by LIBNOR’s Director General, for preparing new standards or amending existing ones. The annual program for drafting standards is available on LIBNOR’s website.
LIBNOR is a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO), the Association Réseau Normalisation et Francophonie (RNF) and the Standards and Metrology Institute for the Islamic Countries (SMIIC), and an affiliate member of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN).
Testing, Inspection and Certification
The following laboratories are the main national testing bodies in Lebanon:
- The laboratories of the Industrial Research Institute (IRI), affiliated with the Ministry of Industry, test for all types of products. For more information, visit the IRI website.
- The laboratory of the Agricultural Research Institute (LARI) at the Ministry of Agriculture (for food products). For more information, visit the LARI website.
- The Quality Control Center laboratory at the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture of Tripoli and North Lebanon (CCIAT). For more information, visit the CCIAT website.
- The Food Quality Center laboratory at the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture of Zahle and the Bekaa (CCIAZ). For more information, visit the CCIAZ website.
- The American University of Beirut; laboratory of chemistry and pharmacology. For more information, visit the AUB website.
- The French Medical Institute laboratory of chemistry and pharmacology at Saint Joseph University (USJ). For more information, visit the USJ website.
- The National Council for Scientific Research (CNSR); laboratory under the Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission. For more information, visit the CNRS website.
LIBNOR is the sole authority to grant the right to use the Lebanese Conformity Mark (NL Mark). This mark attests to the compliance of products to Lebanese standards and is based on a scheme combining quality management system and product standards. The Industrial Research Institute provides certificates of conformity with standards and purchase requirements. Certificates of conformity or quality issued by foreign companies, such as SGS and Veritas, are also honored in Lebanon.
In addition, several ministries issue certificates of conformity. The Ministry of Agriculture has the authority to issue certificates of conformity for exported agricultural products. The Ministry of Economy and Trade issues conformity and export certificates at the request of the exporter. The Ministry of Public Health issues health certificates at the request of the exporter. There are no mutual recognition agreements with U.S. organizations.
The Lebanese Accreditation Council (Conseil Libanais D’Accréditation - COLIBAC), under the Ministry of Industry, is the only accreditation body in Lebanon. COLIBAC is presently a non-operational entity, and unable to fulfil the role that accreditation bodies in Europe and worldwide fulfill in conformity assessment. Some Lebanese laboratories are accredited by foreign accreditation bodies. The IRI chemical and micro-biological laboratories are accredited.
Publication of Technical Regulations
Lebanese standards are voluntary, but when approving Lebanese standards based on the recommendation of the technical committees, LIBNOR’s Board of Directors may ask for the mandatory application of a standard if it affects public health or safety. In this case, a decree from the Council of Ministers (i.e. the Cabinet) is published based on the request of the Ministry of Industry. There is no formal procedure for notification, as Lebanon is not yet a WTO member. U.S. entities can comment on technical regulations via e-mail to LIBNOR. LIBNOR established a WTO/Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) point of contact for inquiries in 2012.
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.
LIBNOR is the point of contact for inquiries in Lebanon on standards and technical regulations resulting from conversion of standards.
City Rama Street, Sin El-Fil
PO Box 55120
Tel: 961-1-485 927/8
Fax: 961-1-485 929