The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) has an unaccredited National Standards Laboratory (NSL) that provides facility and fee-based services such as product testing, measuring, and calibrating for safety and quality standards. The lab, established under the West Africa Quality Program, is part of Liberia’s efforts to remain World Trade Organization (WTO) compliant. It provides technical services to food producing industries in Liberia to enhance the production of safe food, and trains inspectors of various government regulatory bodies. Its mandates include establishing a reliable standards framework to facilitate trade and to enforce the criteria of the International Organization for Standardization (IOS). The NSL helps to improve Liberia’s sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) systems – regulating food safety, animal, and plant health – to ensure quality control for food and basic commodities. It is also part of a regional program to strengthen quality assurance systems to support competitiveness and harmonization of technical barriers to trade (TBT) and SPS measures in West Africa. The facility also nominally helps the government monitor and prevent counterfeit and substandard goods from entering the Liberian market. Liberia’s membership in ECOWAS, means the country is subject to ECOWAS biosecurity and SPS requirements. The lab conducts microbiological and chemical analyses of food and non-food products, and metrological services such as calibration and verification of length, mass, temperature, and volume.
Standards Testing, Inspection and Certification
Liberia accepts standards developed by U.S.-domicile standards developing organizations and generally tend to favor the standards of the United States. Liberia has no mutual recognition agreements with U.S. organizations on product certification, but the government accepts product standards and certification developed by the United States and other international standard organizations. Various agencies handle certifications in Liberia, depending on the product, sector, and industry. The government and Liberians generally tend to favor the U.S. standards in nearly all instances. U.S. exporters have not reported that product certification is burdensome. Bureau Veritas Liberia (BIVAC)handles customs inspections. It conducts pre-shipment inspection services including verification of quality and quantity for exports. It also performs destination inspections to verify imports including customs classification and value based on documents importers provide. Several agencies handle accreditations depending on the areas of concern. For instance, the Ministry of Health and the Liberia Medicines & Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) handle health system and product accreditation. The National Commission on Higher Education, along with the Ministry of Education and the University of Liberia (UL), manage education system accreditations. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry handles accreditations of most consumer products. For details on standards, contact the Liberia Standards Laboratory of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Publication of Technical Regulations
BIVAC provides pre-shipment and destination inspections (PSI and DI) services for exports and imports on behalf of the Liberian government. It has published technical regulations on PSI and DI covering the threshold value and quantity of exported and imported goods: valuation, classification, risk assessment, and categories of exemptions, prohibited products, and restricted imports. The threshold value of imported goods subject to PSI and DI is US $3,500 for ocean freight and US $1,500 for airport freight and land border posts. All vehicles are subject to inspection, regardless of price. For further information, please visit BIVAC’s webpage.
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.