Malawi - Country Commercial Guide
Standards for Trade
Last published date:


The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS), a member of the International Bureau of Standards, promotes conformity with internationally accepted standards.  MBS prescribes and enforces product standardization in Malawi.  All products manufactured locally for export must obtain certification before export.  Hotel and catering services are also subject to reviews by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife (Department of Tourism).  Goods imported into Malawi are checked to ensure that they meet standards set for such products.


MBS formulates national standards in all fields of interest.  The standards act as a base or guideline for measuring the quality, performance, or fitness for intended use of a product or service.  The formulation of standards is done through Technical Committees (TCs) which are made up of representatives from the industry, government ministries and departments, and professional organizations and bodies.  These standards are grouped in three categories:

  • Chemicals and Textiles: soaps, detergents, paints, pesticides, fertilizers, stationery, and all products based on chemical formulations.
  • Engineering and Materials: civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering, information technology, renewable energy, building materials, etc.
  • Food and Agriculture:  food technologies, food safety, agricultural produce, livestock and livestock products, poultry, and poultry products, etc.

Testing, Inspection and Certification

MBS provides testing services through its Testing Services Department which operates several laboratories.  The laboratories provide testing services to most organizations that do not have their own test facilities, to clients requiring an independent analysis or opinion, and to internal programs for verification of compliance to standards.  The laboratory facilities are in the following areas:

MBS provides inspection and certification services to ensure that both local and imported goods and/or services comply with quality requirements, with the aim of protecting consumers from unfair trade practices in quality, quantity, presentation, and labelling based on international certification practices.  These services are offered through the following schemes:

Publication of Technical Regulations

Technical regulations are not centralized and are, therefore, managed by relevant government departments.  These are published in the Malawi Government Gazette and form part of relevant acts.  MBS serves as the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) National Enquiry Point (NEP).  Any enquiry on what standards, technical regulations, or conformity assessment procedures are needed in a country where they want to send their products, the MBS, as a NEP, is there to obtain the relevant information in Malawi.  MBS ensures manufacturers, importers, and exporters in Malawi get the latest information on standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures available in their target markets.

Contact Information

The Director General

Malawi Bureau of Standards

Moirs Road

P.O Box 946



Tel: (265)1 870 488

Fax: (265) 1 870 756



Standards Attaché -South Africa

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Attaché: Michael Bromley


Use ePing to review proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures 

The ePing SPS&TBT platform (, 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 for further information.