Rwanda - Country Commercial Guide
Standards for Trade

Describes standards, identifies the national standards, accreditation bodies, and lists the national testing organization(s) and conformity assessment bodies.

Last published date: 2021-11-11

Overview

The Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) is the government institution charged with the implementation of standards, testing, product certification, accreditation, labeling, marking, and technical regulations.  Rwandan standards are flexible and market driven.  RSB does not have in-house capacity to develop standards and largely relies on (and coordinates).

technical committees made of researchers, manufacturers, academia, other government institutions, and consumer representatives that work together to develop standards.  Some new standards are derived from international treaties that Rwanda signs.  There is a mix of mandatory and voluntary standards.  Standards related to health, safety, and environmental protection are mandatory both for local production and import.  RSB posts standards under review on its website and issues notifications.  Parties that do not have a manufacturing presence in the market can participate in standards development work by filing comments and receiving feedback during public reviews.  

Standards

Rwanda develops domestic standards but also accepts international standards.  Rwanda is a member of the EAC Standards Technical Management Committee.  Approved EAC measures are generally incorporated into the Rwandan regulatory system within six months and are published in the National Gazette like other domestic laws and regulations.  Rwanda is also a member of other international standardization organizations and accepts their standards.  Those include:

  • ISO:  International Organization for Standardization
  • IEC:  International Electro-technical Commission
  • IEEE:  Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • CODEX:  CODEX Alimentarius International Food Standards
  • ASTM:  American Society for Testing and Materials
  • ITU:  International Telecommunication Union
  • AOAC:  Association of Analytical Communities
  • OIML:  International Organization of Legal Metrology
  • COMESA:  Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
  • ARSO:  African Organization for Standardization
  • AFSEC:  The African Electro-technical Standardization Commission
  • SADC:  Southern African Development Community
  • WTO:  World Trade Organization
  • EAC:  East African Community

Testing, Inspection and Certification

Generally, products enter the market freely.  RSB is among the Rwanda government agencies using the One Single Electronic Window.  Any imported product related to health, safety or environment requires an employee of RSB to authorize a Release Order using the One Single Electronic Window.  To allow quick release and avoid custom warehouse charges, RSB is able to conduct quality checks at the owner’s premises.

Publication of Technical Regulations

Proposed technical regulations are regularly published by the RSB.  U.S. companies should contact the RSB with comments on any proposed regulations.  Final regulations are published in the Official Gazette (https://www.minijust.gov.rw/official-gazette).  Time allowed to comment on proposed technical regulations varies between 30-90 days.  RSB prepares an annual standards development work plan based on requests from the previous year.

Resources

  • A sample workplan
  • Standards for public review https://www.rsb.gov.rw/index.php?id=145
  • More information on testing https://www.rsb.gov.rw/index.php?id=20

Contact Information

Rwanda Standards Board
KK 15 Rd #49

P.O. Box 7099, Kigali
+250 252-582945/586103, Hotline:  3250

Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are required under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) to notify the WTO of proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures that could affect trade.  Notify U.S. (https://tsapps.nist.gov/notifyus/data/index/index.cfm) 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 or countries 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, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.