Rwanda - Country Commercial Guide
Standards for Trade
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What kind of standards system does the country have: a top-down government-driven approach or a more flexible market-driven approach? Does the government try to regulate everything and make most standards mandatory, or is there a mix of voluntary and mandatory standards? Identify the national standards body. Does the national standards body prepare an annual standard work plan? Share a link if possible. Can parties that do not have a manufacturing presence in the market participate in standards development work by the national standards body or other groups?  

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.   


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 (  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. 


A sample workplan  

Standards for public review  

More information on testing  

Contact Information  

Rwanda Standards Board  
KK 15 Rd #49 

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

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.