Somalia - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Standards
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The Federal government of Somalia has recently developed a regulatory framework for a number of sectors to enable participation in global trade and address the increasing consumer demand for quality and safe products.  With the ongoing accession program to the World Trade Organization and other regional trade bodies, the government’s new regulations and standards are moving towards adopting international standards to ensure consistency with global trade rules.  Therefore, multiple competent authorities under several ministries have been established in recent years.  Somalia is now a signatory of several conventions, including the International Plant Protection Conventions (IPPC), which implements the WTO phytosanitary component, and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The Somali Bureau of Standards (SOBS) is the national standard body overseeing the implementation of quality infrastructure.  It has initiated the development of an infrastructure policy currently at the draft stage.  The Somali Bureau of Standards is responsible for developing and implementing standards, testing, inspection, and certification of products in Somalia.  The organization is establishing its testing, inspection, and certification capacity to promote trade, consumer safety and protect the environment.

The standards department at SOBS develops standards covering a range of areas such as: food and agriculture products, engineering, services and management, and chemical and consumer products.  It is responsible for developing and implementing technical standards based on international best practices and local needs.  Despite limited capacity, the department has adopted 145 standards in various fields over the last three years.  In addition, the department has developed two new technical standards in collaboration with local experts from various stakeholders.

SOBS is a member of several international standardization bodies including the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO), the Standards and Metrology Institute for the Islamic Countries (SMIIC), the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDSMO), the (FAO) Codex Alimentarius, and is an International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) affiliate.

Inspection: The Somali Bureau of Standards is responsible for ensuring that products imported into Somalia meet the required standards for quality and safety.  The organization has an office at the seaport and the airport, where it inspects goods imported into the country.  The organization’s main inspections are physical inspections and laboratory testing, which involve examining the products to ensure that they meet the required standards.

Somalia has recently initiated a “pre-export verification of conformity program” which seeks to ensure that products imported into the country meet the required standards.  SOBS has contracted Bureau Veritas to conduct inspection at the port of departure and issue necessary certification requirements based on the Somali standards.  The pre-shipment verification of conformity will ensure that products being imported into the country meet the required standards.

Certification: The certification department within SOBS is responsible for ensuring that products meet the required quality and safety standards before being sold in Somalia.  The department is in the process of developing certificate regulations and quality mark regulations. The department has also initiated market surveillance which involves monitoring the market to ensure that products already in circulation meet the required standards and are safe for use or consumption.  The certification regulation outlines the procedures that manufacturers and importers must follow to ensure that their products are certified as safe for use or consumption in Somalia.

Accreditation: The Somali Bureau of Standards is also mandated to do accreditation.  “Accreditation” is assessing and recognizing the competence of organizations that provide testing, inspection, and certification services.  However, the organization has not yet started this activity.  

Phytosanitary systems are still developing, but with the new regulatory agency—the Somali Agricultural Regulatory and Inspection Services (SARIS)—agricultural produce import and export control is expected to be strengthened as part of broader trade facilitation and market access.  New regulations related to the Somali Agricultural and Inspection Services (SARIS) are in advanced stages of parliamentary approval as of May 2023.  The legislation is anticipated to establish the agricultural regulatory agency with a mandate to facilitate international agricultural trade as a National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) and to serve as the point of contact for the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) of which Somalia is a signatory.  The institution’s anticipated tasks per the pending legislation include implementing the Somali Agrochemical Policy; the Seeds and Varieties Act; the Plant Protection and Quarantine Law; the National Fertilizer Policy; and the National Pesticide Policy.

Information Resources

Somali Bureau of Standards

Via Airport Road, Wadajir District
P.O. Box 67, BN03010
Tel: +252 61 0742473

Use ePing to review proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures. 

The ePing SPS&TBT platform (, or “ePing”, provides access to notifications made by World Trade Organization (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. This guidance is provided to assist U.S. stakeholders in the preparation and submission of comments in response to notifications of proposed foreign technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures.