Zambia - Country Commercial Guide
Standards for Trade
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The Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS), a statutory body under the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, and Industry, is responsible for standardization, standards formulation, quality control, quality assurance, import and export quality inspection, certification, and removal of technical barriers to trade.  ZABS develops its own standards by consensus with stakeholders, but also has the competence and expertise to certify organizations to QMS ISO9001:2008.  ZABS implements compulsory standards through import and export inspections, which fall under the Import Quality Monitoring Scheme mandate.  ZABS has a library, which is a selling agent for International Standards Organization and the International Electrotechnical Commission, Regional Standards, and Foreign Standards. 

ZABS is the officially designated World Trade Organization/Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO – TBT) National Enquiry Point (NEP) for Zambia.  According to the WTO – TBT Agreement, Zambia’s NEP regularly notifies the WTO Secretariat of all proposed government regulations, conformity assessment procedures and standards-related trade information that might significantly affect international trade.  The Secretariat disseminates notifications to all WTO members.  The NEP also maintains notifications of proposed foreign regulations and standards issued through the WTO Secretariat.  These are disseminated to interested parties in Zambia for their review and comments.

Zambia develops its own standards and/or adopts international standards developed by international standards and regional trade setting bodies to promote regional trade and regional harmonized standards.  Zambia needs support in implementation and use of standards, training, testing, and certification of products.

Zambia is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).  Zambia hosts the COMESA Secretariat, which works to coordinate trade liberalization and customs co-operation among member states. 

The country does not generally apply EU directives and standards.  In some cases, Zambia has applied directives and standards issued by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN).


The Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency is in charge of the administration and maintenance of compulsory standards.  The agency also ensures compliance with compulsory standards for the purpose of public safety and health, consumer protection, and environmental protection.  The agency gives pre-market approval of high-risk commodities falling within the scope of compulsory standards and conducts market surveillance for products falling within the scope of compulsory standards in order to monitor post market compliance of commodities with compulsory standards.

Zambia has adopted and signed a memorandum of understanding for a number of American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) standards.  Through direct adoption or adaptation, Zambia uses international government standards such as Codex Alimentarius, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.  Zambia also uses private international standards (e.g., International Organization for Standardization, the International Electrotechnical Commission, or the International Telecommunications Union) either through direct adoption or through adaptation.  This also goes for European directives and standards such as the European Committee for Standardization, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

Entities that do not have a manufacturing presence can participate in national standards development as advisers or observers.

Testing, Inspection, and Certification

Zambia uses the regional accreditation body, the Southern African Development Community Accreditation Services (SADCAS), to accredit its laboratories.  The laboratories test both locally manufactured and imported goods in compliance with Zambian standards, international standards, or client specifications.  Test certificates from foreign laboratories are accepted if the laboratories are accredited.  U.S. testing laboratories can operate in the Zambian market and test U.S. products to comply with domestic regulatory requirements.  If the product quality complies with requirements of the relevant standard and the manufactured products adhere to good manufacturing practices, most products can freely enter the market.

Publication of Technical Regulations

Zambia’s technical regulations, both proposed and final, are published in the Government Gazette.  U.S. entities can comment within the 60-day public enquiry stage during the development process.  Zambia maintains its regulatory activities through the Zambia Bureau of Standards.

Contact Information

Key government and regulatory agencies:

Zambia Bureau of Standards

Lechwe House, Freedom Way

P. O. Box 50259

Lusaka, Zambia

Tel: +260 211 221 386

Fax: +260 211 238 483


Patents and Companies Registration Agency

Mwayi House, Haile Selassie Avenue

Long Acres

P. O. Box 32075

Lusaka, Zambia

Tel: +260 211 255 151

Fax: +260 211 255 426


Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority

Plot No. 2350/M Off Kenneth Kaunda International Airport Road

P.O. Box 31890

Lusaka, Zambia

Tel: +260 211 432 350 | +260 211 432 351


U.S. Commercial Office in Zambia

Embassy of the United States of America

P. O. Box 31617

Lusaka, Zambia

Tel: +260 211 357 000

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.