Describes the country's standards landscape, identifies the national standards and accreditation bodies, and lists the main national testing organization(s) and conformity assessment bodies
The Lebanese Standards Institution (LIBNOR) is a public institution under the Ministry of Industry. Established in 1962, LIBNOR is the sole authority in Lebanon charged with issuing, publishing, and amending Lebanese standards as well as granting the Lebanese Conformity Mark “NL.” A number of state bodies (including the Ministries of Telecommunications, Energy and Water, Industry, Public Health, Environment, Agriculture, Economy and Trade, and Public Works and Transport) issue technical regulations related to products in the form of ministerial decisions and decrees issued by the cabinet.
LIBNOR has accepted and adheres to the World Trade Organization’s TBT (Technical Barriers to Trade) code of good practice for the preparation, adoption, and application of standards and is taking an active role in international standardization activities, even though Lebanon is not a member of the WTO. Programs for drafting standards are set annually. LIBNOR’s Board of Directors approves the annual plans, submitted by LIBNOR’s Director General, for preparing new standards or amending existing ones. The annual program for drafting standards is available on LIBNOR’s website.
LIBNOR is a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO), and an affiliate member of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN).
Testing, Inspection and Certification
The following laboratories are the main national testing bodies in Lebanon:
- The laboratories of the Industrial Research Institute (IRI), affiliated with the Ministry of Industry, test for all types of products. For more information, visit the IRI website.
- The laboratory of the Agricultural Research Institute (LARI) at the Ministry of Agriculture (for food products). For more information, visit the LARI website.
- The Quality Control Center laboratory at the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture of Tripoli and North Lebanon (CCIAT). For more information, visit the CCIAT website.
- The Food Quality Center laboratory at the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture of Zahle and the Bekaa (CCIAZ). For more information, visit the CCIAZ website.
- The American University of Beirut; laboratory of chemistry and pharmacology. For more information, visit the AUB website.
- The French Medical Institute laboratory of chemistry and pharmacology at Saint Joseph University (USJ). For more information, visit the USJ website.
- The National Council for Scientific Research (CNSR); laboratory under the Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission. For more information, visit the CNRS website.
LIBNOR is the sole authority to grant the right to use the Lebanese Conformity Mark (NL Mark). This mark attests to the compliance of products to Lebanese standards and is based on a scheme combining quality management system and product standards. The Industrial Research Institute provides certificates of conformity with standards and purchase requirements. Certificates of conformity or quality issued by foreign companies, such as SGS and Veritas, are also honored in Lebanon.
In addition, several ministries issue certificates of conformity. The Ministry of Agriculture has the authority to issue certificates of conformity for exported agricultural products. The Ministry of Economy and Trade issues conformity and export certificates at the request of the exporter. The Ministry of Public Health issues health certificates at the request of the exporter. There are no mutual recognition agreements with U.S. organizations.
The Lebanese Accreditation Council (Conseil Libanais D’Accréditation - COLIBAC), under the Ministry of Industry, is the only accreditation body in Lebanon. COLIBAC is not yet functional, and some of the Lebanese laboratories are accredited by foreign accreditation bodies. The IRI chemical and micro-biological laboratories are accredited.
Publication of Technical Regulations
Lebanese standards are voluntary, but when approving Lebanese standards based on the recommendation of the technical committees, LIBNOR’s Board of Directors may ask for the mandatory application of a standard if it affects public health or safety. In this case, a decree from the Council of Ministers (i.e. the Cabinet) is published based on the request of the Ministry of Industry. There is no formal procedure for notification, as Lebanon is not yet a WTO member. U.S. entities can comment on technical regulations via e-mail to LIBNOR. LIBNOR established a WTO/Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) point of contact for inquiries in 2012.
Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are required under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) to notify to the WTO proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures that could affect trade. Notify U.S. (www.nist.gov/notifyus) 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(ies) 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, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
LIBNOR is the point of contact for inquiries in Lebanon on standards and technical regulations resulting from conversion of standards.
City Rama Street, Sin El-Fil
PO Box 55120
Tel: 961-1-485 927/8
Fax: 961-1-485 929