Annual Reports

What we do

-Administer, maintain and ensure compliance with compulsory standards;

-Give pre-market approval of high-risk commodities falling within the scope of compulsory standards;

-Conduct market surveillance for products falling within the scope of compulsory standards in order to monitor post market compliance;

-Educate the public on compulsory standards and provide public information for the protection of the consumers on products and services which do not comply with the Act;

-Cooperate with Ministries and other State institutions and international organisations in enforcing compulsory standards; and

-Do all such things related to, or incidental to, the functions of the Agency under the Act.

A standard is a technical document detailing the requirements necessary to ensure that a material, product, service, or procedure is fit for the purpose it was intended. These requirements could include design, material, performance, manufacturing and testing requirements, including packaging and labeling.

Generally national standards are in two forms and these are voluntary and mandatory. Voluntary standards are put in place for business best practice so that there is a level of uniformity and acceptability of the quality and safety of a product. It is also important to note that voluntary standards are not enforced by law or regulation.

The Agency administers and monitors the quality and safety of products covered under compulsory standards on the market through inspections and related activities under the Import Quality Monitoring and Domestic Quality Monitoring Departments in line with World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO TBT) Agreement guidelines and other international and regional best practices.


Locally manufactured products are monitored by the Domestic Quality Monitoring Department through its inspections activities. The inspection activities include factory visits, open market surveillances, spot checks and complaints investigations. The mandate of these inspections only extends to products that are regulated under the Compulsory Standards Act.

Currently the Agency administers 60 compulsory standards. A recommendation has been made to declare an additional 47 products to be covered under this law.

Market Surveillance

A market surveillance is a post market activity aimed at ensuring continued compliance to compulsory standards once the products have left the border or the local factory and are placed on the market. This is aimed at protecting the public from any unsafe products whose integrity may be compromised by poor transportation or storage conditions, inadequate shelf life monitoring, or indeed adulteration with undesired materials.

The Agency conducts market surveillances on local and imported products. This is done by surveying the market and picking samples from different trading places. Physical inspections are conducted for some products while others are taken for laboratory analysis to investigate whether they comply with compulsory standards.

WHAT IS QUALITY ASSURANCE?

Quality Assurance refers to any system or process aimed at maintaining a desired level of quality in a service, especially by means of attention to every stage of the process of delivery. Quality Assurance entails systems or processes of determining whether a product or service meets specified requirements. QA establishes and maintains set requirements for developing or manufacturing reliable products.

The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is used to ensure QA practices and processes used to implement it. ISO 9000 is used to ensure that quality assurance system is in place and effective.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF QUALITY ASSURANCE?

Quality assurance plays a crucial role in business by ensuring that products meet certain thresholds of acceptability. There is need for planning, direction or coordination of quality assurance programs and formulation of quality control policies. The resultant factor being improvement in an organization's efficiency by reducing activities.

You can think of quality assurance as the activities and management processes that are done to ensure that services and products are delivered at the required quality level. The process is driven and focused on the delivery of the service or product.

Quality assurance is a way of preventing mistakes, defects and avoiding problems when delivering services or products to clients; which ISO 9000 defines as "part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled".

ISO/IEC 17020 specifies requirements for the competence of bodies performing inspection and for the impartiality and consistency of their inspection activities. The standard defines criteria for assurance of quality in the operation of organisations who perform inspection.

ISO17020, is an internationally recognized standard for the competence of inspection bodies. ISO 17020 should not be confused with ISO 9001, which is specific to quality management systems.

The ZCSA adheres to these international standards when it conducts its inspections in imports and domestic products.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF QUALITY ASSURANCE?

The benefits of quality assurance include:

  • Costs are reduced because there is less wastage and re-working at different stages of service delivery as the process is checked at every stage.
  • It can help improve worker motivation as workers have more ownership and      recognition for their work
  •   Departmental heads can use it to manage processes

HOW DO YOU PERFORM QUALITY ASSURANCE?

Quality Assurance is the process of auditing the quality requirements and the results from quality control measurements to ensure that appropriate quality standards and operational definitions are used. The key benefit of this process is that it facilitates the improvement of quality.

WHY DOES YOUR ORGANISATION NEED A QUALITY ASSURANCE PROGRAM?

Avoid failure

Any failure in the system may result in long-term fallout: loss of confidence in service delivery, several lawsuits, and an erosion of the organisations credibility among the public. All this can be avoided if more attention is paid to quality assurance.

Create quality culture

Quality Culture can be defined as comprising three layers:

i.        Quality Assurance is the first layer. It is an accumulated body of standards, regulations, and best practices that the organisation is to use to assess its processes on an ongoing basis.

ii.      The second layer is a Quality Plan that lays out a set of standards, regulations, and procedures that the organisation is to follow, as well as the organisational goals and any expected risks.

iii.    Finally, there is a Quality Control layer, which involves monitoring the development teams to ensure that they are adhering to Quality Assurance requirements and the Quality Plan.

Inspections are done at the factory and include assessment of the production infrastructure and processes, quality assurance systems and product sampling and testing. This is aimed at reducing the risk to consumers associated with the intake or use of substandard and unsafe products. These inspections are conducted on site in factories to ensure pre-market compliance to compulsory standards and other administrative requirements.

Benefits of factory inspections

  • Safety and quality concerns can be identified and controlled at the source.
  • Reduced risk of production of unsafe and substandard products.
  • Increased market for local manufacturers wishing to expand to regional and international markets as products will be readily accepted.
  • Increased consumer confidence in the local products

These inspections help manufacturers comply with standards or specifications of a particular product. It is also important to remind our readers that standards are based on international best practice.

The ZCSA has trained and technically competent inspectors who assist the Agency in ensuring that inspections are conducted in accordance with international best practice.

In order to demonstrate the credibility of inspection results and to verify the competence of the inspection system the Agency is working towards accreditation to the international standard ISO 17020: Conformity Assessment -- Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection. This will further enhance compliance with compulsory standards and lead to the production of safe and good quality products. This will further promote fair trade, protect national and international markets and assists industry to become globally competitive by ensuring that all regulated products comply with regulations. This is to the extent that all local producers comply with the same standards regardless of size or market share. This makes products which are manufactured be safe and of an acceptable quality.

The Agency supports the growth of industry by ensuring that the manufacturing of products is done in accordance with international best practice and guidelines which are stipulated in or aligned to compulsory standards, thereby, allowing these products to compete in regional and international markets.

Scope of Regulation

• Restricted only to products covered under the Compulsory Standards Act and Statutory Instruments
• Currently covers 60 locally manufactured and imported products
• Enforcement measures only applicable to these products
• Some of the products covered include bottled water, drinks, fertilizers, animal feeds, opaque beer, clear beer, number plates, sugar, cooking oil, wheat flour, steel, cement and maize meal among others.

Basis of Regulation

Section 15 of the Compulsory Standards Act no. 3 of 2017, prohibits the introduction of a product or service onto the market without obtaining evidence of compliance from the Agency with the applicable compulsory standards unless;• the product or service complies with or has been manufactured in accordance with the compulsory standard;
• a distinctive mark has been applied to the product or service, where applicable, in the prescribed manner, and the product or service is marked in accordance with section 12; and
Section 16 of the said Act notes that a service provider or manufacturer shall not provide a product or service in contravention of a compulsory standard.

Registration Requirements

Administrative
• Indicate intention to supply (application form)                                                 
• Indicate legal status of company
• Give the physical local location address
• Provide traceable contact details
• Show compliance to other legal requirements
• State product being applied for
• Show commitment to comply (top management to apply)

Technical

• Defined controls
• Documented GMPs
• Operational requirements such as the Product Specific Factory Requirements (PSFR)
• Personnel competence

Our Mandate

The Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency is a statutory body under the Ministry of Commerce,

Trade and Industry established by the Compulsory Standards Act No. 3 of 2017.

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Core Values

Professionalism , Integrity , Team work

Hard work,  Innovation, Confidentiality

Accountability

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PUBLIC NOTICES

1.0 MANDATORY WEARING OF MASKS IN PUBLIC PLACES

The Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency wishes to advise members of the public that need to access its services to use the available electronic platforms rather than physical visits to its premises. This is in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing.

However, where it is necessary to come to our premises physically, we wish to remind our esteemed clients to ALWAYS wear a mask.

This follows the directive by the Government of the Republic of Zambia for everyone to wear a mask always when in public to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 disease.

Please stay home and stay safe!