Annual Reports

The Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency (ZCSA) 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. 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.

About Import Quality Monitoring

The liberalisation of the Zambian economy in the 1990s led to an influx of imported goods on the market. Additionally, the introduction of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) free trade area, further increased the importation of various goods into the country from various parts of the region.

This resulted in an increase in the number of consumer complaints about the quality of some imported products. Zambian consumers were concerned that the country had become a dumping ground for inferior or substandard goods.

The Zambian Government through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry realised that there was need to curb the influx of substandard goods and issued Statutory Instrument No. 41 of 2003 (extended by SI 78) which established the Import Quality Monitoring Scheme (IQMS) under the inspectorate department of the Zambia Bureau of Standards to regulate imported products subject to compulsory standards.

Following the establishment of the ZCSA on 1st January, 2018, this function was transferred to the Agency and such inspections are conducted by the Import Quality Department.  The inspections are aimed at ensuring compliance of imported products with Compulsory Standards. This helps to ensure that only safe products are sold to consumers.

The Agency has presence at the following entry points: Nakonde, Chirundu, Kazungula, Katima Mulilo, Livingstone, Victoria Falls, Mwami and Chanida borders. The Agency also has a Central Processing Centre(CPC) which monitors imports in all of the borders, including where ZCSA has no physical presence.

Schemes for Clearance of General goods

1.      Batch Import Clearance -This scheme involves batch by batch clearance of goods every time an importation is made. The consignment can also be pre-cleared (clearing the consignment before it arrives at the point of entry).

2.      Pre-Import Scheme- This scheme enables an importer to declare the goods to be imported in a period of six (6) months. Inspection is conducted twice in the six (6) months.

3.       Annual Import Quality Certification Scheme- This scheme enables an importer to declare the goods to be imported in a period of one year. Eligibility to this scheme is based on satisfactory technical findings of the last four consecutive consignments inspected, sampled and tested by the Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency. These findings should also be consistent with foreign or international standards, and the applicable standards declared under the Compulsory Standards Act.

The validity is twelve (12) months from the date of full payment or upon full importation of the declared quantity. Validity of the certificate covers products from the supplier and country of origin declared. This certificate cannot be used to cover other suppliers of the same product. The Agency conducts four (04) random inspections to ensure continued compliance with compulsory standards.

Statutory fees are payable on all the above schemes.

Conformity Certificates for Road Vehicle Tankers

The Agency uses results of inspections to migrate products to areas that require fewer physical inspections. Importers of such products are allowed to enroll for pre-clearance schemes to reduce the Agency’s physical inspections at ports of entry.

The Agency uses outcomes of inspections to further refine selectivity on the ASYCUDA World program.

Reduction in processing time: The migration of most products to lanes that do not require physical

inspection has reduced the time required to process consignments at the border. Having advance

information on pre-cleared goods has helped the Agency to minimize interventions at the border.

The connection to the Zambia Electronic Single Window has improved information sharing among institutions both public and private as the system clearly shows which institutions are supposed to undertake physical inspections. The Agency is currently undertaking joint inspections with ZRA.

The Agency receives support from the Trade Facilitation Project which established a Central Processing Centre at the ZCSA's head office, a development that enables better tracking of shipments at the different entry points and improved efficiencies.

Risk based inspections have assisted in increasing visibility to ZCSA-related products at borders, and this allows the Agency to segment products according to colour codes of red, green, yellow, and blue risk-based channels.

Products falling within a particular colour coded are given the required attention with products in the red category being high risk and requiring physical inspections, thereby, allowing improved movement of goods and products in and out of Zambia.

This project is providing continued support to improve risk assessment and management capacity to include additional risk factors that would further reduce the processing times at the border in addition to improving product safety for Zambians.

Permit to Supply

The Agency monitors and controls the quality and safety of products subjected to 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Core Values

Professionalism , Integrity , Team work

Hard work,  Innovation, Confidentiality




The Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency (ZCSA) hereby informs the public that receipt books bearing series numbers G8502801 to G8502850, G8502850 to G8522900 and Invoice books with series numbers 10851 to 10900, 10901 to 10950 and 10951 to 11000 have gone missing from our Chipata office.
Therefore, the public is advised NOT TO ACCEPT receipts and invoices bearing the said numbers from anyone. We ask that you kindly contact the ZCSA Finance Department at Plot No. 5032 Great North Road in Lusaka or call us on 0954790163 to make a report. Additionally, you can notify the nearest Police Station.
Please, be further advised that the ZCSA WILL NOT honor any receipts or invoices bearing the above numbers.
Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
All correspondence to be addressed to the Executive Director
Sefalana House,
Stand No. 5032 Great North Road
P O Box 31302
Tel: +260 211 224900