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 for the administration and maintenance of compulsory standards for the purpose of public safety and health, consumer protection and environmental protection.
The agency was formerly the inspectorate department in the Zambia Bureau of Standards but was separated from the bureau to be a standalone Agency as part of the implementation of the National Quality Policy and World Trade Organisation Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. The Agency started its operations on January 1, 2018.
National Quality Policy
The National Quality Policy outlines the Government’s commitment regarding the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) and the re- engineering of the Technical Regulation Framework (TRF). Thereafter it lists specific interventions for metrology, standards and accreditation as the three fundamental building blocks of the NQI.
The primary objective of the Policy is to ensure that goods and services emanating from or traded in Zambia are designed, manufactured, produced and supplied in a manner that match the needs, expectations and requirements of the purchasers and consumers as well as those of the regulatory authorities in the local and exports markets.
The role of the ZCSA in ensuring a vibrant industry is to ensure compliance with Compulsory Standards which leads to the production of safe products which are readily accepted by the market as these products will meet the desires and expectations of consumers.
What we do
-Administer, maintain and ensure compliance with compulsory standards;
-Give premarket 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.
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.
Import Quality Monitoring
The Agency monitors and controls the quality and safety of imported products subject to compulsory standards through inspection activities under the Import Quality Monitoring Department.
Domestic Quality Monitoring
The Agency monitors the quality and safety of products locally manufactured and this is conducted by the Agency’s Domestic Monitoring Department. The monitoring is conducted through factory inspections comprising food products and beverages. Agricultural products such as animal feeds and fertiliser, petroleum products and lubricants, chemical and chemical products, cables, steel, electrical appliances, cement
Factory inspections are conducted to ascertain whether products regulated by Compulsory Standards are manufactured in accordance with specifications provided in the Compulsory standards. Inspection services include initial production inspection, during-process inspection, final random inspection and packing supervision.
- 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.
A market surveillance is a post market activity aimed at ensuring continued post market compliance. Market surveillance involves checking whether products meet the applicable safety requirements. This is aimed at protecting public from any imported unsafe products.
Road Tank Vehicle Inspections
These inspections are conducted to ensure that road tank vehicles that are used predominantly for the transportation of petroleum based flammable liquids conform to the required compulsory standard.
Vehicle Road Worthiness Inspection
These inspections are conducted on imported used vehicles using a pre-shipment inspection scheme. These inspections are conducted by the Agency’s contractors. Vehicle Roadworthiness inspections (RWI) are conducted to minimize the risk of unsafe and substandard motor vehicles entering the Zambian market, thus ensuring public health and safety and environmental protection. The RWI is meant to benefit the users of the motor vehicles as it helps to prevent unnecessary accidents and loss of lives