Q: What is a Standard?

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


Q: Who initiates Standards development?

Standards are developed on a need basis and the need for a new standard can be initiated by stakeholders, an individual, a manufacturer, or a government institution.
Standards are a result of a consultative process involving all interested parties (Stakeholders) who agree on the contents of this standard through consensus.


Q: Where can I buy a standard from?

Standards can be accessed from the ZABS Documentation and Information Center which is open to stakeholders and members of the general public. You can access a list of Zambian Standards on the ZABS website


Q: Does ZABS Regulate all products?

ZABS does not regulate all the products on the market. The Bureau is mandated to regulate 60 compulsory standards only. There are sector regulators who are mandated to regulate other products such as ZICTA for ICT, ERB for fuel and Lubricants, NCC for products under the construction sector


Q: Are there different types of Standards?

Yes they are. Standards are categorized into 2 types namely Mandatory Standards and Voluntary Standards.
Mandatory or compulsory Standards become mandatory when the Minister of Commerce Trade and Industry (MCTI) declares them as such. Standards are declared compulsory when they border on 3 aspect namely; Public Health, Public Safety and Environmental protection. These Standards are then considered as technical Regulations and are enforceable by law.
Voluntary Standards are considered voluntary where they serve as guidelines, but do not of themselves have the force of law. ZABS develops both types of Standards.


Q: How does ZABS undertake its Inspections activities?

The Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) is mandated by Law to monitor the quality of products covered under mandatory standards entering the country through a scheme called Import Quality Monitoring Scheme (IQMS). Under this scheme, only products meeting the mandatory Zambian Standards can be allowed in the country. Locally manufactured products are monitored under the Domestic Quality Monitoring Scheme (DQMS) which covers both mandatory and voluntary standards


Q: What Testing services does ZABS provide?

The laboratories test both locally manufactured and imported goods in compliance with Zambian Standards, International standards or client specifications. Some of the products that are tested at ZABS are;
a.    Food, Water, Beverages and Agricultural products
b.    Industrial products
c.    Paints and Inks, solvents and adhesives
d.    Petroleum products
e.    Condoms
f.    Packaging materials and textiles
g.    Milk and meat products
h.    Animal feeds
i.    Soaps and detergents
j.    Fats and Oils
k.    Cosmetics
l.    Pesticides
m.    Electrical cables and household electrical products


Q: What Testing laboratories are found at ZABS?

a.    General Chemistry Laboratory
b.    Microbiology Laboratory
c.    Chromatography Laboratory
d.    Paint testing  Laboratory
e.    Condom Testing Laboratory
f.    Textiles and Packaging Laboratory
g.    Petroleum Laboratory
h.    Electrical testing Laboratory


Q: Why should products be tested?

a.    To ensure that the product quality complies with requirements of the relevant standard
b.    To ensure that the manufactured products adhere to good manufacturing practices
c.    Testing maybe done as part of investigation on product complaints
d.    To ensure the product is safe for use by consumers or the general public


Q: What is Product Certification?

ZABS certifies products and allows the use of the certification mark on products. Product certification involves the use of the ZABS certification mark on products refers and involves a series of steps by ZABS to establish that a product or service is in conformity with a prescribed standard.


Q: What is Metrology

Metrology is the science of measurements and its applications. ZABS calibrates various measuring instruments against set standards


Q: What is Calibration?

Calibration is a process of comparing an unknown measurement to a known standard measurement        of higher accuracy. It is a necessary part of the processes such as manufacturing, testing, and quality assurance, where various measurement instruments are utilized.


Q: How is the Inspection of used Motor Vehicles conducted?

Used motor vehicles are monitored under the Import Quality Monitoring Scheme (IQMS). Inspections for conformance to the Zambian Standard ZS 560 is carried out in the countries of export. ZABS has appointed Inspection agencies Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Centre (JEVIC), Auto Terminal Japan (ATJ) and EAA Company Limited, to carry out inspections on behalf of the Bureau in Japan, United Kingdom, South Africa, UAE, USA, and Singapore.