Technical Departments

Technical Departments within ZABS


ZABS has four technical departments namely Standards Development, Metrology, Inspection and Testing and Laboratory.


Standards Development Department

This department spearheads the promulgation of national Standards. Standards are documents developed by consensus with interested parties that describe good practices in the country. Some standards are compulsory and some are voluntary. Voluntary standards cannot be enforced by regulation while non-compliance to compulsory standards is a crime under the laws of Zambia.


Metrology Department

Metrology is the science of measurements. Zambia Bureau of Standards Metrology Laboratory houses the National Measurement standards and provides calibration services that are traceable to the International Measurement standards. Calibration services include the following areas:

  • Mass

  • Length

  • Force

  • Volume

  • Temperature

  • Pressure

  • electrical


Inspections Department

The Inspections Department inspects products to ensure that only quality products are sold to consumers. The Inspections Department operates a certification scheme whereby companies whose products fall under compulsory regulation are monitored for compliance to technical regulations.

Products falling under compulsory standards are deemed to have a bearing on the health and safety of the consumer as well as the environment or society and as such they should not fall short of what is stipulated in the standards.

Product Certification is a support measure to industry that denotes that the product carrying the mark has undergone inspections and is found to be compliant to a particular standard. This benefits the manufacturer for trading purposes and aids the consumer in identifying a product that is safe for consumption.

The Inspections Department offers Import Quality Monitoring Scheme (IQMS) which was introduced in 2003 following the liberalization of the economy. Prior to the introduction of IQMS, importers where free to import whatever products that pleased them until government stepped in through ZABS to control and regulate the imports in the country.

The rationale of the IQMS is to ensure that products that enter the Zambian market are thoroughly inspected to ensure that they meet the minimum requirement of the set standards of the country. This helps the importer to supply products that are of certain quality and hence avoid risks that could accompany products that are not inspected by ZABS. On the other hand, IQMS helps the consumers by only allowing products that meet the standards on the market


Testing and Laboratory

The ZABS Laboratory Mission is to:

  • Provide reliable analytical services that meet customer requirements

  • Ensure appropriate quality at all stages of laboratory operations in compliance with ISO / IEC17025: General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.

  • Ensure complete documentation of all testing protocols, procedures and activities carried out within the laboratory

  • Ensure that all personnel concerned with testing activities are professionally competent and familiar with the quality system and will implement the stated policies and procedures in their work.


Testing Facilities

ZABS testing labs have modern facilities to test foodstuffs, water, beverages, industrial products, paints, petroleum products, condoms, packaging materials and textiles. Tests are per formed to national standards.


Microbiology Testing Laboratory

For testing food stuffs, beverages, drinking water, cosmetics and disinfectants, for microorganisms.

The major tests carried out are Plate counts, E-coli, Salmonella, Yeasts and Moulds, Streptococcus, Pseudomonas, etc. Equipment includes: Safety cabinets, Incubators, Colony counters, Autoclave, Culture tubes, Blenders, Microscopes, Bacteriological fermentation system, Water deionizer, etc.


Paint Testing Laboratory

For testing paints and related products, inks, solvents, polishes, and adhesives.

Equipment includes: Opacity/Hiding power tester, Coating thickness gauge, Fineness of grind Gauge,Adhesion Tester, Bench gloss and Haze Gloss meters, Penetrometer, Scratch hardness tester, Wet Abrasion scrub tester, Digital Krebs Viscometer, Tubular Impact Tester, etc.


Condom Testing Laboratory

For testing rubber condoms and surgical gloves. The major tests done are leakage test.


Electrical Testing Laboratory

For testing Electrical cables and household electrical appliances.

Equipment includes: High Voltage tester,Insulation resistance tester,

Conductor resistance tester and equipment for dimensional checks, etc.


Petroleum Testing Laboratory

For testing Petroleum products such as engine oils, transmission oil, transformer oil, petrol, kerosene, diesel fuel, as well as biofuels. Equipment includes: Emission spectrometer, Ignition Quality Tester, Octane Number Tester, Automatic Distillation Unit, Sulphur Analyzer, Flashpoint Testers, Automatic Viscometer, Glass Capillary Viscometers, Electric Strength tester, Sof tening Point Tester, Penetrometer, Ductilometer, Vapour Pressure

Analyser, Total Acid Number / Total Base Number Tester, Calorimeter, Moisture Analyser, Hydrometers, etc.


Textile and Packaging Testing Laboratory

For testing fabrics, coated fabrics, woven and knit ted garments, woven bags,bed sheets ,blankets and bed spreads as well as plastic,leather and rubber products.

Equipment includes: Colour fastness tester, Light fastness tester, Multi-station tensile tester,Puncture resistance tester, Specific gravity balance and xRF Analyser.



Our clients include impor ters and expor ters, regulatory bodies, manufacturers and producers of various products, retailers, oil companies, transport companies, academic and research institutions, the general public and consumers, as well as other laboratories.