Standards Development

About Standards

Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) facilitates the development of standards for the different sectors of the economy in Zambia. These Standards are developed to help the Industry produce quality products that meet the expectations of the consumers and complies with the health, safety, and environmental regulations.

ZABS has developed standards in various sectors which include Food and Agriculture, Building and Construction, Information Technology, Chemicals and Health, Electro technical, Textiles, Timber and Timber products, among others.

Under the directorate of Standards Development, ZABS develops, publishes, maintains, or withdraws Zambian National Standards and related normative publications serving the standardization needs for Zambia

The standards development section has two major functions including the development of standards through technical committees and information dissemination on standardization through the Documentation and Information Centre (DIC).

What is a Standard What are Standards used for? Benefits of Standards

A Standard is a technical document established by consensus and approved by a recognized body, 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.

Standards are the result of a consultative process involving all interested parties (Stakeholders) who agree on the contents of these standards through consensus. They 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 developed by technical committees’ discussions comprising stakeholders such as manufacturers, suppliers, buyers, consumer’s relevant associations, professionals, academic/ research institutions and regulators of a particular material, product, process or service. The discussions culminate into draft standards which are subjected to public scrutiny for two months after which the standards a published in government gazette as Zambia standards upon approval by stakeholders.

Standards should be based on the consolidated results of science, technology and experience, and aimed atthe promotion of optimum community benefits.

Standards are used by the industry in order to produce quality goods and services

Consumers can use standards as basis for buying quality goods and services

Standards are used as a basis for law or regulation to protect the consumer and the environment from hazard related products can be used as a basis for conformity assessment (testing, inspection and certification)


ABS has developed over 5000 standards for different sectors of the economy. These include:

  • Agriculture sector,
  • ICT sector,
  • Engineering sector,
  • Food and Beverage sector,
  • Energy sector
  • Leather and Leather products sector,
  • Construction sector etc.


  • Increased profitability through cost reduction and increased sales
  • Standards ensure that consumers are protected from hazards to their health and safety
  • Standards promote and protect economic interests of consumers
  • They ensure that consumers have easier access to and greater choice in goods and services
  • Standards inspire trust and consumer confidence in your business
  • They assist businesses to meet regulatory requirements
  • Provide access to new markets
  • Standards create a competitive advantage by improving the quality of goods and services
  • Standards ensure improved quality and reliability

Documentation and Information Centre

More About Standards



Zambia Standards

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.

The Documentation and Information Center (DIC) holds a collection of national and International standards, technical regulations, technical books and journals. The DIC offers the following services

  1. Sale of Zambian, International and Foreign Standards
  2. Information on technical specifications to manufacturers and traders
  3. Information relating to National and International Standards
  4. Information to exporters on technical regulations of importing countries
  5. Information on Zambian certified products and services
  6. National enquiry point (NEP) for Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO/TBT) information