Your frequently asked questions answered

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What does ZCSA do? /What are the functions?

Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency ensures that all declared compulsory standards are administered and maintained so that these products comply with respective standards for purposes of public health and safety, consumer and environmental protection.

The Functions of the Agency are;

  • To administer, maintain and ensure compliance to compulsory standards; which means managing/overseeing that standards declared compulsory are enforced and sustained so as ensure compliance of products to standards.
  • Give premarket Approval of high risk commodities failing within the scope of compulsory standards; which means the Agency review high risk commodities before they are placed on the market.it involves a scientific review of the product so as to determine its safety and effectiveness for the end user. Laboratory analysis is employed so as to have an objective basis for granting the approval.
  • Conduct market surveillance for products failing within the scope of compulsory standards in order to monitor post market compliance of  commodities with compulsory standards; meaning Agency continues to monitor the compliance of commodities when placed on the market as product can deteriorate due poor handling, stock rotation and storage.
  • Educate the public on compulsory standards and provide public information for the protection of consumers on products and services which do not comply with the Compulsory Standards Act no.3 of 2017 of the Laws of Zambia. The Agency is mandated to educate the public on compulsory standards and give information for products or services that are non-compliant to protect the consumer.

Cooperate with ministries and other state institutions and international organizations in enforcing compulsory standards. This means that the Agency does not work in silo as it cooperates with other line ministries (such as Health, Agriculture, Commerce and Trade) and state institutions( Zambia Revenue Authority, Local Authorities, Zambia Medicine Regulatory Authority, Zambia Bureau of Standards, Zambia Metrology Agency, Consumer Competition and Protection Commission) as well as international organizations such as Auto Terminal Japan(ATJ),Japan Export  Vehicle Inspection Centre (JEVIC),East Africa Automobile (EAA)

Is ZCSA a government Agency?

ZCSA is a government Agency under the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry; enacted by The Compulsory Standards Act No.3 of 2017 of Laws of Zambia.

What is the difference between ZCSA and ZABS?

ZCSA mandate is enforcement of compulsory standards; before the Agency came into existence, the function was being conducted by the Zambia Bureau of Standards -inspections department. This means that the enforcement department of ZABS was transformed into ZCSA as an autonomous body. ZABS mandate now is to conduct voluntary services such as standards development, laboratory testing and certification.

Where is the head office located?

Head Office is on Stand No.5032 Great North Road, Lusaka.

Do you have satellite offices?

ZCSA has 17 satellite offices ; 9 in Provincial Towns (Chinsali, Kasama, Mansa, Ndola, Solwezi, Kabwe, Chipata, Choma, Mongu) and 8 main border posts ( Nakonde, Chirundu, Chanida, Mwami, Livingstone Port, Victoria Falls, Kazungula, Katima Mulilo)

What products do you regulate?

Agency regulates about 61 products whose standards have been declared compulsory by the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry. These range from food, household chemicals, household electrical appliances, agriculture inputs and products, Refined Petroleum and petroleum products, Rubber, Construction, Motor vehicles and Textile.

How do you regulate these products?

These products are regulated using two schemes; the Domestic Quality Monitoring Scheme and Import Quality Monitoring Scheme.

Are there requirements/standards for these products?

ZCSA has guidance documents for the requirements of these products; documents include, The Compulsory Standards Act, Compulsory Standards, Statutory Instruments and permit conditions.

How do you conduct conformity assessment?

Conformity assessments include document review, physical inspection of product and/process with reference to guidance documents; inspection in this case involves sampling and testing of product were applicable.

Reports for the outcome of Conformity Assessment are issued by the Agency.

Do you monitor domestically manufactured products?

Products manufactured in Zambia are monitored by the Agency so as to ensure their compliance to Compulsory Standards. Refer to the link for products that requires ZCSA clearance before being placed on the market.

How do you check the quality of imported products?

Imported products are checked at the main points of entry through the Import Quality Monitoring Scheme. Inspectors at the border points ensure that documents and goods are assessed before being allowed into the country.

Can I clear goods with ZCSA before they arrive in Zambia?

Yes goods can be pre-cleared with ZCSA, you can contact any of the border offices or head office. Ensure that you provide details of importer, product to be imported, brand, quantity, consignment value, country of origin, commercial invoice, laboratory test results from accredited laboratory.

What critical requirements should I adhere to when importing used textile?

Used textiles should be sourced and imported from a country that is free from any epidemic. The consignment for used textile should be accompanied with a fumigation certificate. Bales should be well labelled and packed in transparent.

What is a Standard/Compulsory Standard?

A Standard is a technical document designed to be used as a rule, guideline or definition.it is an agreed way of doing something. It is a document established by consensus and approved by a recognized body. It provides for common and repeated use, guidelines, rules and characteristics for activities or their results aimed at the achievement of optimum degree of order. A standard ensures consistency and sustainability in making a product, managing a process, delivering a service or supplying materials.

A Compulsory Standard is simply a Standard that has been declared compulsory under The Compulsory Standards Act No.3 of 2017 of the Laws of Zambia with which compliance is mandatory.

Do you investigate customer complaints?

The Agency investigates customer complaints for products whose standards are compulsory. Where a customer registers dissatisfaction for a product purchased, a complaint is reported and complaint documented. ZCSA inspectors/investigators conducts independent assessment of the product to determine if the alleged non-compliance/dissatisfaction of the product is authentic. Proof of purchase (receipt) and product will have to be availed to the Agency.

Do you work with other regulators?

ZCSA works in conjunction with other regulators in the enforcement of Compulsory Standards.


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