STANDARDS ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
THE ZAMBIA BUREAU OF STANDARDS

   3.   Continuation of Bureau

   4.   Seal of Bureau

   5.   Functions of Bureau

   6.   Board of Bureau

   7.   Functions of Board

   8.   Proceedings of Board

   9.   Committees of Board

   10.   Emoluments

   11.   Executive Director, Directors, Secretary and other staff

   12.   Standards Consultative Forum

   13.   Disclosure of interest

   14.   Prohibition of publication or disclosure of information to unauthorised persons

   15.   Immunity

PART III
ZAMBIAN NATIONAL STANDARDS

   16.   Zambian National Standards

   17.   Development of normative and informative documents

   18.   Publication of standard

   19.   Incorporation of standard in legislation

   20.   Copyright in standard and publication

   21.   Restriction on certain claims on products and services

PART IV
CONFORMITY ASSESSMENT SERVICES

   22.   Inspection services

   23.   Testing services

   24.   Product certification

   25.   System certification

   26.   Certification mark

PART V
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

   27.   Funds of Bureau

   28.   Financial year

   29.   Accounts and audit

   30.   Annual report

PART VI
GENERAL PROVISIONS

   31.   Appeals

   32.   Immunity from execution of judgments

   33.   Prohibition on use of certain words

   34.   General penalty

   35.   Offences by principal officer or shareholder of body corporate or unincorporate body

   36.   Regulations

   37.   Repeal of Cap. 416

 

      SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to continue the existence of the Zambia Bureau of Standards and re-define its powers and functions; provide for standardisation and quality assurance of products and services through the setting of national standards and provision of conformity assessment services for products and services; repeal the Standards Act, 1994; and provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

[1st January, 2018]

Act 4 of 2017,

SI 87 of 2017.

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

1.   Short title and commencement

This Act may be cited as the Standards Act.

2.   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“associate” has the meaning assigned to it in the Anti-Corruption Act, 2012;

“Board” means the Board of the Bureau established under section 6;

“Bureau” means the Zambia Bureau of Standards continued under section 3;

“certification mark” means a Zambia Bureau of Standards mark declared under section 26 to be a mark of conformity in relation to a product or service;

“Chairperson” means the person appointed Chairperson of the Board under section 6;

“commodity” means an article or product, whether manufactured or not;

“conformity assessment” means the procedure used to determine, directly or indirectly, that the relevant requirements of a standard or technical regulation relating to a product, process, system or body has been fulfilled, and includes inspection, testing and certification or a combination of inspection, testing and certification;

“Director” means a person appointed as such under section 11;

“emoluments” has the meaning assigned to it in the Constitution;

“Emoluments Commission” means the Emoluments Commission established under Article 232 of the Constitution;

“Executive Director” means the person appointed Executive Director of the Bureau under section 11;

“informative document” means a document to which reference is made in the standard for information, and for which application can be done without referencing;

“inspection” means the examination of a product, product design, process or installation and determination of its conformity with general or specific requirements or on the basis of professional judgement;

“manufacture” means to produce, assemble, alter, modify, convert, process or treat;

“member” means a person appointed as a member of the Board under section 7;

“National Enquiry Point” means the centre that is charged with the responsibility of providing information regarding technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment notified to the WTO as required in terms of the WTO TBT Agreement;

“normative document” means a document relating to a standard to which reference is made in a standard in a manner that makes the reference indispensable for the application of the standard;

“power” has the meaning assigned to it in the Constitution;

“product” means a commercially distributed good that is tangible personal property, an output or result of a fabrication, manufacturing or production process and passes through a distribution channel being consumed or used;

“publish” in relation to a Zambian National Standard, means making available a publication by printing, electronic, photographic or other means;

“relative” has the meaning assigned to it in the Anti-Corruption Act, 2012;

“repealed Act” means the Standards Act, 1994;

“Secretary” means the person appointed as such under section 11;

“service” means a service provided for remuneration and at the request of a recipient of a service, and includes the process used to deliver the service;

“standard” means a document that provides for common and repeated use of rules, guidelines or characteristics for products, services or processes and production methods, including terminology, symbols, packaging, marking or labelling requirements that apply to a product, service, process or production method;

“State institution” has the meaning assigned to it in the Constitution;

“Vice-Chairperson” means a person appointed as such under section 6;

“WTO” means the World Trade Organisation;

“WTO TBT Agreement” means the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade;

“Zambia Bureau of Standards” means the Zambia Bureau of Standards provided for under the repealed Act and continued under this Act; and

“Zambian National Standard” means a standard approved by the Bureau under this Act.

   (2) Except where the contrary intention appears, a reference in this Act to a standard is a reference to the standard as amended.

PART II
THE ZAMBIA BUREAU OF STANDARDS

3.   Continuation of Bureau

The Zambia Bureau of Standards provided for under the repealed Act shall continue to exist as if established under this Act, as a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, capable of suing and being sued in its corporate name and with power, subject to this Act, to do all such acts and things as a body corporate may, by law, do or perform.

4.   Seal of Bureau

   (1) The seal of the Bureau shall be such device as may be determined by the Bureau and shall be kept by the Executive Director.

   (2) The affixing of the seal shall be authenticated by the Chairperson or the Vice-Chairperson and the Executive Director or any other person authorised in that behalf by a resolution of the Board.

   (3) A contract or instrument which, if entered into or executed by a person not being a body corporate, would not be required to be under seal, may be entered into or executed without seal on behalf of the Bureau by the Executive Director or any other person generally or specifically authorised by the Board in that behalf.

   (4) A document purporting to be a document under the seal of the Bureau or issued on behalf of the Bureau shall be received in evidence and shall be deemed to be so executed or issued, as the case may be, without further proof, unless the contrary is proved.

5.   Functions of Bureau

   (1) The functions of the Bureau are to—

   (a)   develop, publish, maintain or withdraw Zambian National Standards and related normative publications serving the standardisation needs of Zambia;

   (b)   administer and maintain standards and ensure conformity with standards;

   (c)   provide inspection services, testing services and system and product certification;

   (d)   provide a voluntary certification mark scheme for the assurance of product conformity to standards;

   (e)   promote quality health and safety standards for commodities, products and services;

   (f)   facilitate efficiency in industry and promote trade through standardisation;

   (g)   facilitate training in, and provide public education on, standards and quality assurance;

   (h)   render conformity assessment and related services;

   (i)   participate and represent Zambia in international, regional and foreign bodies with functions similar to the functions of the Bureau;

   (j)   manage and coordinate the multilateral or bilateral interactions with national standards bodies from other countries;

   (k)   provide information services to the public on standards and distribute Zambian National Standards and similar publications from international and regional bodies;

   (l)   provide information for the protection of the consumers on products and services which do not comply with this Act;

   (m)   cooperate with State institutions and international organisations in ensuring conformity with standards;

   (n)   operate as the National Enquiry Point, in consultation with the relevant Ministries; and

   (o)   provide for a research and development programme for new standards, improvement of existing standards, standardisation of test methodology and the articulation of future needs that might affect the standards environment.

   (2) The Bureau may—

   (a)   determine the fees payable for an inspection conducted for the purposes of this Act;

   (b)   determine fees for training services and sale of Zambian National Standards testing services, product certification and system certification; and

   (c)   determine what portion of a fee is payable in respect of any part of a year and the date on which the fee or portion of the fee is payable.

6.   Board of Bureau

   (1) There is constituted a Board for the Bureau which consists of the following part-time members appointed by the Minister—

   (a)   a representative of the Ministry responsible for industry;

   (b)   a representative of the Attorney General;

   (c)   two persons representing manufacturers and chambers of commerce respectively; and

   (d)   three persons with experience and knowledge in matters relevant to this Act.

   (2) The Minister shall appoint the Chairperson of the Board from amongst the members of the Board who are not public officers.

   (3) The members of the Board shall elect the Vice-Chairperson from amongst themselves.

   (4) A person shall not be appointed as a member of the Board if that person—

   (a)   is not a citizen of Zambia;

   (b)   is an undischarged bankrupt;

   (c)   has a mental disability that makes the person incapable of performing the functions of a member; or

   (d)   is convicted of an offence under this Act or any other written law and sentenced to imprisonment for a period exceeding six months without the option of a fine.

   (5) A member shall hold office for a period of three years and may be reappointed for one further period of three years.

   (6) A member may resign upon giving one month’s notice, in writing, to the Minister.

   (7) The office of a member becomes vacant if the member—

   (a)   dies;

   (b)   resigns;

   (c)   is absent, without reasonable excuse, from three consecutive meetings of the Board of which the member has had notice;

   (d)   is adjudged bankrupt;

   (e)   is convicted of an offence under this Act or any other written law and sentenced to imprisonment for a period exceeding six months without the option of a fine; or

   (f)   has a mental disability which makes the member incapable of performing the functions of a member.

   (8) A member shall, on the expiration of the period for which the member is appointed, continue to hold office until a successor is appointed, but in no case shall the further period exceed four months.

   (9) The Minister shall, whenever the office of a member becomes vacant before the expiring of the term of office, appoint another person in place of that member but that person shall hold office as a member only for the unexpired part of the term of the Board.

7.   Functions of Board

   (1) The Board shall be the governing body of the Bureau and shall exercise and perform the functions of the Bureau.

   (2) Without prejudice to the generality of sub-section (1), the functions of the Board are to—

   (a)   oversee the implementation and successful operation of the policy and functions of the Bureau;

   (b)   review and approve the policy and strategic plans of the Bureau;

   (c)   approve the annual budget and plans of the Bureau;

   (d)   approve the methodology for the development and approval of Zambian National Standards;

   (e)   approve the investment of the funds of the Bureau in accordance with Ministerial approval and relevant regulations;

   (f)   monitor and evaluate the performance of the Bureau against budgets and plans; and

   (g)   do all such things as are connected with, or incidental to, the functions of the Board under this Act.

   (3) The Minister may enter into a performance contract with the Board for a specified period, which shall be consistent with the provisions of this Act.

8.   Proceedings of Board

   (1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the Board may regulate its own procedure.

   (2) The Board shall meet for the transaction of its business at least once in every three months at such places and times as it may determine.

   (3) A meeting of the Board may be called by the Chairperson upon giving notice of not less than 14 days and shall be called by the Chairperson if one third or more of the members so request in writing, except that if the urgency of a particular matter does not permit the giving of the notice, a special meeting may be called upon giving a shorter notice.

   (4) Four members shall constitute a quorum at a meeting of the Board.

   (5) There shall preside at a meeting of the Board—

   (a)   the Chairperson;

   (b)   in the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson; and

   (c)   in the absence of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson, such other member as the members present may elect for the purpose of that meeting.

   (6) A decision of the Board on any question shall be by a majority of the members present and voting at the meeting and in the event of an equality of votes, the person presiding at the meeting shall have a casting vote in addition to that person’s deliberative vote.

   (7) A member appointed under section 6(1)(a) and (b) who is, for any reason, unable to attend a meeting of the Board may, in writing, nominate another person from the same organisation to attend the meeting in that member’s stead and that person shall be deemed to be a member for the purpose of that meeting.

   (8) The Board may invite a person, whose presence is in its opinion desirable, to attend and to participate in the deliberations of the meeting of the Board, but that person shall have no vote.

   (9) The validity of any proceedings, acts or decisions of the Board shall not be affected by a vacancy in the membership of the Board or by any defect in the appointment of a member or by reason that a person not entitled to do so took part in the proceedings.

   (10) The Board shall cause minute s to be kept of the proceedings of every meeting of the Board and every meeting of a committee of the Board.

9.   Committees of Board

   (1) The Board may, for the purpose of performing its functions under this Act, establish such committees as it considers necessary and delegate to any of those committees such of its functions as it may determine.

   (2) The Board may appoint as members of a committee, persons who are or are not members, except that at least one member of a committee shall be a member of the Board.

   (3) A person serving as a member of a committee shall hold office for such period as the Board may determine.

   (4) Subject to any specific or general direction of the Board, a committee may regulate its own procedure.

10.   Emoluments

A member of the Board or any committee of the Board shall be paid such emoluments as the Emoluments Commission may determine.

11.   Executive Director, Directors, Secretary and other staff

   (1) The Board shall appoint the Executive Director of the Bureau on such terms and conditions as it may determine with the approval of the Emoluments Commission.

   (2) The Executive Director shall be the chief executive officer of the Bureau and shall be responsible, under the direction of the Board, for the day-to-day administration of the Bureau.

   (3) The Executive Director shall attend meetings of the Board and may address a meeting, but shall not vote on any matter.

   (4) The Board may appoint, on such terms and conditions as it may determine with the approval of the Emoluments Commission, the Directors, Secretary and such other staff as it considers necessary for the performance of the functions of the Bureau and Board under this Act.

   (5) The Secretary shall perform corporate secretarial duties for the Board and such other functions as the Board may determine, under the direction of the Board and the Executive Director.

12.   Standards Consultative Forum

   (1) The Board may, whenever the need arises, convene an ad hoc consultative forum consisting of representatives of organisations and State institutions with an interest in promoting standardisation in industry and commerce.

   (2) The Standards Consultative Forum shall—

   (a)   consider matters that promote consumer protection, industrial efficiency and development through standardisation;

   (b)   make recommendations to the Board on—

      (i)   the impact of standards in public safety and health and factors affecting compliance with standards;

      (ii)   areas of cooperation to secure the adoption of standards; and

      (iii)   any other matter on which the Board requests for input for purposes of this Act; and

   (c)   recommend areas for law reform taking into account international best practice.

   (3) The Board shall establish rules for the procedure of the standards consultative forum which are consistent with the provisions of this Act.

13.   Disclosure of interest

   (1) A person who is present at a meeting of the Board or a committee of the Board at which any matter is the subject of consideration, and in which matter that person or that person’s relative or associate is directly or indirectly interested in a private capacity shall, as soon as is practicable after the commencement of the meeting, declare that interest and shall not, unless the Board or the committee otherwise directs, take part in any consideration or discussion of, or vote on, any question relating to, that matter.

   (2) A disclosure of interest made under sub-section (1) shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting at which it is made.

   (3) A person who contravenes sub-section (1) commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand penalty units or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both.

14.   Prohibition of publication or disclosure of information to unauthorised persons

   (1) A person shall not, without the consent, in writing, given by or on behalf of the Bureau, publish or disclose to an unauthorised person, otherwise than in the course of that person’s duties, the contents of a document, communication or information which relates to, or which has come to the knowledge of that person in the course of that person’s duties under this Act.

   (2) A person who contravenes sub-section (1) commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both.

   (3) A person who, having any information which to the knowledge of that person has been published or disclosed in contravention of sub-section (1), unlawfully publishes or communicates the information to another person commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both.

15.   Immunity

An action or other proceeding shall not lie or be instituted against a member of the Board, committee of the Board or a member of staff of the Bureau for, or in respect of, an act or thing done or omitted to be done in good faith in the exercise or performance of any of the powers conferred under this Act.

PART III
ZAMBIAN NATIONAL STANDARDS

16.   Zambian National Standards

   (1) The Bureau shall establish and maintain a system to develop and publish Zambian National Standards in conformity with international norms and best practice.

   (2) The Bureau may, in the development of a Zambian National Standard—

   (a)   establish national technical committees and provide for their composition, functions and tenure; and

   (b)   recognise standards development organisations for a specified scope of activity, except that such organisations shall comply with the criteria set out in the standard development process referred to in sub-section (3).

   (3) The Bureau shall develop and maintain a standard to provide for the process to be used to set or amend and approve a Zambian National Standard.

   (4) The Zambian National Standard referred to in sub-section (1) shall be approved by the Board and shall comply with the requirements of international and regional trade agreements to which Zambia is a party.

   (5) The Bureau may withdraw a Zambian National Standard if it is no longer required or is outdated or cannot be amended or revised.

   (6) Where the Zambian National Standard referred to in sub-section (5) is used in regulation or incorporated in a written law, the Bureau shall consult the relevant State institution responsible for the regulation of the written law before withdrawing the Zambian National Standard.

17.   Development of normative and informative documents

   (1) The Bureau may develop, publish, amend and withdraw normative and informative documents other than Zambian National Standards.

   (2) A document published in terms of sub-section (1) shall specify that the document does not have the status of a Zambian National Standard.

18.   Publication of standard

   (1) The Bureau shall publish a Zambian National Standard, including an amendment, revision or withdrawal of the Zambian National Standard, in the Gazette.

   (2) The notice in the Gazette shall—

   (a)   state the title, number and date of issue of the Zambian National Standard; and

   (b)   contain a summary of the scope and purpose of the Zambia National Standard or its amendment.

   (3) Despite the provisions of any other written law, a person shall not issue a document which creates or may create the impression that it contains or is a Zambian National Standard.

19.   Incorporation of standard in legislation

   (1) A Zambian National Standard that is published in the Gazette pursuant to section 18 may be incorporated in any law by reference or title and number.

   (2) Where a Zambian National Standard is incorporated in any law in terms of sub-section (1) without indicating the year or edition number and that Zambian National Standard is amended or revised, the amended or revised Zambian National Standard shall be deemed to have been incorporated.

20.   Copyright in standard and publication

   (1) Despite the provisions of any other law—

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