ABOUT National Standards Division
The Standards Publication, Training and Technical Assistance (SPTTA) Unit is one of the three (3) Units of the National Standards Division. It publishes and gazettes national standards and provides training and technical assistance services to our stakeholders on standards implementation.
Click here for more info on published/gazetted standards
Click here for more info on our training services
The main objective of SPTTA is to meet the growing needs and expectations of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for quality training in the fields of standardization as to enable them to manufacture quality products, hence improving their competitiveness and access to regional and international markets.
Special attention to technical assistance, TA, programme (to encourage SMEs to apply for the assistance). A webpage to cover that information and different sectors being covered: automobile repair shops (garages), wood, textiles and leather, beaty saloons, etc
Application forms along with required information (explanations)
Training programmes and costing.
Rwanda Standards Board has established a cutting-edge online platform to ease standards access 24/7 a week. Standards can be accessed anytime anywhere through the RSB Online WebStore available here. (included the hyperlink for the online webstore) and any other information on Rwanda trade procedures is accessed through Rwanda Trade Portal (include a hyperlink: https://rwandatrade.rw/).
Types of standards available
From our Standards store and online platforms, you can access standards that were developed through three methods:
Development of indigenous standards (home-grown standards, purely local standards)
Harmonization process (East African Standards (EAS)
African Organization for Standardization (ARSO ) standards)
Adoption process (using standards by international standardization bodies such as ISO, IEC, ASTM and IEEE)
ASTM Standards adopted as Rwanda Standard
ISO Standard adopted as Rwanda Standard
Codex Alimentarius Commission Standards adopted as Rwanda Standard
ISO/IEC Standard adopted as Rwanda Standard
OIML Standards adopted as Rwanda Standard
IEC Standards adopted as Rwanda Standard
AOAC Standards adopted as Rwanda Standard
IEEE Standards adopted as Rwanda Standard
East African Standard adopted as Rwanda Standard
ARSO Standards adopted as Rwanda Standard
Service & products, benefits of enquiry point and; information resources at the NEP.
In accordance with article 10.7 of TBT agreement, all members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are required to be as transparent as possible on issues related to standards, technical regulations and procedures of assessing the conformity of goods and services to relevant standards. Members are, therefore, required to notify WTO Secretariat, indicating standards and technical regulations being prepared or in the process of adoption.
It is in this scope that country members are required to set up a National Enquiry Point (NEP) to handle information on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT).
Rwanda Standards Board has been designated as the WTO/TBT National Enquiry Point, to ensure that manufacturers, importers and exporters get the latest information on standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures available in their target market.
Benefits of WTO/TBT NEP:
Access to WTO notifications
Information on export market requirements
Keep track of product requirements in export markets
Make the public aware of other member countries requirements with regard to standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures
Contribute to the implementation and development of standard/technical regulation and conformity procedures that will not have any unnecessary barriers to trading partners
Stakeholders are able to share information they receive from the ePing alert with their local counterparts
2.2.3 Information resources
The ePing SPS/TBT platform facilitates tracking sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) and technical barriers to trade (TBT) measures. As a user, you can:
Browse notifications on new and updated product standards and regulations.
Find information on trade concerns discussed in the WTO SPS and TBT committees.
Reach out to national and international counterparts.
ISO members have the primary responsibility for the sale and distribution of ISO publications in their national territories, either in their original form or as translations or national adoptions. For this purpose, ISO has increased access to their standards where an “ISOlution webstore” platform has been developed to enable customers to buy ISO standards via ISO member’s website (RSB). In addition to the wide access to standards, the platform offers to Rwandan customers, top class standards access in Rwandan local currency.
Rwanda Standards are priced basing on technical part of the standards i.e. from scope up to Annexes (if any). Therefore, preliminary pages together with bibliography (if any) and cover page are not be charged;
a) Once the Standard is revised, the client is entitled to the first copy of the revision for free to replace the old edition, other edition of the standards will be charged as per the approved scheme;
b) The price of Standards covers all types of published Standards (i.e new and revised, standards of Rwanda origin and those adopted ones);
c) Discount of 20% is allocated for Small or Medium Enterprises (SMEs), client buying more than one copy of standards for any purpose of multiplying standards copies including but not limited to training purpose. It important to note that when it is needed to make more than one copy, the first copy of the standard is charged 100%;
d)membership subscription (to have full access to Rwanda Standards) can be guaranteed to government and other interested institutions, on given price approved by the Board of Directors. The license agreement specifies the period, the use for downloaded standards and termination of the license;
e) selling other regional and international standards considers the set schemes from the relevant organizations. RSB can sell adopted regional/international standards in accordance with this pricing scheme whenever it does not compromise their own commercial terms;
g) withdrawn publications no longer carry the status of Rwanda Standards. However, recognizing that withdrawn publications can be important for research and litigation purposes, RSB endeavors to ensure that copies continue to be available for sale and continues to hold and protect the copyright over them.
Rwanda Standards cannot be copied or shared on an electronic network without explicit authorization from RSB.
Draft Rwanda Standards or Rwanda Standards in hard or soft copy, is permitted free of charge exclusively for TC members and the general but at the time of public review period
The reproduction of Rwanda Standards in hard copy or electronic formats, for the purpose of meetings the following principles apply:
Only purchased copies of original RS can be reproduced, but each page of each electronic/hard copy must include a watermark with an acknowledgement such as Copied by (name of End User) with the permission of RSB;
Permission to reproduce Rwanda Standards should formally be given by RSB in an appropriate form (email, letter, licensing agreement);
RSB’s published content by anyone requires written approval by RSB and entails payment of a fee in accordance with pricing scheme and
The total number of pages of the RS reproduced must not be more than 25% of the document the material is reproduced in
For incorporating RS or parts of RS in national regulation and internal end user documents such as manuals, procedures among others, the following rules apply:
the End User must seek authorization and document must carry an acknowledgement as described above;
all Rwanda Standards, national adoptions, their Drafts and other works must carry a copyright notice in a suitable place that is clearly visible, together with an abbreviated copyright notice on each page;
Having contributed to the development of the Rwanda Standards; committee members, their employers and nominating organizations are not thereby entitled to reproduce the content of the published standard. Requests to do so require written permission from RSB.
Technical Assistance (TA) Service
The technical assistance (TA) service provides technical support or technical guidance on standards implementation. This is provided in the form of training, coaching, advisory service, attachment for knowledge development purpose or consultancy services. The TA services are in two categories, one covered by Zamukana Ubuziranenge Programme where it is provided to SMEs under Government funding whereas the second is TA services provided to self-funded SMEs or funded by external donors.
Zamukana Ubuziranenge Programme (also known as Small and Medium Entreprises (SMEs) and MSMEs Maturity Model) is a programme that was introduced by the Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) and Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) in 2017. The programme aims at gradually supporting Small and Medium Enterprises towards complying with standards requirements and hence position them to acquiring certification marks.
In the beginning, the Programme focused on SMEs and MSMEs owned by women, youth and people with disability; but its scope was later expanded to include all industry startups. The Programme is based on conducting SMEs initial assessment to establish their standing vis-à-vis relevant standards requirements, and therefore, assessed industries are categorized according to Red, Yellow, Orange and Green colors.
How is it implemented?
After initial assessment, the enterprise undertakes training and coaching process prior to undergoing the final assessment to evaluate the industry’s performance and its readiness to be certified. Zamukana Ubuziranenge Programme is implemented in an industry-centered approach, accompanying the SME in the journey to compliance with quality and safety standards through training and coaching activities carried out in an on-plant basis.
Linkage with other RSB services
Zamukana Ubuziranenge Programme is implemented by the help of other RSB services, i.e. training on standards and coaching, quality testing and is linked to the existing RSB certification systems and plays the role of systematically building the capacity of food SME’s towards product certification (S-Mark) and further systems certification schemes. The standards requirements are structured in way that consider the context and nature of food SMEs and are associated with different food safety performance levels. For each maturity level, the model defines the key measurable factors and tools that a company needs in order to move from a lower to a higher food safety performance. In the event where a company’s food safety performance level has been established, there is time allowed to stay at this stage to build a stronger foundation which will help the company to move to a better food safety performance level. This level can also be used to develop food safety improvement roadmap using key measurable factors and tools of the upper level. Each standard level has the minimum requirements which an SME needs to fulfill so as to be qualified to that particular level and encourage further growth.
More opportunities embedded in Zamukana Ubuziranenge program
The Zamukana Ubuziranenge Programme facilitates start-up SMEs to cope with the standardization services costs. In addition to the 50% grant accorded through the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) initiative to support certification of Made in Rwanda products/services. Also, the programme eases payment of services in installments whereby the client pays for the services required at his/her performance level in relation to the Maturity Model. This form of cost breakdown eases SME’s acquisition of service fees to be paid.
In a bid to sustainably empower SMEs and create jobs, a new mechanism to offer practical training to young graduates with relevant knowledge in products processing was introduced. This endeavor started with food processing and will with the time be extended to other sectors. After training, graduates who are also future innovators and permanent staff are placed in industries to provide technical support and help build operat
Zamukana Ubuziranenge helped to promote Domestic Cosmetic Industry
Since 2017, following the campaign to fight the sale of skin bleaching and substandard cosmetic products, RSB resorted to a “Value Chain Approach” to take the opportunity to promote the domestic cosmetic industry, and turn the problem into opportunities through promotion of standards-compliant Made in Rwanda cosmetic products manufacturing. The following activities were done:
Standards, the benchmark for all standardization activity, for cosmetic products and cosmetology services (the beauty and wellness treatment service provision in beauty salons and related services) were developed;
Countrywide identification of Industries and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in cosmetics production was undertaken and identified SMEs were trained on standardization.
Through the Zamukana Ubuziranenge Programme (based on accompanying an SMEs following a Maturity Model), 75 SMEs and Cooperatives were assessed, trained and coached on relevant standards; and
10 SMEs acquired product quality certification for their cosmetic products, while 5 more are under certification process.
60 more SMEs are still undergoing training and coaching on relevant standards, under the Zamukana Ubuziranenge Program, and those are the final stages to position them towards certification.
Beauty and wellness establishments have been an important value chain segment that was also made a priority as most of the manufactured or imported cosmetic products are used in cosmetology services.
RSB conducted a countrywide awareness to the service providers in this area and 108 beauty salons and wellness establishments were assessed, 54 trained on the standards requirements, 19 coached and were found to be complying with relevant standards and are under certification process.
As a result, of the technical assistance through the Zamukana Ubuziranenge Program, since 2017 when the domestic market was flooded by skin bleaching and substandard cosmetic products, only 29 locally made products by one (1) company (SULFO Rwanda Industries) were certified by Rwanda Standards Board. Todate, 91 locally made cosmetic products by 19 companies have acquired RSB Standardization Mark (S-Mark), a mark for quality and safety for product users. Those products have complimented the imported cosmetic products to ease the challenges of traded substandard products.
WHAT DO PRODUCERS GAIN?
PRODUCERS ENJOY ALL SERVICES OFFERED UNDER ZAMUKANA UBUZIRANENGE FREE OF CHARGE (ASSESSMENT, TRAINING, PRODUCT QUALITY TESTING).
WHEN POSITIONED TO CERTIFICATION, THE GOVERNMENT OF RWANDA COVERS 50% OF THE CERTIFICATION FEE THROUGH SUPPORT BY THE RWANDA DEVELOPMENT BOARD (RDB).
“RSB services are delivered in consideration of gender equality to ensure inclusive sustainable socio-economic development”