Quality & Technical Standards
The Lebanese Standards Institution, known as LIBNOR, is the sole authority in Lebanon charged with issuing, publishing, and amending Lebanese standards. A number of state bodies (including the Ministries of Telecommunications, Energy and Water, Industry, Public Health, Environment, Agriculture, Economy and Trade, and Transport and Public Works) issue technical regulations connected with products in the form of Ministerial Decisions and Council of Ministers Decrees. LIBNOR develops an annual work plan of standards internally.
By law, LIBNOR, affiliated with the Ministry of Industry, is designated as the sole authority in Lebanon to issue, publish, and amend Lebanese voluntary standards. LIBNOR is also designated as the sole authority to give the right to use the Conformity Label (kitemark). Programs for drafting standards are set annually. The Board of Directors approves the annual plans, submitted by LIBNOR’s Director General, for preparing new standards or amending existing ones. The annual program for drafting standards is also available through LIBNOR’s website (www.libnor.org).
The following six laboratories are the main national testing bodies in Lebanon:
Industrial Research Institute (IRI) provides certificates of quality or conformity with standards and purchase requirements. Certificates of conformity or quality, issued by foreign companies such as SGS and Veritas, are also honored in Lebanon. In addition, several ministries issue certificates of conformity. The Ministry of Agriculture has the authority to issue certificates of conformity for exported agricultural products. The Ministry of Economy and Trade issues conformity and export certificates at the request of the exporter. The Ministry of Public Health issues health certificates at the request of the exporter.
Conseil Libanais D’Accreditation (Colibac) is the only accreditation body in Lebanon. Colibac is part of the Ministry of Industry. The Laboratories of Industrial Research Institute (IRI) affiliated with the Ministry of Industry is the authorized chemical and micro-biological laboratory used for accreditation.
Once the board committee agrees on draft standards, LIBNOR announces a trial period of two months. This announcement is sent directly to the National News Agency, several local newspapers, all members of the technical committee, local state television and posted on LIBNOR’s website. Board members may also publish it or make it known to the relevant bodies they represent. Once adopted, all standards and decrees (issuing technical regulations) are published in Lebanon’s “Official Gazette.” Because LIBNOR is not a WTO member yet, there is no formal procedure of notification.