The standards department is responsible for the development of ‘National Standards’ called ‘Sierra Leone Standards. But companies, trade associations and consortia may produce standards for their own purposes. For national application, a national standards body like the ‘Sierra Leone Standards Bureau’ may develop a national standard that has been developed by international consensus and published by one of the main international standards organizations (ISO, IEC, ITU, Codex Alimentarius Commission, etc). The advantage of adopting international standards is that when two countries adopt the same international standard, trade between is simplified.

The Standards department of the ‘Bureau’ is responsible for the development of standards in all fields and the ‘Bureau’ serves two major groups in developing standards. Firstly, authorities need ‘national standards’ as a basis for establishing technical regulations and SPS measures. Secondly, industries require standards as the basis for design and manufacturing.

Thus, standards development programmes should therefore reflect the needs of these two groups. In view, of the dynamic growth of international trade, national standards should remain as close to international standards as possible,(i.e. national versions should be kept to an absolute minimum, in order to help industry connect with outside markets more easily.

The World Trade Organization Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO/TBT) recognizes the contribution that international standardization can make to the transfer of technology from developed to developing countries, and the role of international standards and conformity assessment systems in improving the efficiency of production and in facilitating international trade.