Business Regulatory Review Agency [BRRA]: 2016 T0-Date

Business Regulatory Review Agency [BRRA]: 2016 T0-Date

The British Chamber of Commerce recently joined the Business Regulatory Review Agency (BRRA) in hosting a multi-stakeholder event in Lusaka earlier this week. The event was designed to, other things, provide a snapshot of BRRA as an entity, its main achievements and challenges since inception as well as a regulatory impact assessment report and short-to-medium term focus covering the next three (3) years.

Below is a summary of Business Regulatory Review Agency Director, Sharon Sichilongo’s keynote address:


  • In 2008, Government appointed a Business Licensing Reform Committee (BLRC) whose mandate was to steer implementation of comprehensive business licensing reforms.
  • The BLRC report highlighted that Zambia had a weak regulatory and policy formulation system with limited or no consultation with stakeholders. This resulted in policy and regulatory frameworks that had adverse impacts on private sector development.
  • The report further highlighted that failure to harness and effectively use Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) to streamline licensing processes and develop integrated systems resulted in cumbersome, bureaucratic, inefficient and costly business registration processes.
  • The findings and recommendations of the BLRC provided the basis for government to initiate
  • Business reforms aimed at improving the business environment.
  • One such reform was the enactment of the Business Regulatory Act no. 3 of 2014 as a vehicle for providing a legal framework to govern business regulation and implement recommendations by the BLRC.
  • The BRRA was established as a Statutory Body under Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry (MCTI) by the Business Regulatory Act.


The mandate of BRRA is to:

  • Review and approve proposed policies and laws that affect business activity to ensure they are legitimate and serve the intended purpose; and
  • Coordinate development and implementation of appropriate regulatory interventions in order to improve the delivery of regulatory services and reduce the regulatory burden on businesses.


  • Reviewing and approving proposed policies and laws that affect business activity;
  • Developing and coordinating the implementation of Regulatory Services Centres;
  • Facilitating the development and implementation of Single Licensing Systems for regulating business activity;
  • Managing and updating the e-Registry;
  • Issuing guidelines and standards for Regulatory Impact Assessments and undertaking Public Consultations;
  • Building capacity in Regulatory Agencies in Regulatory Impact Assessments; and
  • Monitoring and evaluating the business regulatory environment.


  • The following major programmes and activities were undertaken:
  • Review of Regulatory Impact Assessments
  • Regulatory Environment Monitoring
  • Development and Publication of RIA Standards and Guidelines
  • Development and Publication of RIA Handbook
  • Coordination of Regulatory Services Centres
  • E-registry
  • Single Licensing
  • Capacity building in RIA
  • Sensitisation and Awareness


Section 6 of the Act provides as follows.

  1. A public body shall only submit to Cabinet for approval a policy or proposed law to regulate business activity if that policy or proposed law has the prior approval of the Business Regulatory Agency.
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  3. A public body that intends to introduce any policy or proposed law for regulating business activity shall:

(a) Give notice in in writing to the Agency, of the intention to introduce or review a regulatory framework or policy regulating business activity, at least two months before submitting it to Cabinet.

(b) hold public consultation for at least thirty (30) days with:

1) Persons or proprietors of business enterprises who shall be affected by the proposed regulatory frameworks;

2) Persons or proprietors of business enterprises who shall benefit from the proposed regulatory


3) Regulatory agencies and other public officers who will implement the proposed regulatory frameworks;

4) All other relevant stakeholders


  • The Agency has reviewed and approved seven (7) RIAs reports since June 2016 from various institutions. These include:
    • ZNBC
    • CCPC
    • ZICTA
    • WARMA
    • Ministry of Transport and Communication
    • Health Professions Council of Zambia
    • PACRA
  • Received 11 notifications which are currently at different stages.


  • A Regulatory Services Centre (RSC) is a One Stop Unit established to facilitate one-stop compliance with multiple regulatory requirements by multiple Regulatory Agencies under one roof in order to provide for an efficient and effective business regulatory clearance system.
  • The RSCs are aimed at streamlining business registration procedures and reducing the time it takes to comply with business regulations by offering the services of various Regulatory Agencies under one roof.
  • The RSCs also serve to increase accessibility of business regulatory services as well as facilitate promotion of investment.


  • The BR Act No. 3 of 2014 provides for establishing and operationalizing an RSC at least in each Province.
  • Four (04) RSCs have been established and operationalised so far. These are located in Lusaka, Livingstone, Kitwe and Chipata.
  • Assessments for suitable accommodation for RSCs were conducted in Solwezi, Kasama, Mansa and Chinsali.
  • Office accommodation for RSCs was identified in Solwezi and Kasama. The two RSCs have been targeted for establishment and operationalisation by December 2018.


  • Business Name Registration;
  • Company Incorporation;
  • Name Clearance;
  • Registration of trademarks and other intellectual property rights;
  • Tax Payer Identification Number Registration;
  • Tax Clearance;
  • Registration for Preferential Procurement;
  • Employer/Employee Registration;
  • Registration of Suppliers;
  • Registration of Cooperatives;
  • Business Clearance under Local Authorities;
  • Tourism Services; and
  • Online services;


  • BRRA is coordinating the implementation of the One Stop Shop Integration System (OSSIS).
  • The OSSIS is meant to compliment RSCs by facilitating sharing of information on business regulatory requirements among Regulatory Agencies.
  • OSSIS leverages e-platform in business regulation and facilitates sharing of regulatory requirements from another Regulatory Agency which has already collected those requirements.
  • The OSSIS was successfully piloted from 2016 to 2017 with Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA), Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA).


  • The OSSIS Strategic Plan for the period 2017-2018 was developed and the OSSIS is being implemented in three stages as follows:
  • Phase I of OSSIS implemented. I.e. Integration of systems for PACRA, ZRA, NAPSA, WCFCB, FIC and ZPPA.
  • Now it takes on average twenty-four (24) hours to comply with PACRA, ZRA and NAPSA from the Regulatory Services Centres.
  • Phase II under implementation. i.e. integration of ZESCO, ZICTA, RATSA, RDA, Ministry of Mines, Ministry of Lands, Department of Immigration
  • Phase III to be implemented by December 2018 i.e. integration of all other relevant regulatory agencies and Local Authorities.


  • Establishment, maintenance and upgrade of eRegistry by BRRA is provided for under Section 8 of the Business Regulatory Act No.3 of 2014.
  • The Act defines the e-Registry as a centralized database and online transaction platform holding
  • information on licenses and regulations including formalities businesses have to comply with, and capable of facilitating the processing of applications online.
  • The e-Registry was set to be implemented in three (03) stages namely:
  • Informational e-Registry – has been implemented.
  • Implementation of back office licence processing system in regulatory agencies
  • Transactional e-Registry – development being supported by the World Bank.
  • World Bank also supporting development of Noticeand-Comment Platform which will facilitate submission of comments online on proposed regulations affecting business.
  • The link for the e-Registry web portal is 9/4/18
  • The e-Registry contains the following information:
  • Texts of relevant laws and subsidiary legislation on business regulation;
  • Name or title of the business licence;
  • Licence period or validity;
  • Licence fees;
  • Downloadable application forms; and
  • Contacts of issuing Regulatory Agencies.


  • The Business Regulatory Act No.3 of 2014 under Section 10 stipulates that there should be established for businesses in each sector or group of businesses in a sector, a Single Licensing System.
  • Single Licensing System means a licensing system designed to facilitate compliance with multiple licensing requirements by multiple regulatory bodies through a single regulatory point or a Regulatory Services Centre (RSC).
  • In other words, it is an integrated approach to processing and issuing all required licenses and permits for businesses operating in a given sector or sub sector.


  • BRRA analysed regulatory frameworks obtaining in the Tourism Sector and established that businesses needed to comply with a minimum of twelve regulatory agencies to obtain a Tourism Enterprise Licence.
  • The agency proceeded to engage Regulatory Agencies to identify gaps and duplications and it came to light that gaps and duplications do exist and Government intervention is needed.
  • BRRA as a coordinating Agency for Single Licensing Systems for various sectors has developed a roadmap for development and operationalisation of the Single Licensing System for the Tourism Sector.


  • Low staffing levels compromising the capacity of BRRA to effectively implement programmes;
  • Resistance by some regulatory agencies to mainstreaming of RIA in policy and legislation formulation processes.
  • Some Regulatory Agencies have continued to resist the RSC concept making it difficult to effectively implement RSCs as provided for in the B.R. Act No.3 of 2014;
  • Inadequate funding leading to delayed implementation of key programmes including:
    • Roll out of RSCs to all provinces;
    • Re-development of e-Registry platform; and
    • Development of Single licensing Systems for various sectors.


  • Sensitise and train all Local Authorities in RIA by June 2019
  • Capacity building in RIA for Regulatory Agencies
  • Review of regulatory frameworks in the agriculture sector and propose reforms
  • Roll out RSCs to remaining provincial capitals and selected districts;
  • Increase number of services offered in the RSCs and streamline procedures;
  • Full implementation of OSSIS;
  • To establish a Single Licensing Systems in at least five (05) sectors by 2021 and
  • Redevelopment of e-Registry to include transactional and Notice-and-Comment platform