Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) was established under the Ministry of Industry and Trade by an Act of Parliament, the Standards Act No.3 of 1975 as the National Standards Institute and became operational in April 1976. It was subsequently renamed Tanzania Bureau of Standards through an amendment to the Act by Act No.1 of 1977. The Standards Act No. 3 was later repealed and replaced by the Standards Act No. 2 of 2009, which gave the Bureau more powers in carrying out its mandate.
The Bureau was established as part of the efforts by the government to strengthen the supporting institutional infrastructure for the industry and commerce sectors of the economy. Specifically, TBS was mandated to undertake measures for quality control of products of all descriptions and to promote standardization in industry and commerce.