A new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ASTM International and the Afghan National Standardization Authority (ANSA) will promote communication in standards development, facilitate technology transfer and trade, and improve the quality of life in Afghanistan by enhancing public safety, health and environmental welfare through the utilization of ASTM standards.
With members from 125 countries, ASTM International is a non-governmental organization developing globally accepted and utilized standards and technical documents which meet the requirements of the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement. ANSA is an independent agency of the Government of Afghanistan, responsible for all aspects of the establishment, maintenance, dissemination and enforcement of national standards and technical regulations for that nation. The Honorable Ziauddin Zia, Deputy Minister of Commerce of Afghanistan, who also serves as the Director of the ANSA, and Eugene Julies of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) visited ASTM International Headquarters in mid November to introduce the newly established Afghan Standardization Authority and to sign the MOU.
The MOU, the 43rd signed between ASTM International and a national standards body, will provide the opportunity for ANSA and ASTM to have closer communications and allow ASTM International's technical resources to strengthen the national standards system of Afghanistan. ASTM International provided the complete set of its 12,000 standards to ANSA for its use in developing Afghanistan National standards. ASTM and ANSA will jointly take steps to encourage and support greater Afghan participation in ASTM standards development activities and in laboratory proficiency testing programs, and will pursue professional exchange programs for ANSA experts to come to ASTM International Headquarters for extended study of the ASTM International standards development process.