In Madagascar, standardization was first introduced during the colonial period. The Standardization Bureau set up at the time mainly dealt with the standardization of agricultural products for export.
With independence in 1960, the body responsible for standardization joined the service in charge of packaging under the Ministry of State for Agriculture, Rural Expansion and Supply. In 1966, Madagascar became a member of ISO.
The service in charge of packaging was placed under the Ministry of Commerce in 1984. After having developed and evolved, this service was established in 1989 as a Directorate entitled "Direction de la Qualité et de la Métrologie Légale". Its activities included standardization work, product certification, laboratory testing and legal metrology.
In 1994, the Directorate's attributions did not change, but its official name became "Direction de la Qualité et des Normes". For greater convenience, the name was changed again in 1997, to "Direction de la Normalisation et de la Qualité".
In 1998, with the support of PRIDE/COI (Indian Ocean Commission), Madagascar was able, under the terms of decree n° 98-944 of 1998-11-04, amended by decree n° 204-316 of 2004-03-09, to set up its National Standards Body under the name "Bureau de Normes de Madagascar (BNM)". BNM is a public interest government body.