ANSA was established in 2004 by Presidential Decree 952 under the Ministry of Commerce and Industries which was the cornerstone for the establishment of a standards body. Through 2007, the operations of this body were limited due to a lack of human resources, budget, work plan and strategy. The government then placed greater attention in this area. The Council of Ministers approved ANSA as an Independent entity in August 2007 - the first step towards a fully functioning standards body in the country. Recognizing the needs of modern business and cross-border trade - vital for the Afghan private sector - the Parliament of Afghanistan also ratified this decision in February 2008. ANSA now works toward the following objectives:
- Serve Afghan stakeholders (government, industry and consumers etc) in the fields of standardization, conformity assessment, accreditation and metrology
- Improve commercial interactions, build the technical infrastructure and capacity, develop human resources, and establish closer ties amongst relevant institutions
- Encourage the private sector to participate in standardization, conformity assessment, accreditation and metrology activities to contribute to commercial interactions within Afghanistan
- Enhance implementation of international standards as well as regional and national standards and their application in business and industry
- Improve awareness of the role and to promote the benefits of standardization and conformity assessment, accreditation and metrology amongst government, the private sector and the general public.
ANSA operates in 13 fields (Food and Agricultural Products, Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics, Construction Materials, Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants, Electro-technical, Textile, Metrology, Environment, Demining and Afghanistan building codes (Structural Codes, Architectural Codes, Urban Development Codes and Highway and Bridge Codes) and plans to expand its activities to new fields. Technical committees (TC) are being established in all fields of operation.