The International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) provide guidance, establish principles and, in some cases, define international requirements and specifications. They are designed to improve safety, efficiency and quality in mine action, and to promote a common and consistent approach to the conduct of mine action operations. The IMAS are intended to be the main guide for the development of National Mine Action Standards (NMAS), Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and training material in mine action.

The United Mine Action Service (UNMAS) is mandated with developing and maintaining the IMAS. Drafting, reviewing and revising the IMAS is conducted by a technical committee with the support of international, governmental and non-governmental organisations. This process is managed and coordinated by the GICHD.

The IMAS Review Board is the highest level at which technical input to IMAS is debated, agreed and forwarded (via the Steering Group) to the UN for final endorsement. The Review Board is chaired by UNMAS and Secretary is tied to the GICHD. Demining non-government organisations, national authorities and mine action centres, commercial demining companies, research and development institutions, donors, UN agencies and, as required, subject specialists, are all represented.

The GICHD manages and updates the IMAS on behalf of UNMAS. Up-to-date IMAS, NMAS and other associated notes and documents are published on the IMAS website.

Technical notes for mine action

A Technical Note (TN) is an advisory document designed to accompany or supplement an International Mine Action Standard (IMAS), or act as an independent source of information. TN are developed by the GICHD at the request of UNMAS in support of the international mine action community. They are reviewed and revised on an annual basis. Developing a new TN or a major amendment to an existing one is subject to the approval of the IMAS Review Board.

CEN workshop agreements

A CEN (Committee European Normalisation) Workshop Agreement (CWA) for humanitarian mine action reflects the consensus of identified individuals and organisations responsible for its contents.

In January 2011, CEN formally notified the GICHD/UNMAS that the ownership rights for CWA have been transferred to UNMAS/the GICHD on behalf of the mine action community. As such, these documents will be relabelled as Test and Evaluation Protocols for Mine Action, while the original document will be kept as CWA. They will be reviewed and amended, when needed, as part of the IMAS/TNMA through the IMAS Review Board in the future.

International ammunition technical guidelines

The International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG) have been developed to improve safety, security and efficiency in conventional ammunition stockpile management, by providing guidance, establishing principles and, in some cases, by referring to other related international requirements and specifications.

The work of preparing, reviewing and revising these guidelines was conducted under the United Nations Safer Guard Programme, by a technical review panel consisting of experts from member states, with the support of international, governmental and non-governmental organisations. The GICHD promotes the IATG by making them available on the IMAS website and IMAS CD/USB cards.