National Mine Action Standards (NMAS) are developed to customise the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) to fit the environment and context of a particular country. They are intended to:

  • regulate mine action
  • improve safety and efficiency
  • provide common agreed levels of performance
  • improve coordination
  • ensure national capacity building and national ownership
  • ensure confidence in mine action
  • assist states in meeting their treaty obligations

While drafting the NMAS it is important that the national mine action authority (NMAA) and the mine action centre (MAC):

  • fully understand the mine/explosive remnant of war problem in the country
  • engage all stakeholders in the process
  • respect the principles represented by IMAS

The NMAS should include norms and policies already in place and any requirements of the NMAA and demining operators in the country. They address functional components of mine action (mine risk education, survey, clearance, stockpiles, victim assistance), as well as mine action activities (accreditation, surveying, marking, reporting, clearing, battle area clearance explosive ordnance, handover, monitoring, inspection of mine dogs, machines and medical support etc).

In most cases, the NMAA delegates responsibility to the MAC to draft the NMAS, while retaining responsibility for their formal approval.

On behalf of the United Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the GICHD develops, maintains and promotes the IMAS and provides training and advice on the design and development of initial NMAS, or the review and revision of the existing ones on request. The GICHD has supported many mine-affected countries and will continue to provide this support in the future.

The support provided varies depending on need and includes training on the establishment of the relevant chapters and their content, as well as a national review process to review and endorse NMAS. On request, the GICHD also reviews respective countries' NMAS and provides feedback on how they compare to IMAS, or the NMAS of other countries. To help share information and knowledge within the mine action community, the NMAS of some mine-affected countries are posted on the IMAS website in Arabic, English and French.