Quality management as well as Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) infrastructures play a critical role in supporting the trade capacity of Afghanistan. Afghan exporters frequently face bottlenecks due to requirements for standards, quality controls, certifications and inspections. Trade development requires the provision of comprehensive national quality and SPS infrastructures including policy, regulatory frameworks and effective services to the private sector.Considering that quality management and SPS infrastructures are vital for market access (both domestic and global), the Ministries and agencies involved in these infrastructures will play a vital role in developing standards, assessing quality assurance, inspections, accreditations and metrology, in order to achieve a comprehensive infrastructure and functional system particularly on major export products.The quality component of the project is addressed through two outputs:
Given the high significance of quality and standards as non-tariff barriers for exporters, and the relevance of agricultural products in Afghanistan’s export portfolio, the institutional infrastructure dealing with quality and SPS (food safety and plant health) will be reviewed as part of the development of the NES, specifically taking into consideration regional market requirements and international practices. The main technical requirements and conformity assessment procedures for selected export priority products will be collected as input to the NES design process and to the development of a roadmap that addresses the specific issues and challenges.
This is an important input for the development of the NES chapters and roadmaps to strengthen Afghanistan’s quality and SPS framework and for focusing on realistic action planning.
A number of priority interventions for quality and SPS will also be validated in the design phase of the NES to expedite and facilitate tangible results to improve export performance and improve the quality and safety of the supply of different products to the domestic market.
The NES components related to quality and SPS, as well as the action plans and validation of the priority interventions, will be done in a consultative process involving MAIL, Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), ANSA, and relevant institutions and implementing agencies.
Priority interventions will be implemented based on key issues identified and detailed in action fiches developed during the NES design process. The “quick win” activities implemented will create tangible results by creating the momentum necessary to improve specific issues constraining Afghanistan’s trade competitiveness. Given the established need to strengthen the quality and SPS infrastructures in Afghanistan, a number of indicative activities have already been highlighted as priorities. These activities will be validated during the NES design process in close consultation with the private and public sector. Stakeholders will include ANSA and other Ministries such as MAIL, MoPH, MoCI and TSIs. Technical and advisory support, coaching, mentoring, training and tools will be provided to the relevant public and private institutions, including ANSA, MAIL, MoPH, MoCI, ACCI, EPPA, to strengthen their service quality to SMEs. ITC training materials, tools and publications in the area of Standards and Quality Management will also be made available to ANSA for initiating the establishment of the training centre. Furthermore, regional mentoring approaches from other national standard bodies will be considered (such as India, Turkey and Tajikistan) to assist the strengthening of the services at ANSA, including their experience with training centres and building the capacity of the ANSA auditing forces.
ITC will assist the exporters understand their technical journey
We will work towards strengthening the following required infrastructures