Under the recommendation of second meeting of the Sub-Group on Standards and Quality of SAARC held on 30-31 August 2006 in Islamabad, Pakistan, the first meeting of the SAARC Standards Coordination Board (SSCB) agreed to set up Sectoral Technical Committee (STC) on Food and Agricultural Products; Electrical, Electronics, Telecom and IT; Jute, Textile and Leather and Building Materials. Later, the SSCB in its second meeting established STC on Chemical and Chemical Products. Moreover, the first Technical Management Board (TMB) of SARSO recommended for establishing STC on Conformity Assessment.
The first meeting of SSCB also agreed to select between thirty to fifty products with strong potential for regional trade. In this context, the SSCB agreed to initially start work on harmonization of Standards on Cement, Sugar, Biscuits, Skimmed Milk Powder, Vegetable Ghee, Instant Noodles, Electric Cables, Steel Tubes, Structural Steel, Textile Fabric, Jute, and Toilet Soap.
The process of development of SAARC Standards starts with preparation of comparative chart of National Standards of Member States on approved item. This comparative chart then circulated by the SARSO Secretariat among the Member States for their comments. These comments are then discussed by the Member States in the concern STC meeting and agreed to prepare a draft SAARC Standards. The draft SAARC Standard (DSS) then circulated by the SARSO Secretariat among the Member States for submission of comments. Theses comments are then discussed by the Member States in the concern STC meeting and agreed to prepare a final draft SAARC Standard (FDSS). This FDSS then circulated by the SARSO Secretariat among the Member States for comments. The concern STC then discusses on comments if received from the Member States and finalize the FDSS. The concern STC then forwarded the FDSS to the Technical Management Board (TMB) of SARSO for consideration. The TMB after consideration on the FDSS recommend to the Governing Board (GB) of SARSO for approval. The SARSO Secretariat after approval of the GB publishes as SAARC Standard.
Following are the Directives that define the procedures for the development of SAARC Standards: