Archived: Canada-Australia cooperation on industrial chemicals: 2015

SUBJECT CATEGORY:

Chemicals and Wastes

TYPE OF AGREEMENT / INSTRUMENT:

Bilateral

FORM:

Cooperative Arrangement

STATUS:

Signed by Canada on September 16, 2011

LEAD & PARTNER DEPARTMENTS:

Lead: Health Canada

Partner: Environment Canada

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

Web Links: N/A

Contacts:

COMPENDIUM EDITION:

January 2015

REFERENCE #:

B-C&W-1/EN

Objective

The objective of this arrangement is to:

  • achieve efficiencies of resources in new and existing industrial chemical reviews;
  • to gain increased knowledge of each other’s risk assessment and management approaches and practices;
  • to facilitate exchange of operational experience to strengthen regulatory capacities on mutual interest matters; and
  • to lead to greater harmonisation where appropriate with the aim of protecting human health and the environment.

Key Elements

This arrangement includes provisions for:

  • exchanging of information on new chemicals;
  • working cooperatively through joint projects of mutual interest;
  • sharing of assessment and management related expertise; and
  • adopting, when desirable and where possible, consistent practices and regulatory approaches.

Expected Results

This arrangement is of benefit to both industry and governments:

  • Governments - reduced duplication of activities including assessments, research, and the development of risk management mechanisms;
  • Industry - shorter product to market times and greater comparability between regulatory schemes in both economies.

Canada’s Involvement

This arrangement is important to Canada because it:

  • Advances delivery of domestic mandate through work sharing leading to increased efficiencies, reduced resources and avoiding duplication;
  • Supports global action on issues and substances of global concern;
  • Shares the science base leading to reduced barriers to trade.

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) provides general authority for action.

Results / Progress

Activities

Implementation of this arrangement will be achieved through a cooperative work program (outlined in a work plan) and adopted on an annual basis. The work program addresses six specific areas of cooperation as outlined below:

  • New Chemicals issues;
  • Risk assessment methodologies;
  • Risk Assessment and Risk Management issues, persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals;
  • High-level Program information/knowledge Exchange;
  • Predictive toxicology;
  • Nanomaterials.

Results

Australian legislation has recognized Canada as a “Competent Authority” which allows sharing of Canadian new substances assessments with Australia (NICNAS). The company notifying in Australia realizes significant benefit in reduced notification obligations and a reduced notification fee.

Australia serves as a peer-reviewer for Canadian assessment reports on new and existing chemicals.

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