Canada-Europe agreement on chemicals

Official title: Memorandum of Understanding between the European Chemicals Agency and Environment and Climate Change Canada / Health Canada

Subject category:
Chemicals and Wastes
Type of agreement / instrument:
Memorandum of Understanding
Signed by Canada: May 21, 2010.
Lead & partner departments:
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Health Canada
For further information:
Web links:
MOU between the European Chemicals Agency and Environment Canada / Health Canada
Compendium edition:
October 2018
Reference #:

Plain language summary

In 2010 Canada and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), (the Agency responsible for chemical management in Europe) signed an agreement to cooperate on chemicals management. This Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) was the first bilateral agreement for the European Chemicals Agency. This agreement, based on technical and scientific cooperation, is important because it contributes to sharing expertise and knowledge transfer between Europe and Canada. Through the cooperative work maintained in this engagement, Canada works to improve the efficiency in its’ domestic risk assessment and management of chemicals.


The objective of this agreement is to enhance technical cooperation in order to share knowledge, exchange experience and best practice on matters of mutual interest related to chemicals management.

Key elements

This arrangement includes provisions for:

  • scientific collaboration/information exchange on the risk assessment of chemicals;
  • exchange of operational experience and strengthening regulatory capacities;
  • active dissemination of public information and publications related to each other’s activities;
  • information exchange on matters of common interest, including emerging priorities.

Expected results

This agreement is expected to help support efficiencies by:

  • providing the sharing of knowledge, chemical information and regulatory practice, assisting in work sharing and as well as harmonization of scientific methods;
  • creating convergence of thinking between regulators on chemicals management, allowing for the sharing and use of chemical information across international organizations.

Canada’s involvement

This agreement is important to Canada because it can:

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

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

Results / progress


Implementation of this agreement is achieved through a rolling work-plan, which is updated on an annual basis. The work plan addresses specific items into areas of cooperation as outlined below:

  • General Knowledge Exchange;
  • Inventory Activities;
  • Information Collection and Management Tools;
  • Assessment Tools and Approaches;
  • Generic Risk Management Approaches.


Developed networks of expertise and better understanding of regulatory issues with regards to chemicals.

Exchanges of information, sharing of tools and methodologies for risk assessments, peer review of assessments, on-going dialogue sharing information on respective regimes.

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