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:
February 2022
Reference #:

Plain language summary

In 2010, Canada and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the Agency responsible for chemical management in the European Union, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This agreement, based on technical and scientific cooperation, contributes to sharing expertise between the European Union (EU) and Canada on matters related to chemicals management. Cooperative work with the EU and other partners helps Canada improve the efficiency of its domestic risk assessment and chemicals management system.


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 gain efficiencies by:

  • sharing of programme knowledge, chemical information and regulatory practice and harmonization of scientific methods; and
  • creating convergence 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 technical cooperation leading to increased efficiencies, reduced resources requirements and avoiding duplication;
  • support global action on issues and substances of global concern;
  • share science-based approaches, leading to reduced barriers to trade.

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) provides legislative authority for chemicals management in Canada.

Results / progress


Implementation of this agreement is achieved through technical meetings and a multi-year work plan. The work plan addresses specific items along five areas of cooperation:

  • Technical Knowledge Exchange;
  • Inventory and Prioritization Activities;
  • Information Collection and Management Tools;
  • Risk Assessment Tools and Approaches; and
  • Risk Management Approaches.


Developed networks of expertise and better understanding of chemicals-related regulatory issues.  

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

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