Canada-US regulatory cooperation council: statement on chemicals

Official title: Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) - Regulatory Partnership Statement (RPS) on Chemicals

Subject category:
Chemicals & Wastes
Type of agreement / instrument:
Canada - United States
Form:
Cooperative Arrangement
Status:
  • Published in May 2015
Lead & partner departments:
Lead:
RCC Secretariat, Treasury Board Secretariat
Partners:
Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
For further information:
Web links:
Contacts:
Compendium edition:
January 2020
Reference #:
C30/EN

Plain language summary

The Regulatory Cooperation Council was created in 2011 between the President of the United States and Canada’s Prime Minister. This cooperative arrangement was important because it gives an opportunity for both countries to align or harmonize standards between the two countries. Under the RCC the two Nations have also established a Regulatory Partnership Statement (RPS) outlining how regulatory cooperation on chemicals could occur.

Within the broader agreement of the RCC, there were specific work items agreed to concerning chemical risk assessment. Through this work, Canada and the U.S. managed to create an Assessment Collaboration Framework (ACF), which facilitates and enhances collaboration between both countries regarding chemical assessment. Canada and the U.S. are committed to working together on chemicals assessment in order to protect human health and the environment. Joint-cooperation between the US and Canada on the topic of chemicals management will continue to be important to both nations.

Objective

The objective of the Regulatory Partnership Statement is to facilitate collaboration opportunities and reduce barriers to alignment between Canada and U.S. in their approaches to chemicals risk assessment, including minimizing the duplication of effort in the development of assessment and scientific techniques.

Key elements

A key element of the RPS is the identification of a consistent and predictable mechanism for engaging with stakeholders bi-nationally in discussions to identify areas of focus for RCC work plans.

Expected results

The RPS has resulted in work plans that described specific collaborative activities between Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), Health Canada (HC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Canada’s involvement

The RPS put in place a mechanism for regular discussions to identify chemical risk assessment elements where collaboration and alignment could be beneficial to governments and stakeholders. Outcomes of this initiative has supported the implementation of Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan.

Results / progress

Activities

Under the first RCC initiative, ECCC, HC and EPA undertook a successful work plan focused on nanomaterials, resulting in aligned approaches to regulation, priority setting, risk assessment/ risk management and gathering commercial information.

A second work plan, initiated in 2015 and updated in 2016, focused on collaboration and alignment with respect to risk assessment approaches and regulatory reporting requirements for new uses of chemical substances (Significant New Activity (SNAc) provisions in Canada and Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) in the U.S.).

Reports

Final Report on RCC work plan on nanomaterials (PDF)

SNUR programs and SNAc provisions – educational primer

Reports under the risk assessment stream of the chemicals management work plan are available upon request.

Results

Between 2012 and 2014, ECCC, HC and the U.S. EPA collaborated to successfully implement an RCC work plan focused on nanomaterials.

The chemicals assessment work plan updated in 2016 has resulted in collaborative work in the areas of risk assessment and regulatory reporting requirements of new uses of chemical substances. This includes collaboration on risk assessment priorities, a comparative analysis of regulatory risk assessment frameworks, and the development of a SNAc and SNUR educational primer.

An Assessment Collaboration Framework between the U.S. EPA, ECCC, and HC was finalized in 2018, as an initiative of the chemicals management work plan. The Framework enables enhanced alignment on risk assessment of chemicals, including identification of risk assessment priorities, information gathering and sharing, risk assessment methodologies, work sharing and joint assessments.

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