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:
October 2018
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 is important because it gives an opportunity for both countries to align or harmonize standards between the two countries.

Within the broader agreement 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 amongst 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 chemical risk assessment, including minimizing the duplication of effort in 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 is expected to generate work plans that describe specific collaborative activities between ECCC, HC and EPA.

Canada’s involvement

As an issue where alignment of Canadian and U.S. approaches is beneficial to government and stakeholders, this partnership statement puts in place a mechanism for systematic discussions to identify chemical risk assessment elements where collaboration could be beneficial. Outcomes of this initiative will support 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 May 2015, focuses on collaboration and alignment with respect to risk assessment approaches and regulatory reporting requirements for new uses of chemical substances (SNAc provisions in Canada and SNURs in the U.S.). These work plans are intended to conclude in December 2017.

Results

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

In May 2015, ECCC and the U.S. EPA published an RCC Regulatory Partnership Statement which identifies a process by which government and stakeholders will identify areas of interest for future work plans.

The current RCC work plan collaboration is well supported by stakeholders and is resulting in collaborative work in the areas of risk assessment and regulatory reporting requirements for new uses of chemical substances (SNAc provisions in Canada and SNURs in the U.S.).

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