3. Overview of Progress - Revising the NSNR and Guidelines

Work to amend the NSNR and to revise the Guidelines has been initiated and will continue until all recommendations under the five themes have been adequately addressed.

Recommendations which are not yet underway will be initiated in accordance with the Environment Canada/Health Canada Response document.

Environment Canada and Health Canada committed to promulgating the amended NSNR by March 31, 2005. Most of the multistakeholder consultation recommendations addressing amendments to the NSNR relate to the regulatory framework (Theme 2), although some of the changes relate to improving assessments for new substances (Theme 1), and transparency (Theme 3).

Work on the amendments to the NSNR is on track overall. Drafting instructions were completed January 2003 and were provided to Department of Justice lawyers. Meetings with drafters began in February 2003. The first proposed draft of the amended NSNR was sent to stakeholders on June 12, 2003 for a four week comment period. Many comments were received and all were evaluated. Meetings with drafters occurred in October 2003 to incorporate suggestions in the draft regulations. A second draft of the amended NSNR will be distributed to stakeholders for a three week comment period by end of 2003. For several months, discussions have been taking place with the Privy Council Office about the relevance of our process for amending the NSNR to the Smart Regulations Initiative. We are pursuing every opportunity to expedite approval and publication of consensus based changes.

Next steps: Recommendations related to regulatory changes will continue to be addressed. The departments will consult with stakeholders when appropriate. A review of the draft of the amended NSNR will take place, followed by publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I for public comment. Once the new NSNR have been promulgated, the NDSL will be updated annually based on the TSCA Inventory from the previous year (as opposed to annually based on the TSCA five years earlier).

Environment Canada and Health Canada intend to revise the Guidelines for the Notification and Testing of New Substances: Chemicals and Polymers as per the recommendations, most notably those recommendations relating to improving assessments for new substances (Theme 1), the regulatory framework (Theme 2), and transparency (Theme 3).

Status and Next Steps

Work on revising the Guidelines is on track overall. Revisions to the Guidelines have been initiated, although some of the revisions will require further consultation, particularly on the more technical aspects of the Guidelines.

Next steps: Revisions to the Guidelines will be drafted, until all topics have been adequately addressed. Stakeholder input to the Guidelines will be sought, and final publication will occur after promulgation of the amended NSNR. The departments will, in the meantime, continue to communicate guidance to notifiers through the Hotline, Advisory Notes, e-mail and web site updates.

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