Canada’s regulatory cooperation activities

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Canadian Free Trade Agreement: Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table

The Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) entered into force on , replacing the Agreement on Internal Trade. The CFTA establishes the Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table (RCT) which is a federal-provincial-territorial body that oversees the regulatory reconciliation process to align regulatory frameworks between all provinces/territories, and the federal government in order to reduce barriers to trade, investment, and labour mobility within Canada. It also promotes cooperation in the development of future regulations to avoid regulatory divergences, facilitate innovation and growth in emerging industries, and streamline approval processes to minimize the administrative burden for Canadian businesses.

In 2018, the RCT released its first work plan (PDF, 158 KB) highlighting 23 items for reconciliation. Since then, the RCT has endorsed five reconciliation agreements. The 2019-2020 RCT work plan (PDF, 336 KB) , carriers over items from the previous plan and adds two new initiatives for regulatory reconciliation and three items for regulatory cooperation.

Learn more about regulatory reconciliation (PDF, 47 KB) and the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (external links).

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement- Regulatory Cooperation Forum

The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) (PDF, 1.45 MB) entered into force provisionally on . It is the first Canadian bilateral trade agreement with a stand-alone chapter on regulatory cooperation. The chapter establishes the Regulatory Cooperation Forum (RCF) to facilitate and promote regulatory cooperation between Canada and the European Union (EU). To achieve this, the RCF will consider a broad range of regulatory measures in order to improve regulatory planning, promote transparency, and enhance the efficacy of regulations by seeking to reduce duplication and misalignment. These efforts will help lower trade barriers, make it easier for Canadians to do business in the EU, and improve choice for Canadian consumers.

The second meeting of the RCF was held in February 2020 in Ottawa, Ontario. The meeting included a discussion among the RCF Co-chairs, briefings from regulators on proposed items for the RCF Work Plan, and a debrief to stakeholders regarding the proposed work plan items. The report on the second meeting of the RCF can be found here.

The third Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Regulatory Cooperation Forum will take place on February 9, 2021. The agenda is published on DG Trade’s website and on the Global Affairs Canada website. Following this meeting, on February 10, 2021 Canadian and EU co-chairs will provide a debrief to stakeholders on all active work plan items.

The RCF Work Plan outlines the ongoing activities of the RCF to address issues of regulatory misalignment and barriers to trade. The work plan is a rolling work plan in which new items can be brought forward and added at any time, with the agreement of the RCF Co-chairs. Work plan items are informed by input from Canadian and EU regulators and stakeholders.

Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council

The Canada-United States (U.S.) Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) provides regulators from Canada and the U.S. the opportunity to work together to reduce unnecessary burden on stakeholders, while continuing to protect the health and safety of citizens and the environment.

The RCC provides a forum for stakeholders, including industry, consumers, and non-government organizations, to discuss regulatory barriers and identify opportunities for regulatory cooperation.

The following technical work plans are based on ongoing discussions between Canadian and U.S. regulators. The following table includes links to the 2019-20 RCC Work Plans:

Work Plan Canadian Department U.S. Department Objective
Small Modular Reactors Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission On August 15th, 2019, a detailed Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) was signed between the President of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and the Chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) to enable detailed and specific cooperation on the regulation of activities involving Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and Advanced Reactor designs.
Energy Efficiency Reporting Natural Resources Canada U.S. Department of Energy Since 2014, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) have worked together to align new and updated energy efficiency standards and test methods for energy-using consumer products and equipment. Per stakeholder request, we are now evaluating whether alignment and/or consolidation of information collection is viable under our respective statutory schemes in order to reduce paperwork burden and streamline the collection of information related to compliance with U.S. and Canadian energy efficiency/energy conservation standards for specific appliances.
Precursor Chemical Harmonization and Collaborative Science and Technology Natural Resources Canada U.S. Department of Homeland Security Natural Resources Canada and the Department of Homeland Security will work together to promote harmonization of Precursor Chemical Regulations where achievable, and collectively limit impact on commerce.
Codes and Standards for Low Carbon Alternative Fuel Technologies in Transportation Natural Resources Canada U.S. Department of Energy The objective of this work is to facilitate the use of alternative fuel technologies (hydrogen, electric, natural gas, and propane) into the Canada/U.S. transportation system by supporting the alignment of existing codes and standards, where feasible; and co-developing new binational codes and standards, where applicable.
Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labelling of Chemicals Health Canada U.S. Department of Labor The objective of this collaboration is to ensure that the Canadian and U.S. requirements for hazard classification and communication remain aligned to the greatest extent possible with each other and with the GHS as it is updated. Where possible, the objective is to have one label and one safety data sheet (SDS) that would be acceptable in both countries, while respecting the legislative and regulatory requirements of each country and without reducing the level of safety or protection to workers.
Pesticides Health Canada U.S. Environmental Protection Agency The US Environmental Protection Agency's (US EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) and Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) are working together to foster an atmosphere of ongoing cooperation, collaboration, and regular communication to better align regulatory approaches in the following areas: Alignment of Pesticide Residue Chemistry; Joint Review (JR) Process Improvements (New Chemicals/Uses); Pesticide Re-evaluation and Post-Market Joint Reviews; Pollinator Protection and Neonicotinoid Pesticides; Pest Control Emerging Technologies; New Approach Methodologies (NAMs); and, Emerging Pesticide Issues.
Medical Devices Health Canada U.S. Food and Drug Administration Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will continue to work together on pre and post market regulatory convergence topics, including in particular, through the International Medical Devices Regulators Forum (IMDRF). The IMDRF aims to accelerate international medical device regulatory harmonization and convergence for regulators and stakeholders worldwide. Building upon existing regulatory harmonization initiatives, Health Canada and the FDA will work towards the development of the Medical Device Single Review Program (MDSRP) to improve patient access to medical devices, support innovation, and strengthen standards development. The MDSRP development process, pilot, and program launch will take place over two years from 2019 to 2021.
Veterinary Drugs Health Canada U.S. Food and Drug Administration The FDA and Health Canada will continue to coordinate their respective submission and review processes for veterinary drug applications to enable simultaneous product reviews. Further work in this area will also explore the expansion of Simultaneous Review to generic animal drug applications.

The United States International Trade Administration website includes the 2019-20 RCC Work Plans.

Stakeholders participated in the joint 2018 Canada-US RCC Stakeholder Event in Washington DC. Their contributions helped to inform the 2019-20 RCC Work Plans.

The 2016-17 RCC Work Plans will be updated and reported on as information becomes available.

Previous RCC Work Plans:

Global discussions on international regulatory cooperation

Canada aims to advance regulatory cooperation globally by participating in fora such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Trade Organisation.

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