Action Plan on Cooperation between the Department of Health of Canada and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China for the Period 2011-2015 on Consumer Product Safety

The Department of Health of Canada and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China, hereinafter referred to as the "Participants",

Considering the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Health of the Government of Canada and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China, signed in Beijing on 27 November 2007 and the Joint Letter of Intent signed in Beijing on 10 September 2010;

Taking into account the principle that cooperation and exchange activities should reflect mutual interests;

Have developed the following Action Plan:

1. Objectives

The objectives of this Action Plan are to:

  1. Establish key areas of collaboration among the Participants;
  2. Strengthen mechanisms for Canada-China bilateral cooperation in the field of consumer product safety;
  3. Establish an effective liaison channel and form an efficient mechanism of communication and coordination of the Participants; and
  4. Promote a better understanding of Canadian, Chinese and international regulatory requirements on consumer products.

2. Means of Cooperation

The Participants intend to cooperate through the following means:

  1. Facilitating the exchange of information on legislative and regulatory requirements;
  2. Facilitating technical cooperation and the exchange of standards, guidance and expertise;
  3. Facilitating and providing training opportunities to support the sharing of knowledge and expertise for laboratory and inspection personnel;
  4. Ensuring the timely exchange of relevant information, to support follow up on safety issues and issues of non-compliance, subject to the laws and regulations applicable to the Participants when collecting, receiving, using or disclosing confidential information, including personal information, trade secrets or other information of confidential nature; and
  5. Coordinating and including Participants in broader international collaboration efforts already underway in the area of consumer product safety.

3. Main Areas of Cooperation

The Participants have identified the following five actions for collaboration:

  1. Action 1: Establish and maintain frequent and on-going communication and exchange between the Participants

    The Participants will hold and host alternatively:

    1. annual working group meetings, in the form of face-to-face or video conference;
    2. teleconferences to discuss common concerns, emerging issues and trends related to consumer product safety; and
    3. a Canada-China high level Dialogue on Consumer Product Safety every two years.

  2. Action 2: Promote a better understanding of Canadian, Chinese and international regulatory requirements on consumer products

    The Participants will:

    1. work together to identify and provide opportunities to improve suppliers' and government personnel's knowledge and understanding of Canadian, Chinese and international product safety regulatory requirements; and
    2. develop and disseminate relevant materials on consumer product safety to suppliers and government personnel. This includes but is not limited to regulatory summaries, answers to frequently asked questions, and industry guidelines.

  3. Action 3: Establish an Urgent Consultation Mechanism

    The Participants will establish timelines and processes to:

    1. discuss urgent or emerging health and safety issues related to consumer products; and
    2. conduct follow-up investigation on issues related to non-compliant products.

  4. Action 4: Develop a laboratory and inspection recognition working mechanism

    The Participants will develop a laboratory recognition working mechanism for the testing of lighters. This may include but is not limited to engaging in laboratory and inspection personnel exchanges.

  5. Action 5: Promote Safe Children's Products

    The Participants will work together to promote safer children's products. This may include the identification of ways to improve compliance with requirements for lead and cadmium in toys and children's jewellery.

4. Costs

  1. The Participant sending representatives will pay for the international travel and in-country costs, accommodation and other incidental expenses incurred by its representatives.
  2. The Participant sending representatives will ensure that its representatives have adequate medical and emergency travel insurance, in case of accident or illness.

5. Reporting

The Participants will provide an update on the progress of this Action Plan during the Canada-China high level Dialogues on Consumer Product Safety.

6. Status

This Action Plan does not compromise the regulatory authority of either Participant to carry out their respective responsibilities, nor does it create legally binding obligations on either Participant or between them, including to share information with each other.

7. Coming into Effect and Duration

  1. This Action Plan will come into effect on the date of its signature by the Participants and will remain in effect until the 31st day of December 2015.
  2. The Participants will give consideration to renewing the Action Plan at the China-Canada high level Dialogue on Consumer Product Safety that immediately precedes the 31st day of December 2015.
  3. The Participants may amend this Action Plan upon their mutual written consent.
  4. A Participant may terminate this Action Plan by giving a written notice to the other Participant.

Signed in duplicate in Ottawa on this 11th day of October 2011, in the English, French and Chinese languages, each version being equally valid.

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