Regulatory Partnership Statement of Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency and the United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs
Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) will continue to advance regulatory cooperation under the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). In meeting the key elements of the RCC Joint Forward Plan, PMRA and OPP have:
- Established high-level partnership governance between the organizations' senior officials, which is supported by a technical level working group to review and track progress against medium- and longer-term regulatory alignment opportunities.
- Implemented a bi-national work planning process that includes annual review of work plans to consider stakeholder input and provide for updates to senior officials on progress on regulatory cooperation initiatives.
- Regularized stakeholder engagement to inform senior officials on regulatory alignment opportunities and provide input on future work.
The following outlines PMRA and OPP's approach to advancing regulatory cooperation and alignment in areas of mutual interest and benefit, and describes efforts that are currently underway towards establishing a more formal arrangement between the organizations. This effort is not intended to, nor replaces, established consultation processes in relation to rule making or regulatory decision making. This cooperative dialogue is oriented to longer-term direction, medium-term opportunities and developing annual work plans to advance regulatory systems together in areas of mutual interest and priority.
In particular, this RPS will facilitate the following:
- The removal or reduction of unnecessary differences or duplicative requirements;
- Minimizing the duplication of effort on key management and scientific tools;
- Aligning risk assessment approaches for new and older chemicals, where appropriate;
- Information sharing, including best practices; and
- A consistent and predictable mechanism for engaging with stakeholders bi-nationally on pesticide issues and opportunities.
The lead authorities responsible for this RPS are the Executive Director of PMRA and the Office Director of OPP. In support of these activities, a binational senior officials meeting, co-chaired by the Executive Director and the Office Director or their delegates, will be held annually. It is expected that the first high-level meeting will take place in the spring of 2016. Outcomes from this work are intended to lead to the identification of other cooperation and alignment opportunities culminating in the development of new Department-to-Department commitments and subsequent work plans. It also provides for discussions on the approach to emerging issues, cooperation in international fora and with other countries.
Stakeholders will be engaged for the meeting with the senior-level officials, and asked to provide information pertaining to:
- Industry and market trends with specific reference to where they feel adjustments to regulatory systems and overall direction may be required.
- New technology or innovations in the sector that would serve to initiate early agency discussion on how to approach these in the future.
- Issues that are seen as near-term binational priorities and costs associated with misalignment or the opportunity to assist priority setting.
In most instances, stakeholders should expect notification no later than 4 weeks prior to the meeting.
The work planning process will identify and prioritize specific activities to achieve the medium- term opportunities and long-term direction identified through the senior-level discussions. Work plan priorities will be determined through the mutual agreement of PMRA and OPP and will be informed by a number of factors, including benefits that will accrue to consumers, industry, the public and the regulators themselves.
The Director General of PMRA's Registration Directorate in Canada and the Director of OPP's Registration Division in the US will meet regularly to review and implement RCC annual work plans. The first meeting will be held in the spring of 2016. Work plans will be informed by, among other things:
- Regulator-to-regulator plans to advance and modernize their regulatory systems and associated programs and requirements;
- Internal government-facing activities requiring renewal or common approaches in support of regulatory activities;
- New or emerging issues;
- Stakeholder input and priorities; and
- Work plans can be adjusted and expanded throughout the year, as common challenges or priorities emerge.
PMRA and OPP are committed to the continuation and strengthening of on-going collaboration with stakeholders. To that end, stakeholders will be provided information in advance of work planning sessions and be invited to input to work plan development and at the senior-level meeting. In addition, stakeholders will have regular opportunities to engage on RCC initiatives during targeted stakeholder meetings, teleconferences and webinars for both priority setting and work plan development. Stakeholders will be asked to organize themselves bi-nationally and identify regulatory challenges and opportunities to the degree possible.
RCC work plans will be posted on the Health Canada website and the US Department of Commerce website in the U.S.
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