RCC Updates: Canadian International Trade Minister Endorses Joint Forward Plan; Progress on Chemical Management Policy

Two updates on the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC).

Erin O’Toole, the Canadian Minister for International Trade was in Washington, D.C. and endorsed the Joint Forward Plan,  the next phase of the RCC.  The RCC is a binational effort to enhance regulatory cooperation between Canada and the United States.

O’Toole made the endorsement at a meeting of Canadian and American regulators that took place Tuesday and Wednesday.  The regulators met to map out areas where current regulatory cooperation can be enhanced or institutionalized.

From the press release on Minster O’Toole’s endorsement:

“Through the RCC, our two governments have been focusing on simplifying and aligning regulations. Aligning our regulatory approaches and reducing red tape leads to lower costs for Canadian firms and consumers, increased trade and investment opportunities, and ultimately to more jobs—on both sides of the border,” [stated Minister O’Toole.]

…[Minister] O’Toole noted some of the specific results from the first phase of the plan, including development of a common electronic submission gateway for pharmaceutical and biological products, a pilot project for regulatory oversight on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, mutual decision making on zoning for foreign animal diseases, and development of a joint review process for agricultural pesticides with minor uses. Mr. O’Toole encouraged regulators and stakeholders in both countries to work together to realize the potential of this new phase of Canada-U.S. regulatory cooperation, which will help increase prosperity on both sides of the border.

And progress on the Joint Forward Plan can already be seen.  From today’s Chemical Watch, which discusses bilateral efforts to enhance the regulations governing chemicals management:

The US EPA, Environment Canada and Health Canada have issued a two-page “thought starter” on which areas of chemicals management policy could be included in the next work phase of the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) – a joint regulatory review forum, established by the two neighbouring countries.

The paper was presented by agency officials at video-linked concurrent meetings in Mississauga, Canada, and Washington DC on 8 October, and consists of two suggested work plans that could become part of the RCC’s next joint forward plan; one on risk assessment, and one on the two countries’ respective reporting instruments on new chemical uses – Significant New Activity (Snac) notices in Canada and Significant New Use Rules (Snurs) in the US.

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