The Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council

The Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council’s (RCC) goal is to facilitate closer regulatory cooperation between our two countries and enhance economic competitiveness by aligning our regulatory systems where appropriate, while maintaining high levels of protection for health, safety and the environment. The RCC brings regulators together to discuss cooperation and alignment opportunities as a course of their regular business and enables discussion and appropriate planning on short, medium and long-term opportunities. Integral to this relationship is the critical role stakeholders play in identifying these alignment opportunities and contributing to these planning activities.

Recognizing that regulatory differences and duplicative procedures can impose unnecessary requirements and costs on our citizens, businesses and economies, Canada and the United States (U.S.) launched the RCC in February 2011. An initial Joint Action Plan was released in December 2011 to explore new approaches to regulatory cooperation between Canada and the U.S. and served to inform how departments from both countries could undertake regulatory cooperation in a more comprehensive way. This led to the release of Joint Forward Plan. in August 2014 which enabled a new approach to regulatory cooperation through:

  1. Bi-national governance that places accountability with senior level regulators to drive cooperation and alignment.
  2. An annual work planning cycle that identifies alignment opportunities over the foreseeable future and develops an annual RCC work plan.
  3. New channels throughout the planning process for stakeholders from both countries to provide input to Canadian and U.S. regulators.

The details of this work are outlined in 12 Regulatory Partnership Statements (RPS) released in May, 2015 between 16 similarly mandated departments and agencies. These federal regulators also released their bi-national work plans that cover regulatory sectors such as health products, food safety, transportation safety, aquaculture, work place safety and environmental initiatives.