Regulatory area to be addressed
Transport Canada (TC) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) have agreed upon the key elements necessary to establish an ongoing regulatory partnership, as outlined in the RCC Joint Forward Plan, that will enable us to work together and with our stakeholders to secure regulatory cooperation and alignment.
To achieve this, TC and the USCG have:
- Established high-level partnership governance between the organizations’ senior officials, which is supported by technical-level working groups 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 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.
We have agreed to work more collaboratively in developing and implementing our overall regulatory approaches in areas in which it would be beneficial to do so. We will move forward, where practical and in accordance with each country’s legislative requirements, under a structured framework that favors collaboration early in the regulatory and policy processes and affords stakeholders opportunities to provide input, inform strategies, identify priorities and discuss progress on the implementation of initiatives as appropriate. TC and USCG are working to finalize an agreement that will formally establish the governance and processes outlined below.
This will be done by minimizing duplication and leveraging each agency’s capabilities in research, testing, policy development, and regulatory development. The ultimate goal is to develop regulations that benefit both countries’ marine safety while recognizing and understanding that each country is independent and may have, from time to time, specific requirements to suit its own domestic circumstances.
- Responsibility for this regulatory partnership will be assumed by senior USCG and TC officials responsible for this area of regulations.
- A bi-national oversight committee led by these officials shall supervise their respective teams in delivering on the results laid out in joint work plans.
- The oversight committee will meet at least once a year for planning and evaluation purposes, with the first meeting taking place no later than spring 2016.
- Technical and other working groups will provide support to the oversight committee.
Meetings of the oversight committee will be used to discuss medium-term and long-term opportunities to review the continued relevance and timeliness of initiatives under the joint cooperation agenda. The oversight committee may also use the annual meetings to explore other cooperation opportunities, including those of a multilateral nature.
Stakeholders will be invited to provide information to the oversight committee on significant industry and consumer trends and the potential implications they may have on their business and regulatory requirements applicable to them, such as changes to how supply chains will be managed, the emergence of new technologies, new applications for existing technologies, new manufacturing processes etc. We will seek views from stakeholders in both countries with particular attention given to positions developed jointly by U.S. and Canadian stakeholders.
These discussions will identify areas for regulatory cooperation over a horizon of approximately 3 – 5 years. As these opportunities are identified, the technical working groups will develop annual action plans capturing activities to deliver on achieving the desired outcomes.
ANNUAL REVIEW OF WORK PLANS
- The strategic guidance and oversight for the implementation of the work plans has been assigned to working group leads at the senior official level within TC and USCG.
- Leads responsible for specific work plan activities shall report on their progress, including whether the project is on track to meet work plan milestones, stakeholder concerns that need to be addressed bi-nationally, or any systemic obstacles that require broader consultation.
To date, we have established one joint working group to address current areas of cooperation between the U.S. Coast Guard and Transport Canada, as identified in the RCC Joint Forward Plan:
- Marine Safety and Security
As these areas of work do not capture all regulatory cooperation efforts, additional commitments, as well as updates and revisions to them, may be made in the course of regular planning between the parties, reflecting changing circumstances and the emergence of new opportunities.
Technical-level meetings will be used to discuss priorities, to assess the progress of current work plan activities, and to identify other cooperation and alignment opportunities. Potential forms of collaboration will include: joint consultations, collaborative policy and regulatory development, information and cost-sharing, research and technical collaboration, and/or reviews of existing regulatory processes and policies.
Stakeholders are encouraged to provide their views on specific alignment priorities through bi-national discussions or written submissions to support work planning. To be effective, we encourage stakeholder work-planning inputs to be specific, focused and near-term in nature.
Stakeholders should be explicit in identifying and quantifying various benefits related to individual proposed initiatives to assist in priority setting. For greater efficiency and effectiveness, stakeholders from the U.S. and Canada will be invited to collaborate and to provide common views and advice to the degree possible. The working group leads will ensure that regular updates on progress and next steps are provided to stakeholders at least once a year.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR STAKEHOLDERS
In addition to regular interactions with Transport Canada and the U.S. Coast Guard, stakeholders will have meaningful opportunities to provide input on regulatory issues related to Canada-U.S. regulatory cooperation.
- We will invite stakeholders from Canada and the United States to take part in the senior-level meetings including discussions among the regulators from each organization about medium-term opportunities and long-term directions.
- Technical meetings will focus on specific alignment priorities and discussions on work plan progress.