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October 26, 2018

OIRA Seeks Comment on How to Reduce Regulatory Differences between the U.S. and Canada, Including for Emerging Technologies Not Yet Regulated

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) published a request for information (RFI) on October 9, 2018, seeking comment on how the federal government, under the auspices of the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC), may reduce or eliminate unnecessary regulatory differences between the U.S. and Canada.  According to the RFI, this information may inform agencies’ development of regulatory reform proposals to modify or repeal existing agency requirements to increase efficiency related to economic activity with Canada, reduce or eliminate unnecessary or unjustified regulatory burdens, or simplify regulatory compliance, while continuing to meet agency missions and statutory requirements.  OIRA also seeks public comment to identify ongoing or emerging areas for which cooperation could reduce the risk of divergence between U.S. and Canadian regulations.  In 2012, Health Canada, Environment Canada, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency developed the Nanotechnology Work Plan, and RCC concluded its Nanotechnology Initiative in February 2014.  OIRA states in the RFI that it has identified some key topics on which stakeholder insights would be “most helpful,” although it welcomes input on opportunities for international regulatory cooperation beyond these topics, including particular sectors or issues for which the RCC should consider future regulatory cooperation or further regulatory alignment to reduce burden or other cost, including for emerging technologies that are not yet regulated.  Comments are due November 8, 2018.