In February 2011, President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Harper announced the formation of the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) as a mechanism to promote ongoing regulatory cooperation and alignment between our two countries.
On August 27, 2014, the RCC released the Joint Forward Plan that describes the accomplishments under the first phase of the RCC and outlines the next phase of work. RCC-2 will move from a focus on individual initiatives toward the development of permanent and ongoing departmental regulatory partnerships and continuing stakeholder engagement.
Last week, the RCC published Regulatory Partnership Statements that outline the mechanisms for ongoing regulatory cooperation, as well as work plans describing the new initiatives planned for RCC-2. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have been working closely to develop five new work plans under phase 2 of RCC:
Animal Health Work Plans:
- FAD zoning: The United States and Canada have agreed to recognize each other’s zoning decisions when a foreign animal disease (FAD) outbreak occurs, to facilitate trade between disease-free zones. APHIS and CFIA published a Guidance Framework for implementing this initiative in 2014. Under RCC-2, the agencies intend to finalize the Framework consultation process, evaluate the use of the Framework for avian influenza outbreaks in both countries, and work toward developing modeling tools to inform certain zoning decisions.
- Electronic certification: Animal health certificates are official documents issued by the exporting country to provide the importing country with documentation that consignments of animals, animal products, and other regulated articles meet specified import requirements. Under RCC-2, APHIS and CFIA will work toward implementing mechanisms to allow the electronic exchange of animal health certificates between the United States and Canada. Electronic exchange would increase the efficiency of the process, improve reporting, enhance security during transmission, and reduce the opportunity for fraudulent activity.
Thursday May 28, 2015/ USDA/ United States.