Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation

The Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) establishes a regulatory reconciliation process that will help to address barriers to trade that companies may experience when doing business across provincial and territorial borders.

How it works:

1. The potential barrier to trade is identified

Based on information provided by stakeholders or other sources, a potential barrier to internal trade is identified by a province, territory or the federal government. A diverging or duplicative regulation that impedes the flow of goods is an example of the kind of barrier that the process seeks to address.

2. Governments work to establish a reconciliation agreement

Once a barrier to trade has been identified, a government (federal, provincial or territorial) can submit the matter to the Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table (RCT) for reconciliation.

  • The RCT is a federal-provincial-territorial body established by the CFTA to oversee the regulatory reconciliation process and promote regulatory cooperation across Canada.

Once barriers are submitted for reconciliation, participating CFTA governments and their relevant regulators begin negotiations toward a reconciliation agreement. The reconciliation agreement details how the barrier to trade will be addressed (e.g., mutual recognition, harmonization, or some other method), which governments will participate in the reconciliation agreement, and the timelines for its implementation.

  • Governments may opt out of negotiations if they do not have an existing measure to reconcile or determine that reconciliation is not a desirable option for their jurisdiction.

3. The barrier to trade is reconciled

Once implemented, the reconciliation agreement will effectively remove the barrier to trade between participating governments. CFTA governments that agree to adopt the reconciliation agreement will be bound to adhere to the commitments that it contains.