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.

Coronavirus Pandemic Update:

The Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table (RCT) believes that a healthy regulatory environment will be an important part of Canada’s economic recovery from the current coronavirus pandemic. The RCT is fully committed to advancing the important work of regulatory reconciliation and cooperation. However, some of the work outlined in the current RCT 2019-2020 work plan as well as the development of the 2020-2021 work plan may be delayed where government resources are needed to combat the pandemic. Federal, provincial and territorial governments will continue to move forward with their efforts as the immediate strain on resources affecting their governments and stakeholders lessens. The RCT will continue to communicate with stakeholders on progress, including revised timelines. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the RCT Chair (Newfoundland and Labrador – contact Richard Squires at rsquires@gov.nl.ca) or any of the RCT representatives: https://www.cfta-alec.ca/contact-us/rct-representatives/.

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.

ANNUAL REPORT:

REGULATORY RECONCILIATION AND COOPERATION TABLE RELEASES 2019 ANNUAL REPORT

June 9, 2020 – The Canadian Free Trade Agreement’s (CFTA’s) Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table (RCT) continues its work to improve the regulatory environment in Canada.

The RCT was established by the CFTA in 2017 to lead the reconciliation of regulatory differences among federal, provincial, and territorial jurisdictions that act as a barrier or impediment to trade for companies working in multiple jurisdictions in Canada and to provide a forum for regulatory cooperation on future regulatory measures.

Since its inception, the RCT has posted two annual work plans identifying measures in a variety of sectors to be reconciled by jurisdictions. A third work plan for 2020-2021 is currently under development.

Newfoundland and Labrador as the 2020 Chair is pleased to release the RCT’s 2019 Annual Report. This first annual report highlights the RCT’s accomplishments and outlines some of the challenges involved in addressing regulatory reconciliation and cooperation across Canada. This annual report demonstrates the RCT’s efforts to provide further transparency to stakeholders regarding this work.

The annual report has been posted on the CFTA’s regulatory reconciliation and cooperation web page.

The RCT members will continue to work collaboratively to eliminate regulatory barriers and cooperate to make it easier to do business within Canada.

“The Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table continues to move forward with its work to address regulatory barriers in Canada, and the 2019 annual report outlines some of the RCT’s accomplishments last year. Addressing regulatory barriers is one way we can make sure our national economy continues to grow and prosper for all Canadians.”

–Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

RECONCILIATION AGREEMENTS:

Once negotiated by technical working groups, Reconciliation Agreements are then ‘endorsed’ by the RCT.  Endorsement is an important administrative step in the reconciliation process whereby RCT representatives of the participating Parties to the Reconciliation Agreement ‘endorse’ that the content of the Agreement meets the requirements of the CFTA. By endorsing an Agreement, RCT representatives also indicate their consent to having the Reconciliation Agreement sent to their Parties for signature, if their Party has a measure to reconcile and have not taken an exception.

While an important step, the endorsement of a Reconciliation Agreement by an RCT representative does not bind the representative’s government to the Agreement. An Agreement must be signed (ratified) by government for it to come into effect in that jurisdiction.

RECONCILIATION AGREEMENTS ENDORSED BY THE RCT (SUMMARIES)

Reconciliation Agreements Signed (Ratified) by All Participating Parties (Full Text)

Work Plans:

Contact Us:

List of RCT Representatives

Last Updated: September 17, 2020