An official Canada-United States joint planning group last month announced a plan to help the two countries harmonize their regulations dealing with trade and commerce.
The governments of the two countries have agreed to address a broad variety of issues, including changes intended to benefit the freight transportation and logistics industries on both sides of the border.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Obama signed the agreement creating the U.S.- Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council in 2011.
Among the goals addressed in the council’s August Joint Forward Plan are the two countries more closely aligning their regulatory regimes for hazardous materials hauling by truck.
The declared objectives include aligning Canadian and U.S. placarding requirements; mutual recognition of United Nations standard pressure receptacles (UN cylinders); recognition of inspection under U.S. highway requirements, and alignment and mutual recognition of tank truck standards.
Railroad issues being addressed include harmonizing Train Control Systems regulations, medical guidelines for certified engineers and conductors, and critical incident stress plans.
Other areas targeted for harmonization involve motor vehicle and rail emissions standards.
The council said the two countries also are working on aligning their food safety and pharmaceutical regulatory schemes, “to help facilitate ongoing systemic alignment of regulatory systems, strategies and practices.”
Closer cooperation on inspections of manufacturing facilities, simplifying meat and poultry product inspections, creating a common approach to meat cut nomenclature, and closer collaboration on food imports are among the other issues being addressed.