Chapter 10 : Deregulation/ Regulatory Review

 

Objective

 

APEC economies will facilitate free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific Region by, inter alia:

 

a.                   enhancing the transparency of regulatory regimes (including through the use of new technologies);

 

b.                  eliminating domestic regulations that may distort or restrict trade, investment or competition and are not necessary to achieve a legitimate objective; and

 

c.                   speeding up reforms which encourage efficient and well functioning product, labour and capital markets and supportive of institutional frameworks.

 

 

Guidelines

 

Each APEC economy will:

 

a.                   explore economy wide processes for the transparent  and accountable identification and review of domestic regulations that may distort or restrict trade, investment or competition;

 

b.                  consider the adoption of regulatory reform to reduce those distortions and their resulting costs, whilst maintaining the achievement of legitimate objectives; and

 

c.                    promote the consideration of competition policy in regulatory reform.

 

 

Collective Actions

 

APEC economies, taking into account work done in other areas of APEC activity will:

 

a.                   publish annual reports detailing actions taken by APEC economies to deregulate their domestic regulatory regimes; and

 

b.                  develop further actions taking into account the above reports, including;

                        i.               policy dialogue on APEC economies’ experiences in regard to best practices in deregulation, including the use of individual case studies to assist in the design and implementation of deregulatory measures, and consideration of further options for a work program which may include:

-    identification of common priority areas and sectors for deregulation;

-    provision of technical assistance in designing and implementing deregulation measures; and

-    examination of the possibility of establishing APEC guidelines on domestic deregulation; and

                      ii.               regular dialogue with the business community, including a possible symposium.   

 

The current CAP relating to deregulation/regulatory review can be found in the Deregulation Collective Action Plan.


 

 

Canada’s Approach to Deregulation/Regulatory Review in 2003

 

            Canada has a long-standing commitment to freer trade as the engine of economic growth. An original member of the GATT and the WTO, Canada has established one of the most liberal and transparent regulatory regimes in the world. 

 

Canada views regulatory management and reform as an ongoing process of improvement.  Canada’s Regulatory Policy, a seven-point directive to all federal regulation-making authorities concerning subordinate regulation-making powers, drives the country’s regulatory process.  The Regulatory Policy’s objective is to ensure that use of the government's regulatory powers results in the greatest net benefit to Canadians.

 

The Regulatory Policy requires that regulatory authorities make an assessment of an issue before deciding to regulate and describe the principles that govern the development of regulations.  In particular, the Regulatory Policy directs, inter alia, that authorities ensure regulations are in accordance with Canada’s obligations in international agreements, specifically the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement (TBT) and the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS). The Regulatory Policy also requires that regulatory departments and agencies have systems in place to manage regulatory resources effectively, in accordance with Regulatory Process Management Standards, and that they have the resources to properly implement and enforce regulations.

 

In Fall 2002, the Canadian government announced in the Speech from the Throne, the ‘Smart Regulation’ strategy to accelerate regulatory reforms in key areas to promote health and sustainability, to contribute to innovation and economic growth, and to reduce the administrative burden on business.  Federal departments and agencies are leading work in the priority areas noted in the Speech from the Throne such as pharmaceuticals (ensuring that Canadians have faster access to the drugs they need), copyright rules, streamlined environmental assessment practices, food safety, and confidence in Canada’s security structure.  To pursue the strategy over the longer-term an External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation (EACSR) was established in early 2003 to make recommendations to the government on where it needs to redesign its regulatory approach to create and maintain a Canadian advantage.  EACSR is currently undertaking background research and analysis on the public interest in Canada, international regulatory cooperation, federal-provincial coordination, Canada’s regulatory governance system, risk management, and alternatives to regulation. Committee recommendations are expected by June 2004.  The Smart Regulation initiative builds on work done as part of the major OECD review of Canada’s regulatory system as well as the National Innovation Strategy which set out a number of goals, including completing expert reviews of Canada's most important regulatory regimes. 

 

Web Links to further information:

 

Details of Canada’s regulatory system, including the current Regulatory Policy as well as guides and tools (e.g., RIAS writers guide) , can be found at:

http://www.pco-bcp.gc.ca/raoic
s-srdc/raoic_e.htm
and http://www.pco-bcp.gc.ca/raoic
s-srdc/publications_e.htm

 

Smart Regulation, http://www.pco-bcp.gc.ca/sft-d
dt
and http://www.smartregulation.gc.
ca

 

External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation,

 Press Release - "Prime Minister Names Members of the External Advisory on Smart Regulation"

http://www.pm.gc.ca/default.as
p?Language=E&Page=newsroom
&Sub=NewsReleases&Doc=
smartregscommittee.20030501_e.
htm

 

Press Release - "Prime Minister appoints Gaétan Lussier as new chair of The External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation"

http://www.pm.gc.ca/default.as
p?Language=E&Page=newsroom
&Sub=NewsReleases&Doc
=lussiersmartreg.20030723_e.htm

 

National Innovation Strategy, http://www.innovationstrategy.
gc.ca

 

OECD Review of Regulatory Reform in Canada - Maintaining Leadership Through Innovation (2002), http://www.oecd.org/

 

Contacts:

 

Question related to regulation and international trade can be directed to angela.behboodi@dfait-maeci.gc.ca

 

Questions related to the regulatory management and quality control mechanisms can be directed to jaylard@pco-bcp.gc.ca

 

Questions related to the External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation can be directed to fpegeot@pco-bco.gc.ca

 


Canada’ Approach to Deregulation/Regulatory Review in 2003

Section

Improvements Implemented Since Last IAP

Current Regulatory Review Policies / Arrangements

Further Improvements Planned

 

General Policy

Position

 

 

 

Early in 2003, the government established an External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation (EACSR) to provide an external perspective on regulatory reform.  The EACSR will provide strategic advice on where government needs to redesign its approach and will develop a forward-looking regulatory strategy. The establishment of an advisory body on regulatory issues was a key recommendation of the OECD report on Canada ’s regulatory performance and received support at the National Innovation Strategy consultations in Fall 2002.

 

Canada’s Regulatory Policy, a seven-point directive to all federal regulation-making authorities concerning subordinate regulation-making powers, drives the country’s regulatory process.  The Regulatory Policy’s objective is to ensure that use of the government's regulatory powers results in the greatest net benefit to Canadians.

 

Canada views regulatory management and reform as an ongoing process of improvement.  “Smart Regulation”, including the creation of an independent advisory body (i.e., External Advisory Body on Smart Regulation) launched a new era in federal reform action aimed at improved regulatory management. Smart Regulation aims to accelerate regulatory reforms in key areas to promote health and sustainability, to contribute to innovation and economic growth, and to reduce the administrative burden on business.

 

Work has been initiated to develop a capacity-community building strategy for federal public servants carrying out the governments regulatory responsibilities.

 

Canada is continuously examining the scope for both the international harmonization of regulations, and the reduction of barriers to trade.

 

 

The EACSR is mandated to make recommendations for the development of a regulatory strategy designed for the 21st century which are expected in June 2004.

 

 

Smart Regulation provides an opportunity for departments and the Privy Council Office, which plays a central coordinating role, to reflect on current regulatory policy and process and to make recommendations for revisions if necessary.

 

 

 

 

Identification and Review of Proposed Regulations

 

 

 

Early work is underway to identify meaningful and relevant performance measurement of federal regulatory programs, responsive to transparency and accountability expectations, including those of key international partners.

 

Policy Approach for Transparent Review of Proposed Regulations

The Regulatory Policy requires that Canadians are consulted, and that they have an opportunity to participate in developing or modifying regulations and regulatory programs.  The Government of Canada is committed to working with industry, labour, interest groups, professional organizations, other governments and interested individuals.

 

Since 1986, the Government of Canada has required that a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) accompany each proposed regulation.   

 

RIASs include a description of what the Government is proposing to do, who has been consulted, what has been said, and what has resulted. RIASs are used both as information documents for Ministers who examine the regulations, as well as  public consultation documents. Draft regulations are published, together with the RIAS, in the Canada Gazette, Part I to provide an additional opportunity for public comment on upcoming regulations.  The Canada Gazette can be found at: http://publiservice.gc.ca/serv
ices/gazette/gazette_e.html

 

Barriers to Trade

Appendix A of the Regulatory Policy sets out obligations for regulators with respect to International and Intergovernmental Agreements.  When developing or changing technical regulations, regulatory authorities must take into account Canada’s obligations as laid out in the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures  (SPS), the NAFTA Articles on Technical Barriers to Trade (Chapter 9), Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (Section B of Chapter Seven), and other multilateral, regional, and bilateral Agreements referring to regulations and standards.

 

 

 

RIAS

The OECD review of Canada’s regulatory reform, released in 2002, applauded Canada’s regulatory process, It also noted that the RIAS could be improved through greater attention to market openness issues.

 

 

 

 

Identification and Review of Existing Regulations

 

 

 

 

The Government of Canada uses a number of strategies to identify and review existing regulations, including: Parliamentary Committee studies, reviews, audits, government-stakeholder or intergovernmental working groups, advisory councils, public meetings, independent reports, and formal or informal consultation.

 

Regulatory Review of Existing Regulation

 

At present, it is the Government of Canada’s policy that the discipline of evaluation be embedded in the management of all policies, programs and initiatives, including regulatory programs.  The goal is to help managers determine whether initiatives are delivering intended results and to continually implement improvements.

 

 

Barriers to Trade

When developing or changing technical regulations, regulatory authorities must take into account Canada’s obligations as laid out in the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS), the NAFTA Articles on Technical Barriers to Trade (Chapter 9), Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (Section B of Chapter Seven), and other multilateral, regional, and bilateral Agreements referring to regulations and standards.

 

 

Please see the above references to Smart Regulation initiatives and the National Innovation Strategy.

 

 

 

Reform of Industry/Sector Specific Regulation

 

 

 

Regulatory Reform

Through the Regulatory Policy, Canadian government departments and agencies must comply with the provisions of international agreements, inter alia, the WTO- TBT and SPS Agreements.

 

 

 

Please see the above reference to the Smart Regulation Initiative



Improvements in Canada’s Approach to Deregulation/Regulatory Review since 1996

Section

Position at Base Year (1996)

Cumulative Improvements Implemented to Date

 

General Policy

Position

 

 

 

The Government of Canada revised and updated its Regulatory Policy, which had been in effect since 1986.  One of the most substantive changes to the Regulatory Policy was the incorporation of the Regulatory Process Management Standards, which are intended to provide a framework to ensure a high quality of departmental regulatory processes and to deliver better regulations. Regulatory authorities are expected to adopt and report on their compliance with these standards (1995).

 

The Government of Canada revised and updated its Regulatory Policy (1995).

 

A Deputy Minister level “Challenge Team” was established to examine ongoing improvements in regulatory governance. (1996).

 

Canada has continuously examined the scope for international harmonization of regulations in accordance with its obligations in international agreements, specifically the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS).

 

Please see the above references to Smart Regulation initiatives and the National Innovation Strategy.

 

Responsibility for the Regulatory Policy was transferred to the Special Committee of Council (SCC) to enhance regulatory accountability, and provide a more consistent treatment and consideration of proposed regulatory initiatives.  In addition, a new Secretariat was established within the Privy Council Office to consolidate support for SCC’s regulatory responsibilities (1999). 

 

Canada updated and revised the 1995 Regulatory Policy to clarify existing requirements (1999).

 

A number of assessments of the Regulatory Policy and process have been conducted following the establishment of the new Secretariat.  For example, a 2000 study focussing on the contribution of regulatory impact analysis on decision making and the development of regulations concluded that requirements prompted greater attention to alternatives and costs and benefits. Consultation, in particular, had an impact on decision making, with changes being made to regulatory proposals as a result of stakeholder comment.  Capacity-building/training initiatives have also been launched (e.g., creation of on-line regulatory process learning tool).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Identification and Review of Proposed Regulations

 

 

Barriers to Trade

The Regulatory Policy requires regulators to comply with Canada’s international obligations related to barriers to trade. As such, Canada complied with its obligations in the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement (TBT) and the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS), and notified the WTO Secretariat in 1996 under Article 15.2 of the TBT Agreement that Canada’s implementation of these Agreements required little change.

 

For further information, please contact:

victor.bradley@dfait-maeci.gc.ca

 

Processes for transparent review of regulations

The Regulatory Policy requires that Canadians are consulted, and that they have an opportunity to participate in developing or modifying regulations and regulatory programs.  The Government of Canada is committed to working with industry, labour, interest groups, professional organizations, other governments, and interested individuals.

 

Since 1986, the Government of Canada has required that a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) accompany each proposed regulation.  RIASs include a description of what the Government is proposing to do, who has been consulted, what has been said, and what has resulted. RIASs are used both as information documents for Ministers who examine the regulations, as well as  public consultation documents. Draft regulations are published, together with the RIAS, in the Canada Gazette, Part I to provide an additional opportunity for public comment on upcoming regulations.  The Canada Gazette can be found at:

http://publiservice.gc.ca/serv
ices/gazette/gazette_e.html

 

Please see the above references to Smart Regulation initiatives and the National Innovation Strategy.

 

Please see text in box above. 

 

 

 

Identification and Review of Existing Regulations

 

 

Regulatory Review of Existing Regulation

In consultation with the private sector, the Government of Canada undertook a comprehensive review of existing federal regulations with the objective of evaluating and streamlining regulations and determining if they were still appropriate.  This effort resulted in 835 regulations (out of about  2,800 regulations then listed in the Consolidated Index of Statutory Instruments) being identified for revisions or elimination over the period 1993 to 1998.

 

Subsequent to these broad‑scale reviews, Canada

has taken a more targeted approach.  A number of

pieces of Canadian legislation have incorporated

specific provisions for a comprehensive review of the

provisions and operation of the Act within a set time

period (e.g., Canadian Environmental Protection Act).

 

 

Suggest deleting next para and related contact info - It is the Government of Canada’s policy that the discipline of evaluation be imbedded into the life cycle management of all  policies, programs and initiatives, and that evaluation work be planned and carried out based on an assessment of risks and departmental and government-wide priorities.  A set of standards form part of Canada’s evaluation policy.  These standards provide clear expectations for the conduct of quality evaluation in all areas, including those related to regulation. A set of standards form part of Canada’s evaluation policy.  These

standards provide clear expectations for the conduct of quality evaluation in all areas, including those related to regulation.

 

For further information, please visit:

 

http://publiservice.tbs-sct.gc
.ca/Pubs_pol/dcgpubs/TBM_161/s
iglist_e.html

 

 

Please see the above references to Smart Regulation initiatives and the National Innovation Strategy.

 

Please see text in box above.

 

 

 

 

Reform of Industry/Sector Specific Regulation

 

 

Barriers to Trade

When developing or changing technical regulations, regulatory authorities must take into account Canada’s obligations as laid out in the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures  (SPS), the NAFTA Articles on Technical Barriers to Trade (Chapter 9), Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (Section B of Chapter Seven), and other multilateral, regional, and bilateral Agreements referring to regulations and standards.

 

As part of its Jobs and Growth Strategy, Canada conducted sector reviews in the areas of: automotive and auto parts manufacturing; forest products; biotechnology; aquaculture; mining; and health, food and therapeutic products. (1994)

Over the last five years, Canada has

 

adopted an Act to establish the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and amend certain acts in relation to financial institutions(14 June 2001). The Act introduced sweeping regulatory reforms including measures to enhance efficiency and increase domestic competition; improvements to the regulatory environment; and increased consumer protection.

 

In addition, the Canada Business Corporations Act (14 June 2001) was amended to permit electronic communications between corporations and their shareholders (paper records of such communications are no longer required).

 

Finally, the Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act (13 April 2001) was adopted. This Act will protect the personal information of individuals when it is used in the course of commercial activities in Canada. It will help to build trust in E-Commerce with its assurance of protection for personal information in digital form.