Regulatory policy

International Regulatory Co-operation and International Organisations

The Cases of the OECD and the IMO

Published on November 03, 2014

The world is witnessing the progressive emergence of an open, dynamic, globalised economy, and the intensification of global challenges such as systemic risks, environmental protection, human health or safety. Against this background, governments are increasingly seeking to ensure greater co-ordination on regulatory objectives, processes and enforcement and to eliminate unnecessary regulatory divergences and redundancies. International regulatory co-operation (IRC) represents a critical opportunity to foster sustainable and inclusive growth through lower barriers to international flows and better rules of the game for all. It is real but remains largely untapped. This publication presents findings and two case studies from an April 2014 meeting on the role of international organisations in IRC, as well as a contribution from K. W. Abbott, on International organisations and international regulatory co-operation: Exploring the links.


Acronyms and abbreviations
Executive summary
International organisations and international regulatory co-operation: Exploring the links
The role of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The role of the International Maritime Organization
Annex1 chapter available
Agenda and summary record of the meeting held on 16 April 2014
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key findings

Evidence shows that international organisations (IOs) contribute regulatory co-operation by:

  • offering platforms for continuous dialogue on regulatory issues
  • facilitating the comparability of approaches and practices
  • providing member countries with flexible mechanisms to identify and adapt to new and emerging regulatory areas or issues
  • contributing to the development of a common regulatory language

However, structured evidence on the impact of IOs’ rule-making activities remains scant, both concerning economic and social gains and increased administrative efficiency and capacity. Furthermore, evidence on the active use of regulatory management disciplines in international rule making – such as consultation mechanisms and impact evaluation - is limited. More systematic exchange of information and experience would enable IOs to capitalise on lessons learnt and maximise the potential of existing governance arrangements and instruments.

More information on International Regulatory Co-operation - Adapting rules to an interconnected world