Regulatory policy

International Regulatory Co-operation: Application in different policy areas



OECD work explores the specific benefits and practical implications IRC has across different policy areas, focusing primarily on trade. OECD work has also explored how IRC can facilitate the fulfilment of public policy objectives in fields as diverse as air pollution, chemical safety, consumer product safety, tax, competition, water, prudential regulation, and energy and risk assessment.



As markets become more integrated, unnecessary divergences in regulations among countries can create hurdles and increase the costs to trade. IRC ensures a balance between trade facilitation and regulatory objectives of countries and has become an important area of discussion in trade policy.


OECD work in this area involves collaborative work between the Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) and the Trade Committee (TC) to identify the trade costs of regulatory divergences, and the various approaches and instruments of regulatory co-operation to alleviate these costs and achieve countries’ regulatory objectives.


More recently, the OECD has started investigating the contribution of trade obligations to good regulatory practices and IRC.




IRC is particularly important to address the inherent transboundary nature of environmental policy challenges. Joint work between the Regulatory Policy Committee and the Environmental Policy Committee explores how IRC can help promote air quality and manage transboundary air pollution.