A Canada-Australia Bilateral cooperative arrangement has been in place since 2002 for new industrial chemicals. Arrangements for sharing information with Health Canada and Environment Canada were reinforced.

In particular the new substances regulations of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act were recognised as an Approved Foreign Scheme under NICNASs legislation.

This allows reduced upfront fees to notifiers of new chemicals and greater use of Canadian reports in NICNAS assessments. Currently this is available for the standard and limited assessment categories where the assessment category in Canada is comparable and specific conditions are met.

Under the Recognition of Canada as a Foreign Scheme, a 40 per cent fee reduction can be applied by NICNAS in the standard and limited assessment categories where the assessment category in Canada is comparable and specific conditions are met.

Fee rebate provisions have been available for several years for chemicals where Canadian environmental and health assessment reports are available. These arrangements will continue for the standard and limited categories and can be used for assessments where the conditions are not met for up-front fee reductions.

Free early import permits will continue to be available in the polymer of low concern category for new polymers previously assessed in Canada. Enhanced arrangements for the polymers of low concern category are under development.

The bilateral discussions focused on finalising implementation of the foreign arrangements for exchanges of assessment reports and priorities for the 2008/09 work plan on New Chemicals.

The regular communication with Canada on new chemicals is detailed in Appendix 13.