TITLE X: GOOD REGULATORY PRACTICES AND REGULATORY COOPERATION
Article GRP.1: General principles
1. Each Party shall be free to determine its approach to good regulatory practices under this Agreement in a manner consistent with its own legal framework, practice, procedures and fundamental principles49 underlying its regulatory system.
2. Nothing in this Title shall be construed as requiring a Party to:
(a) deviate from its domestic procedures for preparing and adopting regulatory measures;
(b) take actions that would undermine or impede the timely adoption of regulatory measures to achieve its public policy objectives; or
(c) achieve any particular regulatory outcome.
3. Nothing in this Title shall affect the right of a Party to define or regulate its own levels of protection in pursuit or furtherance of its public policy objectives in areas such as:
(a) public health;
(b) human, animal or plant life and health, and animal welfare;
(c) occupational health and safety;
(d) labour conditions;
(e) environment including climate change;
(f) consumer protection;
(g) social protection and social security;
(h) data protection and cybersecurity;
(i) cultural diversity;
(j) integrity and stability of the financial system, and protection of investors;
(k) energy security; and
(l) anti-money laundering.
For greater certainty, for the purposes of in particular point (c) and (d) of the first subparagraph, the different models of industrial relations, including the role and autonomy of social partners, as provided for in the law or national practices of a Party, shall continue to apply, including laws and practices concerning collective bargaining and the enforcement of collective agreements.
49 For the Union, such principles include the precautionary principle.
4. Regulatory measures shall not constitute a disguised barrier to trade.
Article GRP.2: Definitions
For the purposes of this Title:
(a) “regulatory authority” means:
(i) for the Union, the European Commission; and
(ii) for the United Kingdom, Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the devolved administrations of the United Kingdom.
(b) “regulatory measures” means:
(i) for the Union:
(A) regulations and directives, as provided for in Article 288 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU); and
(B) implementing and delegated acts, as provided for in Articles 290 and 291 TFEU, respectively; and
(ii) for the United Kingdom:
(A) primary legislation; and
(B) secondary legislation.
Article GRP.3: Scope
1. This Title applies to regulatory measures proposed or issued, as relevant, by the regulatory authority of each Party in respect of any matter covered by Titles I to IX, Title XI and Title XII and Heading Six [Other provisions].
2. Articles GRP.12 [Regulatory cooperation activities] and GRP.13 [Trade Specialised Committee on Regulatory Cooperation] also apply to other measures of general application issued or proposed by the regulatory authority of a Party in respect of any matter covered by the Titles referred to in paragraph 1 which are relevant to regulatory cooperation activities, such as guidelines, policy documents or recommendations.
3. This Title does not apply to regulatory authorities and regulatory measures, regulatory practices or approaches of the Member States.
4. Any specific provisions in the Titles referred to in paragraph 1 shall prevail over the provisions of this Title to the extent necessary for the application of the specific provisions.
Article GRP.4: Internal coordination
Each Party shall have in place internal coordination or review processes or mechanisms with respect to regulatory measures that its regulatory authority is preparing. Such processes or mechanisms should seek, inter alia, to:
(a) foster good regulatory practices, including those set forth in this Title;
(b) identify and avoid unnecessary duplication and inconsistent requirements between the Party’s own regulatory measures;
(c) ensure compliance with the Party’s international trade and investment obligations; and
(d) promote the consideration of the impact of the regulatory measures under preparation, including the impact on small and medium-sized enterprises50, in accordance with its respective rules and procedures.
Article GRP.5: Description of processes and mechanisms
Each Party shall make publicly available descriptions of the processes or mechanisms used by its regulatory authority to prepare, evaluate or review regulatory measures. Those descriptions shall refer to relevant rules, guidelines or procedures, including those regarding opportunities for the public to provide comments.
Article GRP.6: Early information on planned regulatory measures
1. Each Party shall make publicly available, in accordance with its respective rules and procedures on at least an annual basis, a list of planned major51 regulatory measures that its regulatory authority reasonably expects to propose or adopt within a year. The regulatory authority of each Party may determine what constitutes a major regulatory measure for the purposes of its obligations under this Title.
2. With respect to each major regulatory measure included in the list referred to in paragraph 1, each Party should also make publicly available, as early as possible:
(a) a brief description of its scope and objectives; and
(b) if available, the estimated time for its adoption, including any opportunities for public consultation.
Article GRP.7: Public consultation
1. When preparing a major regulatory measure, each Party, in accordance with its respective rules and procedures, shall ensure that its regulatory authority:
(a) publishes either the draft regulatory measure or consultation documents providing sufficient details about the regulatory measure under preparation to allow any person to assess whether and how that person’s interests might be significantly affected;
(b) offers, on a non-discriminatory basis, reasonable opportunities for any person to provide comments; and
(c) considers the comments received.
50 For the United Kingdom, “small and medium-sized enterprises” means small and micro-sized businesses.
51 In the case of the United Kingdom, major regulatory measures shall be understood as significant regulatory measures in accordance with the definition of such measures in the United Kingdom’s rules and procedures.
2. Each Party shall ensure that its regulatory authority makes use of electronic means of communication and shall seek to maintain online services that are available to the public free of charge for the purposes of publishing the relevant regulatory measures or documents of the kind referred to in point (a) of paragraph 1 and of receiving comments related to public consultations.
3. Each Party shall ensure that its regulatory authority makes publicly available, in accordance with its respective rules and procedures, a summary of the results of the public consultations referred to in this Article.
Article GRP.8: Impact assessment
1. Each Party affirms its intention to ensure that its regulatory authority carries out, in accordance with its respective rules and procedures, impact assessments for any major regulatory measures it prepares. Such rules and procedures may provide for exceptions.
2. When carrying out an impact assessment, each Party shall ensure that its regulatory authority has processes and mechanisms in place that promote the consideration of the following factors:
(a) the need for the regulatory measure, including the nature and the significance of the problem that the regulatory measure intends to address;
(b) any feasible and appropriate regulatory or non-regulatory options that would achieve the Party’s public policy objectives, including the option of not regulating;
(c) to the extent possible and relevant, the potential social, economic and environmental impact of those options, including the impact on international trade and investment and, in accordance with its respective rules and procedures, the impact on small and medium-sized enterprises; and
(d) where appropriate, how the options under consideration relate to relevant international standards, including the reasons for any divergence.
3. With respect to an impact assessment that a regulatory authority has conducted for a regulatory measure, each Party shall ensure that its regulatory authority prepares a final report detailing the factors it considered in its assessment and its relevant findings. To the extent possible, each Party shall make such reports publicly available no later than when the proposal for a regulatory measure as referred to in point (b)(i)(A) or (b)(ii(A) of Article GRP.2 [Definitions] or a regulatory measure as referred to in point (b)(i)(B) or (b)(ii)(B) of Article GRP.2 [Definitions] has been made publicly available.
Article GRP.9: Retrospective evaluation
1. Each Party shall ensure that its regulatory authority has in place processes or mechanisms for the purpose of carrying out periodic retrospective evaluations of regulatory measures in force, where appropriate.
2. When conducting a periodic retrospective evaluation, each Party shall endeavour to consider whether there are opportunities to more effectively achieve its public policy objectives and to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens, including on small and medium-sized enterprises.
3. Each Party shall ensure that its regulatory authority makes publicly available any existing plans for and the results of such retrospective evaluations.
Article GRP.10: Regulatory register
Each Party shall ensure that regulatory measures that are in effect are published in a designated register that identifies regulatory measures and that is publicly available online free of charge. The register should allow searches for regulatory measures by citations or by word. Each Party shall periodically update its register.
Article GRP.11: Exchange of information on good regulatory practices
The Parties shall endeavour to exchange information on their good regulatory practices as set out in this Title, including in the Trade Specialised Committee on Regulatory Cooperation.
Article GRP.12: Regulatory cooperation activities
1. The Parties may engage in regulatory cooperation activities on a voluntary basis, without prejudice to the autonomy of their own decision-making and their respective legal orders. A Party may refuse to engage in or it may withdraw from regulatory cooperation activities. A Party that refuses to engage in or that withdraws from regulatory cooperation activities should explain the reasons for its decision to the other Party.
2. Each Party may propose a regulatory cooperation activity to the other Party. It shall present its proposal via the contact point designated in accordance with Article GRP.14 [Contact points]. The other Party shall review that proposal within a reasonable period and shall inform the proposing Party whether it considers the proposed activity to be suitable for regulatory cooperation.
3. In order to identify activities that are suitable for regulatory cooperation, each Party shall consider:
(a) the list referred to in Article GRP.6(1) [Early information on planned regulatory measures]; and
(b) proposals for regulatory cooperation activities submitted by persons of a Party that are substantiated and accompanied by relevant information.
4. If the Parties decide to engage in a regulatory cooperation activity, the regulatory authority of each Party shall endeavour, where appropriate:
(a) to inform the regulatory authority of the other Party about the preparation of new or the revision of existing regulatory measures and other measures of general application referred to in Article GRP.3(2) [Scope] that are relevant to the regulatory cooperation activity;
(b) on request, to provide information and discuss regulatory measures and other measures of general application referred to in Article GRP.3(2) [Scope] that are relevant to the regulatory cooperation activity; and
(c) when preparing new or revising existing regulatory measures or other measures of general application referred to in Article GRP.3(2) [Scope], consider, to the extent feasible, any regulatory approach by the other Party on the same or a related matter.
Article GRP.13: Trade Specialised Committee on Regulatory Cooperation
1. The Trade Specialised Committee on Regulatory Cooperation shall have the following functions:
(a) enhancing and promoting good regulatory practices and regulatory cooperation between the Parties;
(b) exchanging views with respect to the cooperation activities proposed or carried out under Article GRP.12 [Regulatory cooperation activities];
(c) encouraging regulatory cooperation and coordination in international fora, including, when appropriate, periodic bilateral exchanges of information on relevant ongoing or planned activities.
2. The Trade Specialised Committee on Regulatory Cooperation may invite interested persons to participate in its meetings.
Article GRP.14: Contact points
Within a month after the entry into force of this Agreement, each Party shall designate a contact point to facilitate the exchange of information between the Parties.
Article GRP.15: Non-application of dispute settlement
Title I [Dispute Settlement] of Part Six does not apply in respect of disputes regarding the interpretation and application of this Title.