NAFTA TWG on Pesticides
- United States-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council Initiatives on Pesticides
- Implementing NAFTA Labels
- Own Use Import Program
- NAFTA MRL Calculator
- Updated Procedures for the Joint Review of Biopesticides
The North American Free Trade Agreement Technical Working Group on Pesticides is a collaboration among the pesticides regulatory government agencies of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.Established in 1997 to streamline pesticide shipments between Canada, Mexico, and the United States, the primary objective of the TWG is to develop more efficient and less expensive pesticide regulation and trade among the three countries and meet the environmental, ecological and human health objectives of NAFTA. Coordination of regulatory decisionmaking reduces burden on both government and industry.
The TWG Five-Year Strategy (PDF) (31 pp, 420.61K, About PDF) reaffirms the overarching goals of the TWG'S 1997 and 2003 strategic plans and outlines key objectives and work areas to guide the TWG’s efforts through 2013. Many of the TWG successes from 2003-2008 are captured in an Accomplishments Report (PDF) (19 pp, 201.14K, About PDF). More details on the TWG's planned and completed efforts can be found in the Five Year Strategy Project List (PDF)(6 pp, 45K, About PDF), project sheets and project completion sheets.
EPA/OPP and its NAFTA partners have completed more than 19 projects since 1998. These projects have:
- improved food safety, risk reduction and trade of agricultural commodities;
- enabled successful collaboration on reviewing scientific studies and coordinated registration decisions of new pesticides and uses; and
- improved processes for exchanging information between industry and the three regulatory agencies. There are many projects under way, guided by NAFTA project teams made up of representatives from the various agencies. Descriptions and progress of these projects are available on project sheets.
The NAFTA TWG lead agencies are: U.S. EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency, and Mexico’s Ministry of Agriculture (Sagarpa Spanish)), and Ministry of Health (Cofepris (Spanish) (English)). The TWG is led by an Executive Board that provides overall guidance and policy direction. The Executive Board members are:
Director of the U.S. EPA Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP),
Executive Director of the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), and
General Director for Agri-foods, Aquaculture, and Fisheries in the Mexican agriculture ministry known as Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (SAGARPA).
Senior-level regulatory and scientific managers from the various agencies also participate in the TWG.
The TWG Secretariat provides overall coordination of the TWG’s activities and consists of staff-level representatives from all three countries. There are several projects under way, guided by NAFTA project teams made up of representatives from the various agencies.
There are two NAFTA TWG meetings a year: a government-only meeting with the Executive Board and other regulatory officials and a government-stakeholder meeting with the Executive Board, regulatory officials and interested stakeholders such as growers, industry and public interest groups. The public is consulted in advance of these meetings to identify topics of interest, and public meeting summaries are published to report on key outcomes from the meetings. The last annual stakeholder meeting of the NAFTA TWG was hosted by EPA on November 17, 2011, in Arlington, Virginia. When available, meeting summaries are posted at http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/international/naftatwg/meetings/meetings.htm.