Standards & Rulemaking

Country Partnerships

About Country Partnerships

PHMSA engages in dialogue with many countries as part of harmonizing the U.S. Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) with international standards and regulations. Currently, our main country partnerships are with Canada, China and Mexico.


Canada Flag

In February 2011, President Obama and Canada’s Prime Minister Harper launched the U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). The Leaders created the RCC to facilitate closer cooperation between our two countries to develop smarter and more effective approaches to regulation to make the U.S. and Canadian economies stronger and more competitive, while meeting the fundamental responsibilities of protecting safety and welfare of our citizens. After private sector consultations and bilateral negotiations, the RCC released a Joint Action Plan on Regulatory Cooperation on December 7, 2011. The Joint Action Plan was a practical first step to increased regulatory cooperation between the U.S. and Canada.

Each year, regulators and stakeholders from the U.S. and Canada participate in RCC annual meetings to discuss regulatory cooperation. The thematic sessions explore regulations in over twenty sectors, including: crop protection, work place chemicals, food safety, energy efficiency, transport of dangerous goods, aquaculture, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and connected vehicles. The forward-looking RCC meetings help identify opportunities for regulatory cooperation and inform the development of the annual Work Plans with concrete objectives, deliverables and milestones. Click here for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods and Explosives Work Plans. Click here for the official Canadian Regulations for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods.


China Flag

The U.S.-China Transportation Forum (TF) serves as the principal forum for high-level multi-modal transportation discussions involving U.S. and China government and industry experts. Through the TF, officials work to develop mutually beneficial solutions to common transportation challenges. This annual high-level bilateral event serves as the primary mechanism from which to review progress made among the various TF Working Groups: 1) Safety and Disaster Assistance and Coordination; 2) Urban Congestion; 3) Hazardous Materials; 4) New Technologies in Transport (Rail); and 5) the Ports and Inland Waterways Initiative. The 8th U.S.-China Transportation Forum was hosted by the U.S. Department of Transportation on June 1-3, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Click here for more information on the U.S. - China Transportation Forum.


Mexico Flag

Together with Canada, Mexico and the United States comprise one of the most competitive and successful regional economic platforms in the world, the sustained competitiveness of which is dependent in large measure on continued and deepened economic and commercial cooperation, integration, and policy alignment. To further elevate and strengthen this dynamic bilateral commercial and economic relationship, President Obama and President Peña Nieto have agreed to establish a High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED). The HLED, which is expected to meet annually starting in the Fall of 2014, is envisioned as a flexible platform intended to advance strategic economic and commercial priorities central to promoting mutual economic growth, job creation, and global competitiveness. Click here for the Official Mexican Standards (Normas Oficiales Mexicanas or NOMs).