Regulatory policy

International Regulatory Co-operation - Adapting rules to an interconnected world



Tackling the complex, interconnected and rapidly changing policy challenges requires international regulatory cooperation (IRC). Experience shows that we cannot manage transboundary challenges and promote global public goods through individual action. This is compounded by new technologies, including digitalization, that pay no regard to national or jurisdictional boundaries and drastically increase the intensity of cross-border flows and transactions. In 2012, OECD countries adopted the Recommendation of the Council on Regulatory Policy and Governance that includes IRC as a key element of regulatory quality.


IRC plays a strong role to “harness” and create common rules of globalisation. Surprisingly, however, this potential remains largely untapped. The OECD Regulatory Policy Committee has built a wealth of knowledge to shed light on the types of challenges requiring IRC and the variety of co-operation approaches.

IRC mobilises an extensive variety of actors in the national and international rulemaking environment. At the country level, law makers and regulators across policy areas are the key initiators of IRC efforts. In the international arena, intergovernmental organisations, private standard-setters, and transgovernmental networks of regulators provide the platform for IRC to take place in specific subject areas.

The IRC policy brief is available here.


Latest updates


July 2021
OECD Best Practice Principles on International Regulatory Co-operation

January 2021
Good regulatory practices and co-operation in trade agreements: A historical perspective and stocktaking

Public consultation on the draft OECD Best Practice Principles on International Regulatory Co-operation (now closed)

October 2020
International organisations in the context of COVID-19

September 2020
7th Annual Meeting of International Organisations

Review of International Regulatory Co-operation of the United Kingdom

June 2020
No policy maker is an island: the international regulatory co-operation response to the COVID-19 crisis

February 2020
Study in support of the future OIE Observatory of standard implementation

IRC: The Case of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures

January 2020
Study of IRC Arrangements for Air Quality 

July 2019
Facilitating trade through regulatory cooperation: The case of the WTO's TBT/SPS Agreements and Committee

June 2019
Regulatory effectiveness in the era of digitalisation

The variety of IRC approaches
IRC in policy areas, including
Air Pollution 
IRC & international organisations
The role of IOs in support of IRC
IO Partnership






IRC in countries, as monitored in:

2018 Regulatory Policy Outlook
United Kingdom
View the list of publications
View the list of events



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