Good Regulatory Practices

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At the 39th Session of the ICAO Assembly (27 Sep - 7 Oct 2016, Montreal), general support was expressed to the “smart regulation” approach advocated by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which encouraged States to adopt this approach in their regulatory practices. 


The principles of this "good regulatory practices" approach are currently under review by ICAO within the context of its No Country Left Behind (NCLB) initiative.​


Policy Design Principles 

  • ​​Consistency and coherence – Regulations should be consistent with existing (and planned) rules and practices that are applicable to regulated activities so that there are no overlaps and contradictions (nationally or internationally). They should also be predictable and applied with clear oversight responsibility and without discrimination against those being regulated. 

  • Proportionality – Regulations should be used only when their necessity is demonstrated and should be proportionate to the problems identified so that the costs of compliance are minimized by pursuing the most cost-effective solution. 

  • Targeted at risk – Regulations should have specific and well-defined objectives that respond directly to the problems identified. Whenever appropriate, flexibility should be given to those being regulated to meet defined objectives. 

  • Fair and non-distortive – Regulations should be applied fairly and not create discriminatory burdens on any group/s in particular. 

  • Clarity and certainty – Audiences subject to regulatory compliance need to clearly know the regulations that will apply, what is expected of them, and have sufficient time to be able to comply with new requirements. 


Process Principles 

  • The objective of the regulation should be identified based on sound evidence and available alternatives; and should be considered to select the most appropriate solution. 

  • There should be an assessment of the impacts from the regulation prior to implementation; and should be regularly monitored.

  • The drafting of the regulation should involve those who are potentially affected; the decision making process should be transparent and objective. 

  • The process of developing the regulation should allow for regular and systematic review (and subsequent modification, if needed) to ensure that the regulation is still appropriate. 

  • There should be clear procedures to respond to adjudications and appeals and to revise the regulation if necessary.


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