International regulatory cooperation

This page explains the ways that countries can cooperate to improve the quality and effectiveness of domestic law. It includes case studies of cooperation in practice.

About international regulatory cooperation

International regulatory cooperation is the different things a country can do to:

  • take account of cross-border impacts in the design and implementation of domestic law
  • reduce the impact of differences in regulatory settings across borders.

There are many options for cooperation with different costs and benefits. These can range from sharing information and ideas through to adopting the same laws or policy settings.

Why international regulatory cooperation is important

Regulatory cooperation is important because we live in an interconnected world. It can:

  • help reduce barriers to support trade and investment
  • improve the effectiveness of domestic law 
  • make law easier to design, implement and enforce
  • help solve big global issues, such as climate change or tax avoidance, where one country cannot deal with the issue on its own.

What we do

We help promote international regulatory cooperation to New Zealand regulatory agencies.

We participate in the work of international bodies that support international regulatory cooperation. These include the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Current initiatives and resources

International regulatory cooperation toolkit

We have created an online toolkit that provides practical guidance for policy-makers and regulators about the opportunities, options and success factors for international regulatory cooperation. The toolkit includes case studies which show the lessons learnt from the different approaches to international regulatory cooperation.

IRC toolkit(external link)

Commissioned case studies

In 2018 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and our Ministry commissioned the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) to prepare brief international regulatory cooperation case studies focused on drawing out the lessons learnt.

The case studies showcase and raise awareness of the existing regulatory cooperation practice and encourage regulators to think about the opportunities and options for future cooperation.

The case studies are available online on the NZIER website and are included in the toolkit.

NZIER(external link) — New Zealand Institute of Economic Research

More information

We welcome any questions, suggestions or comments about international regulatory cooperation.

We also welcome feedback from regulators about successful initiatives. You can email us at

Last updated: 28 June 2023