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User Fee Remission Policy

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The purpose of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) Cost Recovery Policy and Framework is to establish a consistent and robust approach to the development of user fees. User fees are based on the cost of the services delivered; the public vs. private benefit provided by the service; and other considerations (e.g. economic impacts, regulatory efficiency, comparisons with other jurisdictions).

The fee-setting framework relies on a rigorous analysis of services delivered, a sound costing methodology and a consistent approach to applying fees across all programs that the Agency delivers.

This document outlines the policy and process for considering user fee remission requests received by the CFIA. A remission is an extraordinary measure that allows the government to provide full or partial relief under circumstances in which relief is justified.

Policy Statement

Fee remissions will be considered and may be recommended to the Minister to the extent that the requests are consistent with the guiding principles outlined in this document.


The objectives of this policy are to:


This policy is intended to provide guidance to CFIA staff when dealing with requests for remission of fees. This policy applies to all user fees listed in the CFIA Fees Notice.


Subsection 29(1) of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act (CFIA Act) provides the Minister of Health with the authority to remit all or part of any fee fixed under section 24 or 25 of the CFIA Act, or under any Act that the CFIA enforces.

Subsection 23 (2.1) of the Financial Administration Act (FAA) provides the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Treasury Board of Canada, with the authority to remit any other debt (including user fees) either partially or fully.

Guiding Principles

Remission requests may be recommended in circumstances where the fee(s) would be considered:

Instances include:


Source of requests: Remission requests may come from external sources (e.g. individuals, industry associations, etc.) or internal sources (e.g. CFIA officials, other federal departments, etc.).

Scope of remission: Remissions may be partial or total with respect to the amount of the fee(s), and may be conditional or unconditional.

Authority to grant remissions: If the estimated value of the remission for a period of one year is expected to exceed 5% of the total revenue collected from user fees, the CFIA will recommend that the remission be granted under the authority of the FAA. An amount less than 5% may be considered under the authority of the FAA if the remission is related to an issue with significant policy implications.

Time limits: Recommendations may include limits on the duration of the remission. Duration limits may change and remissions may be recommended for extension.

Remission renewals: Remissions may be recommended for renewal if they continue to meet the guiding principles of the policy.

Roles and Responsibilities

A request for a fee remission, regardless of the source of request, should include the following information:

  1. contact information of requester;
  2. user fee(s) for which the remission request is being made;
  3. condition or conditions leading to the remission request (e.g. severe hardship, unfairness resulting from administrative errors, and/or unfairness or unintended results); and
  4. any other pertinent information in support of the request.

Once all relevant information is provided, the request will be analyzed against the elements set out in this document and a recommendation made to approve or deny the remission request.

If the recommendation is to approve the remission request, it will include advice as to under which authority the remission should be granted.

Remission requests should be sent either via email to the Cost Recovery Team at or sent to:

Strategic Policy and Priorities Division
Tower 1, Floor 5, Room 216
1400 Merivale Rd.
Ottawa, ON K1A 0Y9
Fax: 613-773-5695


The CFIA will make available information related to fee remissions in line with its Transparency in Regulatory Decision-making Policy.

Monitoring and Reporting

The policy will be reviewed at a minimum of once every five years, subject to priority ranking of all areas of risk or significance within the CFIA.


For interpretation, clarification or inquiries regarding this policy please email the Cost Recovery Team or write to the Director of the Strategic Policy and Priorities Division at the addresses noted in the Roles and Responsibilities section.

Effective Date

This policy comes into effect on January 20, 2017.

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