Transport Canada and the Service Fees Act

The Service Fees Act impacts government departments that charge fees for services including Transport Canada.

On this page

Changes to Government of Canada service fees

The Service Fees Act changes the Government of Canada's approach to fees for services, and how departments create more transparency for Canadians.

How? The act requires government departments to:

  • report on costs of services we deliver
  • publish fee revenues
  • issue fee remissions and report on them
  • establish service standards and post them publicly
  • track and publish report on service results
  • adjust fees for inflation, per the Consumer Price Index on an annual basis

Each requirement of the act has a different start date:

  • Service standard review by June 2018
  • Applying inflation (Consumer Price Indexing) on April 1, 2019
  • Implementing a department remission policy on April 1, 2021

Applicability of the Service Fees Act at Transport Canada

Treasury Board Secretariat established a materiality threshold that determines which services are subject to Service Fees Act requirements for inflation, service standard performance, and remission of fees.

We apply inflation and remission to a fee when it is considered material under the Low-materiality Fees Regulations.

Material fees are:

  • fees that are $151 or more
  • fees that are $51 or more, but less than $151, that generate more than $500,000 of revenue per year
  • formula-based fees
    • time-based rates (e.g., hourly, daily)
    • weight-based rates
    • length-based rates
  • fees listed in Schedule II of the Low-materiality Fees Regulations

Low-materiality fees are:

  • fees that are less than $51
  • fees that are $51 or more, but less than $151, that generate less than $500,000 of revenue per year
  • fees listed in Schedule I of the Low-materiality Fees Regulations

You can search Transport Canada’s Service Fees for information about service fees and service standards.

Service standards

Service standards are integral to good client service and to effectively managing performance. They help:

  • clarify expectations for clients and employees
  • drive service improvement
  • contribute to results-based management

Transport Canada is committed to delivering quality services and enhancing accountability around services standards. As such we have established services standards for all fee-paying services the department offers Canadians. Departments are accountable for meeting their service standards.

In June 2018, Transport Canada realigned some of our existing service standards and set new standards where they did not exist, to better balance client expectations with internal capacity and resources.

A service standard does not mean that we will take longer to process applications. Rather it sets a realistic expectation around their delivery.

Service standards are measured in working days, not calendar days. When measuring service performance, the day count starts the next working day.

Learn more about Transport Canada’s service standards.

Adjusting service fees for inflation

Starting April 1, 2019, Transport Canada began adjusting most fees according to the Consumer Price Index, also known as inflation.

Statistics Canada determines the percentage change of the Consumer Price Index.

Inflation is calculated on an annual basis and applied every April 1. Refer to Transport Canada's Service Fees.

Remission of fees

As of April 1, 2021, Transport Canada must meet the service standards that are published for each fee.

A “remission” means that Transport Canada will reimburse a portion of a fee paid for services when we don’t meet our service standards. This requirement reinforces accountability around service delivery and helps us set meaningful and realistic service expectations.

Canadian law requires that we apply the remission policy to all material fees.

Remission payments happen automatically, and you don’t need to take any action.

Table 1: Remission payout scale

Tier level

Percentage over standard

Percentage of fee to be reimbursed

Tier 1 0% to 25% 10%
Tier 2 More than 25% and less than or equal to 75% 20%
Tier 3 More than 75% 30%

Transport Canada’s Policy on remissions lays out the criteria for remission as well as information about when it does not apply.

Transport Canada’s Fee Modernization Initiative

Transport Canada will continue to modernize its fees by updating and creating fees. Some fees have not been updated in over 20 years. Our Fee Modernization Initiative will ensure that we continue to provide the quality of services that industry and Canadians expect from us.

Get Involved

We are committed to listening to our stakeholders including industry and the public throughout the consultation process. Before a fee modernization regulatory process begins, we consult and engage with a variety of Canadians. To learn more on this initiative and to share your ideas, visit the Let’s Talk Fee Modernization.