Questions and answers - CNSC and the Service Fees Act

What is the Service Fees Act?

The Service Fees Act (SFA) is legislation that increases transparency, accountability and predictability for service fees that the Government of Canada charges to Canadians.

The SFA helps ensure that the fees that federal departments and agencies charge to Canadians remain current and better reflect the costs of delivering services.

The Government of Canada introduced the SFA in 2017 to replace the User Fees Act. All federal departments and agencies that charge fees for services are subject to the SFA.

Which CNSC fees are subject to the Service Fees Act?

The CNSC reports on all its fees under the SFA. However, only the fees under Part 4 (Fixed Fees) of the CNSC Cost Recovery Fees Regulations are subject to the SFA sections that require an annual fee adjustment and the application of service standards.

What are the key changes to fixed fees under the Service Fees Act?

Key changes to the legislation include:

  • a streamlined fee-setting process
  • a requirement to adjust fees annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  • a requirement to apply service standards
  • a requirement to remit fees when service standards are not met

How do the fixed fee adjustments work?

Fixed fees are adjusted to reflect the CPI. The CPI rate is set one year in advance and is based on the CPI published by Statistics Canada in April of the previous year.

The CPI is an indicator of the year-to-year changes in prices paid by Canadian consumers. To set the index, Statistics Canada uses an average of price changes for predefined consumer goods and services, including transportation, food and medical care.

For more information on the annual CPI, please refer to the Statistics Canada website.

To remain compliant with the SFA, the CNSC will adjust fixed fees on April 1, 2021, using the CPI for the last 3 years (2.2% for 2019–20, 2.0% for 2020–21 and -0.2% for 2021–22). The 3 adjustments are applied on a compound basis. 

Will the fixed fees change every year?

Each year, the previous year’s fees will be recalculated and adjusted to reflect the CPI.

What is a remission within the meaning of the Service Fees Act?

Under the SFA, a remission is the refund of a portion of a fee when the service or product is not delivered according to the service standard. Only fixed fees are subject to service standards under the SFA. The remission is paid to the original fee payer.

When will remissions be issued?

Where necessary, the CNSC will issue remissions for fixed fees at regular intervals throughout the year. Those entitled to a remission will receive it by no later than July 1 of the following fiscal year.

Is a remission issued any time a service standard is not met?

No. Remissions are governed by the CNSC Remission Policy. The remission decision may also take into account considerations such as:

  • impact on the fee payer
    • loss of income
    • a delay in being able to benefit from the licensing, certification, etc.
  • circumstances beyond the CNSC’s control
    • delay in issuing a licence or certification as a result of exceptional circumstances (e.g., natural disaster, labour disruption)
  • any role that the fee payer might have played
    • the fee payer did not provide the required information, causing a delay in issuing a licence or certification

If an applicant paid the fee before April 1, 2021, and received the certification or licence outside the established service standard, is the applicant eligible for a remission?

Eligibility for a remission applies to all complete applications received on or after April 1, 2021, that qualify under the remission policies.

Please refer to the CNSC Remission Policy for detailed information on remissions in relation to the specific fee paid.

Does an applicant need to contact the CNSC to receive a remission?

No. Remissions will be issued automatically. Applications will be monitored by the CNSC and the appropriate portion of the fee will be refunded in accordance with the existing departmental refund mechanisms for each fee.

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