Cost recovery and fees for Health Canada
Learn about the practice of cost recovery at Health Canada, including details on fees, service standards and fee remission. In the future, this webpage will have details on how to pay fees.
On this page
- Cost recovery
- Guiding principles
- Programs that charge fees
- List of fees
- Service standards
- Remissions for missed service standards
- How to pay
- Related information
Cost recovery is the practice of establishing and collecting fees. Health Canada charges fees to recover part or all of the costs incurred to deliver its programs. This ensures that businesses pay their fair share and minimizes the burden on the taxpayer.
Health Canada has been charging fees to industry since the 1950's. Many international regulators also charge fees.
Health Canada's approach to cost recovery is guided by the following principles and objectives:
- Accountability and Transparency:
- Transparent fee setting and costing methodology
- Meaningful and inclusive stakeholder engagements
- Ongoing stakeholder communication
- Meaningful and measurable service standards
- Accessible and constructive complaint resolution and dispute management processes
- Predictability and Sustainability:
- Accurate and accessible fee schedules
- Consistent application of costing methodologies
- Clear and accessible remission policies
- Established processes for regularly reviewing and updating fees
- Routine assessment of new business lines for potential fee regimes
- Stewardship and Fairness:
- Appropriate fee setting ratios, with fees that do not exceed the full cost
- Consideration of fee mitigation measures, where appropriate
- Ongoing promotion of cost recovery business improvements
- Delivery of service in accordance with established service standards
- Ongoing cost monitoring and identification of cost containment measures
- Reimbursement in accordance with the remission policy
The department determines the cost of providing the activity or service and sets the appropriate fee. Stakeholders must pay these fees to receive a particular service.
In 2017, the Government of Canada introduced the Service Fees Act (SFA) to replace the User Fees Act. The SFA:
- established an annual fee report tabled in Parliament
- introduced mandatory remissions, annual adjustments and service standards
- increased transparency, accountability and predictability for the fees charged by the Government of Canada
Health Canada programs have various fee regimes. Fee regimes can be exempt in whole or in part from the SFA and adhere to their own legislation and fee regulations. Health Canada programs with fee regimes that are exempt from the SFA include:
- fees are regulated by the Cannabis Act
- Drugs and Medical Devices (excluding Dealer's License)
- fees are regulated by the Food and Drug Act and the Patent Act or are set by contract
- National Dosimetry Services
- fees are set by contract
Programs that charge fees
Health Canada programs that charge fees include:
- Human Drugs
- Medical Devices
- Veterinary Drugs
- Hazardous Materials
- National Dosimetry Services
List of fees
Health Canada has developed service standards to provide quality client service. Service standards state the level of performance that you can reasonably expect from Health Canada under normal circumstances.
Visit 2021-2022 Report on Fees for more information on service standards and performance.
Remissions for missed service standards
A remission is a partial or full return of a fee paid because of a missed service standard.
Under the SFA, departments must develop policies to determine:
- whether it has met the service standard
- how much of a fee will be returned to a fee payer if the department didn't meet the service standard
This requirement took effect on April 1, 2021, and applies to Health Canada programs that adhere to the SFA. Program areas have developed remission policies that follow the requirements in the Health Canada's Remission Policy for Missed Service Standards.
To view the program remissions policies, please visit:
Programs that are exempt from the SFA may have their own remission policy under their respective legislation. One example is the Fees in Respect of Drugs and Medical Devices Order. Under this Order, if the Minister finds that the department didn't meet the service standard, it will remit 25% of the fee.
Cannabis and National Dosimetry Services are exempt from the SFA and aren't required to remit for missed service standards.
How to pay
Please visit How to Pay Health Canada Fees for information regarding payment methods
Chief Financial Officer Branch – Cost Recovery Office:
- Date modified: