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

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.

Guiding principles

Health Canada's approach to cost recovery is guided by the following principles and objectives:


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:

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:

Programs that charge fees

Health Canada programs that charge fees include:

List of fees

For updated fees, visit the List of fees webpage. For additional information, visit the 2021-2022 Report on Fees.

Service standards

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:

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

Related information

Chief Financial Officer Branch – Cost Recovery Office:

Page details

Date modified: