EDN28 – Becoming a Prescribed Person under the New Tobacco Stamping Regime

March 2011

The information in this notice does not replace the law found in the Excise Act, 2001 and its regulations and is provided for your reference and convenience only. As the information in this publication may not completely address your particular operation, you may wish to refer to the Act or its regulations, or you may contact the Excise Stamp Order Desk or your regional excise duty office for additional information. A list of all regional excise duty offices is available in Excise Duty Memorandum 1.1.2, Regional Excise Duty Offices, on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Web site.

The purpose of this notice is to provide guidance on the manner in which to apply to be a prescribed person under the Excise Act, 2001 (Act) for purposes of purchasing, possessing and applying excise stamps on tobacco products. For information on how to become registered and how to order excise stamps, see Excise Duty Notice EDN 29, Tobacco Stamping Regime – Excise Stamp Order Process.


On July 12, 2010, the Jobs and Economic Growth Act received Royal Assent. This act contains the legislative amendments to the Excise Act, 2001 required to implement the new stamping regime for tobacco products.

Some of the legislative amendments are summarized below:

In accordance with the legislative amendments to the Excise Act, 2001, the new excise stamp became available on September 1, 2010. Effective April 1, 2011, all tobacco products to be entered into the duty-paid market or to be released under the Customs Act for entry into the duty-paid market must be stamped with the new excise stamp. For a limited transition period following April 1, 2011, both the new excise stamps and/or the current tear-tape or paper stamps may appear on tobacco products that were entered into the duty-paid market prior to that date. Further, provincially marked tear tape may continue to be present on duty-paid tobacco products.

Prescribed persons

For purposes of the new tobacco stamping regime, there are two situations where a person may be designated or deemed to be a prescribed person, as follows:

How to become a prescribed person

Persons who import tobacco products

Importers of tobacco products destined for the Canadian duty-paid market who are not tobacco licensees under the Excise Act, 2001 and who want to become prescribed persons under the Act, must submit a letter to the Excise Stamp Order Desk, and:

Note: Stamps will be ordered using an on-line ordering system. To access this on-line ordering system, all prescribed persons and tobacco licensees must submit a registration form to the CRA Excise Stamp Order Desk. For additional information on how to become registered and order excise stamps, see Excise Duty Notice EDN 29.

Persons who transport excise stamps

A person who transports excise stamps on behalf of:

Deemed prescribed persons who transport stamps must maintain adequate documentation to demonstrate that they were, in fact, in possession of excise stamps and operating on behalf of the above named persons.

No fees

There are no application fees required to obtain a prescribed person designation under the Act.

Security requirements

Every tobacco licensee and prescribed person who imports tobacco products destined for the duty-paid market who wants to obtain excise stamps must post security in a form satisfactory to the Minister and in an amount determined by the CRA. More details on the security requirements may be found in the Regulations Amending the Stamping and Marking Regulations (2011) or from the Excise Stamp Order Desk.

Effect and duration

A prescribed person designation is effective from the date indicated in the notice of approval and it remains in effect until the person either requests to cancel his designation or no longer qualifies to be a prescribed person.

Changes to entity or operations

A prescribed person must report any of the changes listed below, in writing, to the CRA Excise Stamp Order Desk within a reasonable period of time before the change occurs:

In the case of a change of legal entity, a new prescribed person designation request will be required.

Where a request to be designated as a prescribed person is not approved

The decision to issue a prescribed person designation rests with the CRA. Approval of a designation request will not be granted if the person does not meet the eligibility requirements described in this notice.

Additional information

The Excise Stamp Order Desk can be reached at the following address and numbers:

Excise Stamp Order Desk
Excise Duties and Taxes Division
Excise and GST/HST Rulings Directorate
Canada Revenue Agency
Place de Ville Tower A 11th floor
320 Queen St
Ottawa ON  K1A 0L5

Telephone: 1-866-330-3304
Fax: 418-556-1840
Email: excise.stamp@cra-arc.gc.ca

All technical publications related to the Excise Act, 2001 and regulations are available on the CRA Web site at www.cra.gc.ca/exciseduty, under the title “Excise Act, 2001 – Technical Information”.

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