Excise taxes, excise duties, softwood lumber products export charge and Air Travellers Security charge

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There are two types of federal levies on products manufactured or produced in Canada: excise taxes and excise duties.

These levies are applied to a limited range of goods at different rates and in different ways, depending on the product. Excise tax and excise duty apply to goods before the GST/HST is added.

Excise taxes

Excise taxes are charged on:

  • fuel-inefficient vehicles
  • automobile air conditioners
  • certain petroleum products

The Excise Tax Act sets out the excise tax rate for each of these goods.

When goods are made in Canada, excise tax is payable when the goods are delivered to the buyer. When they are imported, excise tax is payable by the importer, at the time the goods were imported.

Under certain circumstances, you may be able to claim a refund of the excise taxes you paid.

Manufacturers need an excise tax licence ("E" licence) unless they qualify as a small manufacturer. You qualify as a small manufacturer if your total annual sales are not more than $50,000.

A wholesaler licence ("W" licence) lets you buy goods for resale without paying excise taxes. You may qualify for a "W" licence under certain limited circumstances. When you have this licence, you collect and remit the excise tax when you sell the goods.

For more information, go to Excise taxes and special levies or contact us at 1-866-330-3304.

Excise duties

Excise duties are charged on spirits, wine, beer, and tobacco products. The rates of duty on spirits, wine and tobacco products are given in the Excise Act, 2001 and duty rates on beer are given in the Excise Act.

When these goods are manufactured in Canada, duty is payable on the goods at the point of packaging rather than at the point of sale. Generally, when they are imported into Canada, duty is payable by the importer when the goods are imported.

All persons who manufacture these goods in Canada must be licensed. Most licensees must provide security of at least $5,000.

For more information, contact the nearest regional excise duty office. For a listing of their offices and numbers, see EDM1-1-2, Regional Excise Duty Offices.

Softwood lumber products export charge

The Softwood Lumber Agreement 2006 has expired. However, the Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006 remains in force for administrative purposes to cover things like late filing, corrections, or appeals.

For more information, go to Softwood lumber products export charge. For information on registration or returns and payments, call 1-800-935-0313.

For technical enquiries regarding the Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006, call 1-866-330-3304.

Air travellers security charge

The CRA is responsible for administering the Air Travellers Security Charge (ATSC). The ATSC is collected by registered air carriers, and their agents, when an airline ticket is purchased.

All designated air carriers that provide air transportation to individuals on an aircraft having a maximum certified take-off weight greater than 2,730 kilograms and whose service includes chargeable enplanements must register to collect the ATSC.

These air transportation services, regularly scheduled flights, and charter flights generally, include:

  • flights from listed airports in Canada to other listed airports
  • transborder flights
  • international flights

If you provide such air transportation services, you must complete registration Form B248, Registration Form Under the Provisions of the Air Travellers Security Charge Act, and send it to:

Canada Revenue Agency
Prince Edward Island Tax Centre
275 Pope Road
Summerside PE  C1N 6A2

Registered air carriers must file Form B249, Air Travellers Security Charge Return, on a monthly basis, unless they have been approved by the CRA to file semi-annually. For information on how to file this return online, go to E-services for Businesses.

For more information on the ATSC, go to Air Travellers Security Charge.

Individuals in Canada or the United States with ATSC registration or account-related questions can call the SBR Unit toll free at 1-877-432-5472. Individuals outside these countries can call 902-432-5472. Individuals in Canada or the United States with technical questions can call the CRA toll free at 1-866-330-3304.

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