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About the Policy on Remissions

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A “remission” is the reimbursement of part or full fee paid for a service when the department has not met its established standard for providing that service.

In line with the Service Fees Act, Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Policy on Remissions is effective as of April 1, 2021.

As of April 1, 2021, if we do not meet a service standard for an eligible fee, we may pay you a remission within the next fiscal year.

Eligible service fees and service standards

We have updated our service standards for every eligible service fee. The service standard and related remission calculation varies for each service fee:

Canadian Hydrographic Services fees are exempted from the policy due to their low amount. The Low-materiality Fees Regulations provides more information, but generally means fees less than $51 may be exempted from certain requirements of the Service Fees Act.

Calculating remissions

Remissions will be calculated as they relate to a portion of the missed service standard.

A remission will not be issued for service standards that were missed due to circumstances outside the department’s control such as, but not limited to:

Example of a remission calculation based on a missed service standard

Service standard for commercial fishing licence services

Commercial Licence Services are handled by the later of the opening of the fishery / period of validity or within 30 business days, once all required documentation and fees have been received and there are no outstanding issues.

Remission calculation

Outside of circumstances subject to subsection 5.4, should Fisheries and Oceans Canada miss the service standard by:

Timing of the payment of remission

According to section 7 of the Service Fees Act, Fisheries and Oceans Canada must issue the remission at the latest before July 1 of the following fiscal year in which the service standard was missed.

Due to operational constraints, the potential volume of transactions to track, and the manual requirements for remissions, there may be a longer period of time between when the fee was paid and when the remission will be issued. The department will continue to improve its internal processes in order to issue the remission in a timely manner.

How the remission payment will be issued

Remissions will be issued by:

Interest will not be applied or paid for remissions issued.

The difference between a refund and a remission payment

Refunds and remissions payments are two different types of payment. A refund is granted to the service fee payer at the discretion of the department and can be issued for reasons which fall outside the scope of the new Policy on Remissions.

The new policy is a requirement under section 7 of the Services Fees Act, which goes into effect on April 1, 2021; where it is deemed that the department has not adhered to the published service standards relating to the service fee, a remission will be issued to the fee payer proactively. There is no requirement for the fee payer to request the remission from the department. The amount of the remission depends on the extent to which the service standard was missed; the current calculation methodology is included in Annex A of the policy.

Questions or comments

Questions about the policy can be sent by email to

General questions can be directed to your regional DFO office.

General questions on Canadian Coast Guard service fees can be directed to or 1-800-563-6295 (toll-free).

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