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Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Policy on Remissions

Table of contents

1.  Effective date

1.1 Fisheries and Oceans Canada Department-Wide Policy on Remissions is effective as of April 1, 2021.

1.2 This policy applies to a request for service or application received by Fisheries and Oceans Canada on or after April 1, 2021.

2.  Application

2.1. This policy applies only to fees administered by Fisheries and Oceans Canada that are subject to sections 4 through 7 of the Service Fees Act (SFA).

2.2. This policy does not apply to fees that are exempt from the SFA, pursuant to sections 3 and 22 of the SFA (a fee for the provision of a product, or for the recovery, in whole or in part, of costs that are incurred in relation to a regulatory scheme or an amount that is fixed by contract; if the person or body that fixes the fee does so by fixing a manner for determining the amount of the fee over which that person or body has no control (such as an auction or referring to a market rate); if the fee is fixed under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act; if it is paid only by or on behalf of a minister or federal entity; or, if the fee is subject to the Low-materiality Fees Regulations).

3.  Purpose

3.1. This policy is pursuant to the requirements of section 4.2.4 of Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s (TBS) Directive on Charging and Special Financial Authorities (the Directive) for fees subject to the SFA.

3.2. Fees that are subject to remissions under this policy must also ensure compliance with the SFA and the Directive. It is recommended that programs subject to this policy refer to TBS guidance and Departmental guidance specific to remissions.

4.  Responsibilities

4.1. The Fisheries and Oceans Canada Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Responsible to ensure the establishment of and adherence to a departmental policy and procedures for granting remissions to fee payers. Refer to section 4.2.4 of the Directive for the specific responsibilities regarding remissions outlined for CFOs.

4.2. Senior Departmental Managers
Responsible for ensuring fees subject to sections 4 through 7 of the SFA, have associated service standards and determining compliance with service standards and remissions on an individual transaction basis.

5.  Fisheries and Oceans Canada Remission policy

5.1. All program areas with fees subject to the SFA associated with outward-facing service standards will be subject to the Department-Wide Policy on Remissions, as of April 1, 2021.

5.2. Interest: Interest will not be applied or paid for remissions issued.

5.3. Periodic review: Fisheries and Oceans Canada will periodically complete a total review of its service fees, which will include the review of associated service standards. If service standards are amended, the new service standard will be applied as at the effective date determined by the department.

5.4. Circumstances beyond the Department’s control: Remissions will not be issued for service standards that were missed due to circumstances outside of the department’s control, such as, but not limited to, decisions / approvals of other government departments or third parties, acts of nature that require the removal of personnel or prevent personnel from accessing their workplace (e.g. floods, power failures, etc.); or labour disruptions that prevent the delivery of services.

5.5. Maximum amount: The maximum amount eligible for remission is determined by the fee type, as identified in Annex A.

5.6. Calculation: Remissions will be calculated as they relate to a portion of the missed service standard. See Annex A for remission levels based on Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s specific service fee service standards.

5.7. Issuance: Fisheries and Oceans Canada must remit before July 1 of the following fiscal year in which the service standard was missed. Remissions will be issued by applying a credit to the original invoice or providing a remission on the same means of payment to the client.

6.  Role of the fee payer

6.1. Fisheries and Oceans Canada relies on fee payers to notify program officials of any changes in contact and/or billing information to ensure timely service delivery and the issuance of remissions.

7.  References

7.1. Service Fees Act

7.2. Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Directive on Charging and Special Financial Authorities

8.  Contacts

8.1. The office of primary interest for this Policy is the Financial Authorities Management Directorate, Chief Financial Officer Branch. For questions regarding this policy, contact DFO.revenuemanagement-gestionrevenus.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

Annex A: Calculations

Fee category Service standard Remission calculation Implicated regulations
Fisheries Management – Commercial Requests, including:
  • commercial fishing licences
  • fisher registrations
  • vessel registrations / certificates
  • transfer permits
  • fish transport licences
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. Outside of circumstances subject to subsection 5.4, should Fisheries and Oceans
  • 15 or fewer business days, then payers would receive a 25% remission;
  • more than 15 business days, then payers would receive a 50% remission.
  • Atlantic Fishery Regulations
  • Fisheries Act
  • Fishery (General) Regulations
  • Management of Contaminated Fisheries Regulations
  • Marine Mammal Regulations
  • Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Fishery Regulations
  • Northwest Territories Fishery Regulations
  • Pacific Fishery Regulations
  • Quebec Fishery Regulations
  • Yukon Territory Fishery Regulations
Fisheries Management - Quota RequestsFootnote1 Quota requests are handled by the opening of the fishery/period of validity or within 30 business days, whichever is later, once all required documentation and fees have been received and there are no outstanding issues. Outside of circumstances subject to subsection 5.4, should Fisheries and Oceans Canada miss the service standard by:
  • 6 or fewer business days then payers would receive a 10% remission;
  • 7 to 12 business days, then payers would receive a 20% remission;
  • 13 to 18 business days, then payers would receive a 30% remission;
  • 19 to 24 business days, then payers would receive a 40% remission;
  • 25 or more business days, then payers would receive a 50% remission.
  • Atlantic Fishery Regulations
  • Pacific Fishery Regulations
Fisheries Management – Recreational and Other Requests, including:
  • recreational fishing licences
  • bait fishing licences
  • marine plant licences
  • licences to fish for public display purposes
  • marine mammal licences
  • salmon conservation stamp
  • special permits
Recreational 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. Outside of circumstances subject to subsection 5.4, should Fisheries and Oceans Canada miss the service standard then fee payers would receive a 100% remission.
  • Atlantic Fishery Regulations
  • British Columbia Sport Fishing Regulations
  • Marine Mammal Regulations
  • Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Fishery Regulations
  • Northwest Territories Fishery Regulations
  • Pacific Fishery Regulations
  • Quebec Fishery Regulations
  • Yukon Territory Fishery Regulations
Icebreaking Service Fees Icebreaker assistance is provided within the targeted response times as follows:
  • Northeast and East Coast of Newfoundland: 8 hours
  • Gulf of Saint Lawrence: 12 hours
  • Saint Lawrence and Saguenay Rivers: 5 hours
  • Great Lakes: 8 hours

These hours are calculated from the time that the service is required until the icebreaker arrives on scene.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada will not remit if the delay in icebreaking services is a result of any of the following:
  • Responding to a distress or emergency situation
  • Responding to requests for assistance by a ferry or ships with vulnerable or dangerous cargo
  • Severe weather and ice conditions
  • Hydrographic and/or geographic restrictions
  • Client related delays

Fisheries and Oceans Canada will remit:

  • 10% of the icebreaking services fee should an icebreaker’s response time exceed the targeted response time by up to 2x the targeted response time
  • 20% of the fee should an icebreaker’s response time exceed the targeted response time by more than 2x the targeted response time
Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 153, Number 24
Maintenance Dredging Services Tonnage Fee Dredging in the St. Lawrence Ship Channel is done in accordance with maintained depths (PDF 3.68 Mb) to prevent vessel grounding.

Should a vessel be grounded in the St. Lawrence Ship Channel due to dredging levels not being done in accordance with maintained depths, and provided the grounding has not occurred in a zone subject to navigational warnings, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will remit:

100% of the dredging fee paid for that transit.

Canada Gazette, Part 1, Volume 137, Number 23
Marine Navigation Services Fees Commercial vessels are not prevented from navigating for more than 4 hours due to the malfunction or displacement of an aid to navigation or an interruption of vessel traffic services in waters serviced by the Canadian Coast Guard. Should a commercial vessel be prevented from navigating for more than 4 hours due to the malfunction or displacement of an aid to navigation or an interruption of vessel traffic services, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will remit:
  • 100% of the fee associated with the affected transit, or
  • 1/3 of the quarterly fee, or
  • 1/12 of the annual fee,

based on the vessel’s invoicing category as determined by the application of the Marine Navigation Services Fees Schedule on the vessel.

Canada Gazette, Part 1, Volume 153, Number 24
Pacific Aquaculture Licensing Fees Once a fully completed application has been received and there are no outstanding issues, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will make a decision regarding new sites or major technical amendments within 365 calendar days. Outside of circumstances subject to subsection 5.4, should Fisheries and Oceans Canada be unable to meet the service standard within 365 days, the remission would be given as a percentage equivalent to the unachieved performance, to a maximum of 50% of the licence fee. Pacific Aquaculture Regulations
Small Craft Harbours (SCH)

Safe berthage, wharfage, and storage is made available to harbour users.

Where deemed to be unsafe as documented by damages to vessels and/or equipment (as evidenced by third party liability insurance claims), Fisheries and Oceans Canada will issue refunds to harbour users accordingly.

Should the standard not be met, full remissions (100%) will be provided. Fishing and Recreational Harbours Regulations

Annex B: Definitions

Fee: Per the Service Fees Act, a fee means an amount — called a fee, charge, levy or by any other name — that, in relation to a federal entity, is fixed by the Governor in Council, the Treasury Board, a minister or the federal entity under a power conferred by an Act of Parliament or a capacity to contract and is payable for:

Fee payer: individual who has paid an amount to Fisheries and Oceans for an intended service or product

Fee set by contract: A fee established under a contract between a department (as defined in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act) and an external party.

Fishery Opening: The date and time when fishing can commence legally as prescribed by regulation or variation order.

Remission: The reimbursement to a fee-payer of a fee or portion of a fee paid in respect of a service, use of facility, or right or privilege for which the department determines the service standard was not met.

Senior Departmental Managers: For the purposes of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Policy on Remissions, senior departmental managers are departmental managers who report mainly to the deputy heads (Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Oceans and the Commissioner for the Canadian Coast Guard) and are responsible for the programs and operations for which service fees are charged. These include Assistant Deputy Ministers and Regional Director Generals for Fisheries and Oceans, and the Deputy Commissioners for the Canadian Coast Guard.

Service standard: A public commitment to provide a service, product, or conferral of rights and privileges, in a way that is measurable and relevant to the fee-payer under normal circumstances. The performance standard referred to in the Service Fees Act is the equivalent of a service standard.

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