Canadian government imposes aviation fuel tax in 6 provinces

Paul Smith Top Story

Effective April 1, 2019, the Government of Canada imposed a new tax, the CRA Fuel Charge Program, on all aviation transportation, including planes and helicopters, that operate in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. The tax will extend to the territories of Nunavut and Yukon on July 1, 2019. The tax is authorized by Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act.

Anyone operating an aircraft that burns aviation fuel in the listed provinces must register with the CRA, as well as those who distribute, wholesale, produce, deliver, trade, or deal with aviation fuel. This tax will affect any individual or company operating helicopter or planes in Canada, including U.S. and other foreign operators. According to the CRA, the agency has already notified many US airline companies that operate in and out of Canada and is now alerting US helicopter companies as well.

Helicopter Association International (HAI) notes that collection methods of this tax are not yet clear, but all affected operators must register at this time. Although no timeline is apparent, HAI then expects the CRA to provide further guidance to those operators when it is available.

HAI strongly recommends affected operators visit the CRA website and familiarize themselves with the current regulations as soon as possible. The agency has also prepared a handout on the Fuel Charge Program.

“We don’t have the exact numbers, but I’m sure there are numerous US and Canadian helicopter operators that routinely fly in the Canadian provinces mentioned on the CRA website,” says Matt Callan, director of regulations and international affairs at Helicopter Association International (HAI).

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