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Exports of Property Outside Canada and Shipping of Property Outside Québec

As a rule, tangible personal property is zero-rated for GST purposes if it is exported from Canada by the purchaser. Similarly, corporeal movable property is zero-rated for QST purposes if it is shipped outside Québec by the purchaser. You are therefore not required to collect the taxes on such property supplied to a person that intends to export it from Canada (or ship it outside Québec).

You may nonetheless claim input tax credits (ITCs) and input tax refunds (ITRs) to recover the taxes you paid on the goods and services acquired to make or sell such property.

Conditions

To qualify as zero-rated, such property must meet all the following conditions:

  • The property must not be a product subject to excise tax (such as an alcoholic beverage, a tobacco product or a cannabis product).
  • The purchaser must not be a consumer.
  • Once the property has been delivered to the purchaser in Québec or elsewhere in Canada, it must be taken outside Québec or Canada within a reasonable length of time.
  • The property must not have been acquired for consumption, use or sale in Québec or Canada before being exported.
  • The property must not be processed, transformed or altered in Québec or Canada after the sale and before being exported by the purchaser, except to the extent required for its transport.
  • The seller must provide acceptable evidence that the purchaser exported the property from Canada (or shipped it outside Québec) since we may require this evidence for audit purposes. Depending on whether the property was shipped outside Québec and Canada or outside Québec but within Canada, the type of evidence will likely differ.
  • Evidence of exportation outside Canada must enable the entire shipment of property to be traced from its origin in Québec to its destination outside Canada. When the specific destination cannot be determined because of industry practices or because the property is homogeneous, we must be able to ascertain that the property did leave Canada.
  • If the purchaser took possession of the property in Québec and then shipped it outside Québec but within Canada, the purchaser may not be able to provide acceptable evidence of shipment outside Québec. In such case, a written statement signed by the purchaser attesting that the purchased property was shipped outside Québec is acceptable evidence.
  • If a person exports property that is electricity, crude oil or natural gas, or any other property transported by means of a wire, pipeline, or other conduit, the person must not be a registrant.

The sale of property is also zero-rated under the following circumstances:

  • The property is shipped internationally or outside Québec (for QST purposes) to a destination specified in the contract for carriage of the property.
  • Possession of the property is transferred to a common carrier or a consignee retained to ship the property internationally or outside Québec (for QST purposes).
  • The property is mailed or sent by courier to a foreign address or to an address outside Québec (for QST purposes).

Property and services under warranty sold in Québec or elsewhere in Canada to a non-resident that is not a registrant are generally zero-rated.

Intangible personal property

Sales of intangible personal property (incorporeal movable property) to non-residents who are not registrants are generally zero-rated. The exceptions are:

  • a sale of such property to an individual who is in Canada or Québec when the sale is made;
  • a sale of such property that relates to real property in Canada (or immovable property in Québec) or to tangible personal property that is ordinarily situated in Canada (or corporeal movable property that is ordinarily situated in Québec);
  • a sale of such property that relates to a sale of a service that is made in Canada or Québec, unless the service is zero-rated;
  • a sale of such property that can only be used in Canada or Québec;
  • a sale of making a telecommunications facility that is such property available for use in providing a telecommunication service.
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Certificates for purchasing property without paying taxes

An export trading house is a person at least 90% of whose commercial activities consist in exporting property outside Canada (under the GST system) or buying property in Québec for resale outside Québec (under the QST system). Such a person can request our authorization to use export certificates (shipping certificates) in order to purchase property without paying the taxes. These certificates serve as proof that the property is to be exported from Canada (or shipped outside Québec).

Eligible non-manufacturing businesses whose activities consist in exporting property from Canada (or shipping property outside Québec), and that add limited value through their processing or distribution activities, may use an export (or shipping) distribution centre certificate. This certificate allows the businesses to acquire the following property without paying the taxes:

  • inventory;
  • property added to other property during processing;
  • customers' property that undergoes processing services.

For more information about such certificates, contact us.

Refunds in certain situations

Tangible personal property purchased by a non-resident of Canada that is not a consumer

Under the GST system, if a person (other than a consumer) that is not resident in Canada purchases tangible personal property (corporeal movable property) for export but does not meet the criteria for zero-rating mentioned above, the person must pay GST. However, such a person may be entitled to a refund of the tax paid, provided the person:

  • exports the property from Canada within 60 days after delivery;
  • uses the property primarily (more than 50%) outside Canada.

To claim a GST/HST rebate, complete federal form GST189, General Application for GST/HST Rebates.

Under the QST system, if a person (other than a consumer) that is not resident in Canada purchases tangible personal property for transport or shipment outside Québec but does not meet the criteria for zero-rating mentioned above, the person must pay QST. However, such a person may be entitled to a refund of the tax paid, provided the person:

  • takes or ships the property outside Québec within 60 days after delivery;
  • uses the property primarily (more than 50%) outside Québec.

To claim a QST rebate, complete form FP-2189-V, General GST/HST and QST Rebate Application. For more information, see the Guide to the General GST/HST and QST Rebate Application (FP-2189.G-V).

Note

If the property taken or shipped outside Québec is a road vehicle, instead complete form VD-60.R-V, Application for a QST Rebate for a Road Vehicle.

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Property and services purchased by a non-resident consumer

In general, you must collect GST and QST on property purchased by non-resident consumers. A GST and QST rebate may be granted for tax paid on certain goods and services related to and supplied in connection with a foreign convention. As a supplier of such goods and services, you may pay or credit the rebate to your clients.

You must report the amounts paid or credited using form FP-106-V, Information Return: Rebates Paid or Credited for Foreign Conventions and Tour Packages.

For more information, refer to document RC4036, GST/HST Information for the Travel and Convention Industry, published by the Canada Revenue Agency.

Persons resident in Canada, outside Québec

In general, if you reside in Canada but outside Québec, you can claim a rebate of the QST on tangible personal property purchased in and shipped outside Québec by completing form VD-352-V, Application for a Rebate of the QST Paid on Corporeal Movable Property That Is Taken or Shipped Outside Québec to Another Location in Canada by a Person Resident in Canada.

Note

If the property taken or shipped outside Québec (but in Canada) is a road vehicle, instead complete form VD-60.R-V, Application for a QST Rebate for a Road Vehicle.

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