Conditionally Zero-Rated Devices

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Some devices and articles are zero-rated if they meet certain conditions.

For example, hospital beds are zero-rated if they are supplied to healthcare institutions or under a prescription to incapacitated persons. They do not have to be sold to the person named in the prescription, but must be intended for that person.

Note

To be considered a hospital bed, a bed must have certain special features that meet the specific needs of hospitals and of persons with an impairment. These include:

  • brakeable castors
  • a tilting rigid mattress deck
  • a mattress deck with height and tilting mechanisms
  • a headboard and a footboard
  • side rails
  • shock absorbers and bumpers
  • an intravenous drip pole

For more information, see interpretation bulletin (TVQ. 176.3) The supply of a hospital bed.

Orthotic or orthopedic devices

Orthotic or orthopedic devices are also zero-rated if:

  • they are sold under a prescription for the exclusive use of the person named in the prescription (even if he or she is not the person who purchases them); or
  • they are made to order for a particular person.

Such devices include:

  • cradle arm slings
  • cervical collars
  • knee braces
  • spinal braces
Note

Footwear is sometimes sold or labelled as being orthopedic without having been designed for a disability or deformity. Such footwear may have minor structural adjustments to improve comfort or be wider or deeper than regular footwear (for example, so that an orthotic can be inserted). This footwear is not zero-rated.

Other devices and articles

The following devices and articles are zero-rated as well if they are supplied on prescription (although they do not have to be sold to the person named in the prescription, but must be intended for that person):

  • devices that are designed to convert sound into light signals, for use by persons with a hearing impairment
  • devices that are specially designed for neuromuscular stimulation therapy or standing therapy, for use by a consumer with paralysis or a severe mobility impairment
  • eyewear that is specially designed to correct or treat a defect of vision by electronic means
  • heart-monitoring devices
  • devices for treating asthma (metered dose inhalers, aerosol chambers)
  • catheters for subcutaneous injections (also called “button infusers”)
  • graduated compression stockings, anti-embollic stockings and certain similar items, such as articles designed to assist persons with lower circulatory system problems
  • intermittent urinary catheters
  • footwear that is specially designed for use by a person who has a crippled or deformed foot or other similar disability 
  • extremity pumps, intermittent pressure pumps or similar devices used in the treatment of lymphedema
  • clothing that is specially designed for persons with a disability (e.g., burn garments)

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