Special Cases

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Alarm for enuretic children

A device consisting of a transistorized alarm and two moisture-sensing pads is available for enuretic, or bedwetting, children. This device is zero-rated regardless of whether it is used for children or adults.

Specially trained animals

The sale of an animal that is (or is to be) specially trained to assist a person with a disability or impairment with a problem arising from the disability or impairment is zero-rated if it is made by an organization that specializes in selling such animals to persons with the disability or impairment. The service of training a person with a disability or impairment to use such an animal is also zero-rated if provided by such an organization.

Anti-mite mattress and pillow covers

Manufacturers make mattress and pillow covers that are specially designed to protect persons who suffer from respiratory allergies (asthma, rhinitis, bronchitis) to mite dust. Consumers can obtain these hypoallergenic covers with or without a prescription. However, contrary to artificial breathing apparatus, aerosol chambers, respiratory monitors and other similar articles intended for persons with asthma or a respiratory disorder, anti-mite pillow and mattress covers are never zero-rated because they are not considered to be zero-rated medical devices.

Articles for blind persons

Articles that are specially designed for blind persons are zero-rated if the following conditions are met:

  • They are sold under a prescription or certificate issued by a physician, physiotherapist, occupational therapist or registered nurse for use by the person named in the prescription or certificate.
  • They are sold or bought for use by blind persons by the Canadian Institute for the Blind or another recognized association that assists blind persons.

Talking books acquired by persons with a visual impairment are zero-rated under the QST system. However, audiobooks not specially designed for visually impaired persons but for the general public are subject to GST and QST.

Closed-captioned decoding devices for persons with a hearing impairment

Decoding devices for hearing-impaired persons are designed to assist them in watching television. They belong to the category of communication devices that are specially designed for persons with a hearing impairment and are thus zero-rated.

Eyeglasses and contact lenses

Eyeglasses (including sunglasses) and contact lenses are zero-rated throughout the distribution chain if they are supplied (or intended to be supplied) under a prescription issued by an eye-care professional (or pursuant to an assessment record issued by such a professional) for the treatment or correction of a defect of vision of the person named in the prescription.

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