Zero-Rated Supplies to Carriers

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Under the GST and QST systems, certain supplies of property and services are zero-rated (that is, subject to GST and QST at the rate of 0%) when made to a carrier. These are the most common:

Supplies to unregistered non-resident carriers

A person not resident in Canada (a person not resident in Québec, for QST purposes) that is not a registrant may acquire zero-rated personal (movable) property or services. This is the case for property and services acquired by such a person for use, consumption or supply:

  • in the course of transporting property or passengers, where the person is carrying on a business of transporting property or passengers to or from Canada (to or from Québec, for QST purposes) by ship, aircraft or railway. This is also the case where property or passengers transit through Canada en route between two places outside Canada (through Québec en route between two places outside Québec, for QST purposes);
  • in the operation of a ship or aircraft by or on behalf of the government of a country other than Canada (by or on behalf of the government of the Northwest Territories, the Yukon Territory, Nunavut, a province other than Québec or a country other than Canada, for QST purposes); or
  • in the course of operating a ship for the purpose of obtaining scientific data outside Canada (outside Québec, for QST purposes), or for the laying or repairing of oceanic telegraph cable.

Zero-rated property and services

The following property and services are zero-rated:

  • fuel and supplies used in the operation of a ship, aircraft or rail service;
  • repair and maintenance services;
  • railway junction and switching charges;
  • pilotage services.

Rights in respect of immovable property (real property) for which fees are charged (such as aircraft landing fees, railway right-of-way charges and warehousing fees) are also zero-rated.

Supplies of fuel to registered international carriers

Supplies of fuel to an international carrier are zero-rated, provided the following conditions are met:

  • The person is a registrant at the time of the supply.
  • The person carries on a business of transporting property or passengers to or from Canada (to or from Québec, for QST purposes) by ship, aircraft or railway. This is also the case where property or passengers transit through Canada en route between two places outside Canada (through Québec en route between two places outside Québec, for QST purposes).
  • The person acquires the fuel for use in a business of transporting property or passengers.
Emergency repair services supplied to non-resident persons

Emergency repair services (including parts sold in conjunction with the service) are zero-rated where they are supplied to a person not resident in Canada (in Québec, for QST purposes) and they relate to a container that is being transported or a means of conveyance that is being used by the person in the course of a business of transporting property or passengers.

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