Tobacco Tax Measures

Measures put in place in 2006 provide for an increase in the amounts of the fines for a first offence and the introduction of a fine for a subsequent offence within five years. Fines, for example, may be imposed for the following offences:

  • A merchant sells, delivers or is in possession of tobacco intended for retail sale in Québec contained in a package that is not identified in accordance with the Tobacco Tax Act.
  • A merchant makes retail sales of tobacco without holding a registration certificate or purchases tobacco from a person who does not hold a collection officer's permit.

Furthermore, the following acts are now considered offences under the Tobacco Tax Act:

  • the retail sale of tobacco (or offer to sell tobacco at retail) for a price that is lower than the total tax applicable to the tobacco 
  • the purchase, by a consumer, of tobacco for a price that is lower than the total tax applicable to the tobacco 
  • the sale, delivery or possession of counterfeit tobacco

Retail sale of tobacco for a price lower than the total tax applicable

No person may sell (or offer to sell) tobacco at retail for a price lower than the total tax applicable to the tobacco, that is, the excise duty and the tobacco tax, plus the GST calculated on the excise duty and tobacco tax.

A merchant who makes such a sale is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine. If there is a subsequent offence within five years, the merchant is liable to a much higher fine.

Purchase of tobacco products by a consumer for a price lower than the total tax applicable

No person may purchase tobacco at retail in Québec for a price lower than the total tax applicable to the tobacco, that is, the excise duty and the tobacco tax, plus the GST calculated on the excise duty and tobacco tax.

A person who makes such a purchase is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine.

Sale, delivery or possession of counterfeit tobacco 

A merchant who sells, delivers or is in possession of counterfeit tobacco is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine.

Reminder of other sanctions

Under the Tobacco Tax Act, certain offences may result in not only a fine, but also the seizure of tobacco, a term of imprisonment or the suspension of a person's registration certificate.

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