Government of Canada Unveils New GST/HST
Place of Supply Rules for All Provinces and Territories

Webinars and Self-Paced Learning Programs Available

Toronto, 11 March 2010: ARTA Canada informed the trade that travel industry stakeholders, including airlines, GDSs, and airline associations met yesterday to discuss a wide array of HST-related issues, including new "place of supply" rules released by the Government at the end of last month. The new proposed rules will now be used to determine whether HST or GST applies to a particular transaction and are a dramatic departure from today's regulations which focus on the physical location of the supplier or travel agency as opposed to the location of the consumer receiving the services.

In most all cases, other than those involving passenger transportation with a specified origin, the new rules mandate that the provincial or territorial location of the travel service provider or travel agency will no longer be relevant or a factor in determining whether GST or HST applies.

"This is game-changing and will affect the entire travel industry in Canada particularly regarding service fees, commissions, mark-ups, and similar travel sales services. This is no longer just a question of the new HST regime in BC and Ontario, but a complete change to the way we assess and collect taxes across the full spectrum of travel transactions in Canada", said ARTA Canada President Bruce Bishins, CTC.

Bishins, in his additional capacity as Executive Director of the Airline Training Council, presented a detailed overview and preliminary interpretation during yesterday's industry conference so as to facilitate an understanding of the passenger transportation issues and the new place of supply rules. He went on to advise attendees that there are a number of key issues and travel transaction scenarios which still need to be resolved and that he will be discussing these with Canada Revenue Agency officials during the next few days.

"We are much closer to getting all concerned on the same page than we were a month ago, and that is an important step forward. Our biggest challenge will be to take years of current practice and make the necessary adjustments to conform to the new rules. Our industry is complex with unique transactions not common to typical retail sales in other areas of commerce. We need to assure that those complying with the new tax rules and those charged with imposing them are clear as to how all this fits within the travel industry", added Bishins.

The new place of supply rules affect all provinces and territories in Canada.

The application of the BC and Ontario HST affects sales made in all provinces and territories for applicable domestic travel commencing in BC or Ontario. Particular attention is recommended for sellers in both provinces, sellers adjacent to BC or Ontario where domestic travel frequently originates in those two provinces, or any seller who has customers who originate in those two provinces. HST also affects suppliers which pay commissions or other remuneration to sellers in BC or Ontario. Accordingly, the impact of HST is likely to affect sellers and suppliers throughout Canada.

ARTA Canada and its training partner, the Airline Training Council, will offer two training options, timed to assist travel agencies in calculating and collecting HST for applicable passenger transportation sold on/after 01 May 2010 for travel on/after 01 July 2010.

HST Webinars: 12-30 April 2010

Starting Monday, 12 April 2010, ATC and ARTA Canada will provide twice daily, 90-minute webinars in English covering the full spectrum of HST issues. Key topics to be discussed include:

  • General Overview of HST
  • IATA Coding
  • Effective Dates and Transition Period
  • Application and Point of Sale
  • Place of Supply Rules for GST or HST Applicability
  • Zero-rated and Exempt Transactions
  • Flight Passes
  • Pre-Payment of Fares and Deposits
  • Even Exchanges and Additional Collections
  • Refunds and Positive/Negative Taxes and Fares
  • Limitations of GDS Auto-pricing
  • Cancellation Fees and PTA Charges
  • Agency Service Charges
  • Consolidator Tickets and Mark-Ups
  • Continuous Journeys and Multiple Tickets
  • Tour Packages
  • Commissions
  • Air Transportation Ancillary Services
  • Question and Answer Forum

These webinar sessions will run each weekday at 10:00AM-11:30AM and 2:00PM-3:30PM (Eastern Time) through Friday, 30 April 2010. The webinars will be conducted by ARTA Canada President Bruce Bishins, CTC. Participants in the HST Webinars will also receive a copy of ATC's Harmonized Sales Tax Guide.

Self-Paced HST Learning Program: Anytime

For persons unable to attend the HST Webinar, a narrated, condensed, audiovisual version of the HST Webinar is also available (in English only) and can be played on a PC with speakers (not on a Mac). While the self-paced program is not-interactive, all key concepts of the HST Webinar are included and viewers can play, replay, and listen to the trainer's presentation at their own pace. The Self-Paced HST Learning Program will be available as of 05 April 2010.

Fees for the HST Webinar and Self-Paced Learning Program

Participation fees for ARTA Canada members and non-members are based on the date of registration. Pre-registration prior to 22 March 2010 offers the lowest fees:

Registration Procedures

To register for the HST Webinar or to order the Self-Paced HST Learning Program, please click on the button below:

or visit for complete details and online registration.

About ARTA Canada 

ARTA Canada is the largest non-profit federally incorporated professional association of travel retailers in Canada, the members of which consist exclusively of travel agencies and travel agents. In addition to advocating fair and equitable treatment of travel consumers, ARTA Canada represents the commercial and strategic interests of its member travel agencies and travel agents in a variety of national and provincial domains including regulatory and legislative matters, automation, technology, sales and marketing, and distribution.

ARTA Canada is the strategic partner in Canada of the U.S.-based Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA). ARTA Canada is the Canadian member of UFTAA, the United Federation of Travel Agents' Associations. To join ARTA Canada, complete details and online membership application and secure payment are available on the ARTA Canada web site at

About Airline Training Council 

Beginning its 30th year, the Airline Training Council is the largest travel industry training organization in North America and one of the earliest pioneers in online webinar delivery. More than 250,000 travel agents and airline personnel have attended ATC sponsored courses throughout the world. Founded in 1980, ATC has a well-earned reputation for timely, incisive training programs, mostly technical in nature, which fill the industry's vast educational needs.

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