The Canadian government is cracking down on counterfeit goods that have been linked to health-care fraud.
In an announcement Wednesday, Health Canada said it will stop allowing people to claim electronic items that are not genuine medical devices for $10,000 if they are found to be counterfeit.
This means the $20,000 tax rebate will no longer apply to electronic items valued at $10.50 or less, such as tablets, cameras, smartphones and video games.
Health Canada also said it is cracking up online counterfeiters who are using the services of online resellers.
These companies often charge a higher price than the legitimate retailer.
Health Minister Rona Ambrose said the change will make it easier for Canadians to make payments and make sure the government is reimbursing all of the money that they owe for items bought from the online marketplaces.
It’s also aimed at preventing Canadians from being cheated by resellers who charge a premium for the same product.
“This change will help to ensure the integrity of our medical supply chain, and will help protect the integrity and the safety of Canadians,” Ambrose said.
Ambrose said the CRA is taking a strong, proactive approach to detecting and removing counterfeit products and is taking additional measures to enforce the rules.
“We’re not going to be able to stop all of these fraudulent transactions,” she said.
She said the government has already announced it will be stepping up enforcement efforts to help prevent people from falling prey to these scams.
This includes requiring online retailers to check that the item is genuine and have it shipped to a licensed Canadian retailer, which may mean the item will be seized by Customs and would not be refunded to the consumer.
Health officials said the changes will help the government to protect the health and safety of the Canadians it serves and protect taxpayers.