Non-UK companies applying for ABTA membership

We welcome companies based outside of the UK to apply for membership of ABTA, but it's not a legal requirement.

Joining will only provide you with benefits if you're selling holidays to UK consumers, not if you're only bringing consumers into the UK.

Please also read our information about membership requirements and costs.

What information do I need to provide ABTA?

  • A completed application form.
  • Proof of identity for persons who manage the business.
  • If we are unable to verify the existence of an incorporated business using a credit report, we will require a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum and Articles of Association or equivalent.
  • If your business has been trading for more than one year, a copy of the latest set of accounts. If required these must be translated into English.
  • Other supporting documentation may be requested.

What financial protection does a company based outside the UK have to provide?

This will depend on your business model. As part of the application process we conduct a detailed review of how you trade e.g. types of travel arrangements sold, whether these form a package and the capacity in which you act – principal and/or agent.

If you act as an agent then you must provide ABTA with a bond. This is a form of surety issued by a bank or insurance company that guarantees in the event of your insolvency payment of a fixed sum to ABTA to mitigate financial loss.

If you act as a principal and are required to provide consumer financial protection either by virtue of the Package Travel Regulations and/or on a voluntary basis you have the option to provide either a bond or obtain financial failure insurance (FFI). Our experience has shown that it can be difficult to obtain FFI if you are based outside the UK and we recommend you check first before applying.

If you are based in the EU then you may be exempt from this requirement where you participate in a scheme of consumer financial protection in your home state which is acceptable to ABTA.

Can ABTA recommend a list of providers of financial protection solutions?

Yes, we have a list of approved bond providers and insurance companies that offer financial failure insurance.

What if my bank is not listed?

You can request your bank to apply to ABTA to become approved subject to our credit risk assessment. Alternatively your bank may be able to arrange an indirect guarantee with an approved bank who in turn will issue the bond to ABTA.

Do I need to have insurance?

If you are a principal or a package organiser you are required to have public/product liability insurance. Our experience has shown that it can be difficult to obtain if you are based outside the UK and we recommend you check first before applying for ABTA.

If I am selling travel arrangements which include a flight, what else do I need?

Whether you sell a flight-inclusive package or a tailor-made package which includes a flight, you may require an Air Travel Organisers Licence (ATOL) which is granted by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). For flight-inclusive packages this also covers internal flights in destination as well as international flights ex-UK.

For more information on the ATOL Scheme please visit the CAA website or speak to us.

How is my subscription calculated?

Subscriptions are based on UK turnover, which means travel arrangements offered for sale in the UK and/or overseas turnover where the first leg of departure is from the UK. This forms part of the turnover analysis which is reported to ABTA on a regular basis.

Do I pay VAT (sales tax) on ABTA fees?

You are only required to pay VAT if your trading address is in the UK.