16 Feb

DfT publishes ATOL consultation response

The Department for Transport has published a response to the ATOL consultation, which closed in November 2016. This covers the necessary regulatory changes to the ATOL scheme to be compliant with the new Package Travel Directive. A consultation on broader changes to the Package Travel Regulations is expected shortly.

The full response can be seen here.

The main announcements are:

  • Primary legislation placed before Parliament in the coming weeks will include provisions to:
    • Update the definition of a package, and address other necessary definitional issues.
    • Enable ATOL to cover sales made by UK companies across the EU.
    • Introduce a provision giving powers to the CAA to introduce a separate levy for Linked Travel Arrangements.
    • Give the CAA additional powers to seek information from overseas companies selling holidays in the UK.

All other issues will be addressed in the second Government consultation, and via secondary legislation.

  • The main issues expected to be addressed in the next consultation include:
    • Decide how to implement LTAs provision of the Directive (the above concerns only the necessary powers to introduce a new levy, but does not mean this approach will be followed).
    • Exempting of business travel sales.
    • Arrangements around the ATOL certificate and any changes necessary in this area.

For longer-term reform issues, such as the long-term funding of the ATOL scheme, these will be “moved beyond the implementation period of the 2015 PTD Directive”.

ABTA remains in contact with officials from the DFT and BEIS, and we will keep Members informed as the implementation process progresses. We will provide a more detailed note on the implications of the Government’s approach shortly, and we are currently planning how ABTA will communicate with Members on the consultation process and necessary changes ahead of PTD implementation in 2018.