12 Mar

IATA Agency Programme – provision of accounts

IATA agents who receive email notifications of downloads from the European ISS Operations Service Centre might have seen the IATA Upload Notification No. 20150304 dated 4 March 2015 circulating the Resolutions adopted at the Passenger Agency Conference in October 2014.

These resolutions appear to apply to IATA agents globally, other than to the USA. Some UK agents have therefore questioned the requirement in Resolution 800f – Agents’ Financial Evaluation Criteria – (which appears at page 29 of the electronic document) for agents to provide audited accounts no later than four months after their financial year end and asked whether this replaces the current UK requirement for provision of accounts no later than six months after financial year end.

It’s important for UK agents to note that Resolution 800f only applies to countries which do not have their own financial criteria or whose criteria aren’t considered acceptable.

As agents will be well aware, the UK has its own financial criteria – these can be found in the Resolution 818g version of the Travel Agent’s Handbook starting on page 398.

To confirm that UK agents still have six months to provide accounts.  Further, per paragraph 1.4 of the UK criteria, “sole traders, partnerships and UK registered limited companies, that meet the conditions for exemption from audit as a small company as defined by the UK Companies Act, may submit certified accounts, provided that (i) the certification is issued by an independent reporting accountant and (ii) the Agent settles its BSP liabilities four times monthly, according to the published BSP Reporting Calendar.”

As advised to Members via ABTA Today on 11 December 2014, with effect from 1 April 2015, any new applicant whose IATA accreditation is approved will be required to remit four times monthly. This requirement will remain in place for the first two years of their accreditation. The minimum bond new applicants are required to provide is increased from £30,000 to £50,000.  This change will be reflected shortly in the Travel Agent’s Handbook.