12 Jul

Important information for ATOL holders and updates to agency agreements

One of ABTA’s chief aims in supporting Members is to ensure we update you with all of the latest information about regulatory changes, and what these may mean for your business, to ensure you remain compliant with the law. 2018 has been an exceptionally busy period for regulatory change, the latest announcements set out by the CAA involve changes to ATOL.

The changes include the introduction of new ATOL certificates (so the old ones can no longer be used) and new wording for agency agreements, meaning new agency agreements need to be issued.

It is really important that Members take note of these changes and take the necessary steps to address them. The CAA is giving ATOL holders and agents until October to make the changes, but expects you to be taking steps now. We would recommend you update these asap, in order to make sure you are compliant by October.

ATOL holders will need to update their agency agreements and re-issue to all of their agents. Companies who do not do this will be in breach of the ATOL regulations. 

To help Members, we have updated our model agency agreement to include the changes to ATOL. It also includes a suggested GDPR clause and amendments which relate to the new Package Travel Regulations, such as an obligation on the agent to pass complaints to the principal immediately, and a clause dealing with who fulfils the new information requirements to the client. 
On ATOL certificates, there are four different types and Members will need to use the correct version:

1. Package (Single-Contract)
2. Package (Multi-Contract)
3. Flight-Only
4. Flight Inclusive Day Trip

Previous versions, including the package certificate, shouldn’t be used any more. The new ATOL certificate templates can be found at the end of the Official Record Series 3.

And in sporting news … I am sure many of you have been as gripped as I have watching the World Cup, and following England’s progress in particular. It has certainly prompted a few questions by the national media to ABTA about travelling to Russia. We’ve been taking every opportunity to highlight the importance of booking sporting trips and travel arrangements for the World Cup through ABTA Members, including appearing on Sky News and local radio, mentions on ITV news and our advice featuring in the Metro, Mirror, Sun, Daily Express and Daily Mail – to name but a few places. We also have activity planned which supports the lates market, recognising that big sporting tournaments like the World Cup can lead people to delay booking their holidays.  

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive