Modernising ATOL

Closed 23 Mar 2018

Opened 23 Feb 2018

Results Updated 13 Jun 2018

The consultation has now closed and the feedback was used to inform the contents of the CAA’s Official Record Series 3 which sets ATOL Standard Terms for licences, required Agency Terms, ATOL exemptions, Accredited Body Standard Terms, and other ATOL information published by the CAA.

Having considered carefully the responses received, the CAA intends to implement most of the proposals in Modernising ATOL, but in some cases changes have been made. The proposals relating to the implementation of relevant aspects of Directive (EU) 2015/2302 on package travel and linked travel arrangements are being implemented in full and will take effect on 1 July 2018. The measures intended to enable ATOL holders to transition to the new licensing arrangements (broadly, enabling some aspects of current arrangements to persist until ATOL holders’ current licences come up for renewal in either September 2018 or March 2019 accordingly) are being implemented in full.

In addition to those measures, and in view of industry concern over the time and resources required to comply, the CAA has identified three areas where it will adapt the proposals to make compliance more achievable.

First, in the light of feedback the CAA has decided to defer the implementation date of some of the measures that are not required for the implementation of the PTD. This affects proposals on how consumer information is displayed, which must now be in place by 1 April 2019.

Second, in addition, the CAA will not, at this stage, introduce the proposal that ATOL holders which advertised a specific flight must secure it straight away. We still intend to implement such a measure by 1 April 2019, but we intend to work with key stakeholders later this year in relation to developing the precise wording of the obligation.

Finally, the CAA acknowledges the travel industry’s view that there is insufficient time for some changes, particularly system changes, to be made. We have decided to take a proportionate approach to the enforcement of compliance as set out in the document.

The remaining measures will be developed over a longer time horizon. The proposed online ATOL Certificate system is still undergoing a feasibility study, and feedback from the consultation was passed to the project team. A decision on whether or not to proceed is expected to be taken during 2018/19.  Government is minded to bring forward separate legislation in early 2019 to implement civil sanctions for the ATOL scheme.

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Overview

Our consultation should be read alongside the Department for Transport's (DfT) consultation, which was also launched today and can be accessed via this link.  The DfT are consulting on measures to modernise ATOL and align the ATOL and APC Regulations with the PTD. Our consultation contains proposals on how we should implement these proposals, principally through changes to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Official Record Series 3.

 

Why We Are Consulting

The UK Civil Aviation Authority's consultation proposes changes to the ATOL Standard Terms, which are essentially the rules ATOL holders must follow as a condition of holding an ATOL.   Some of the proposed changes flow directly from the PTD, others help achieve its objective of enhancing transparency and increasing legal certainty for consumers and the travel industry.

Our consultation proposes some changes to the reporting requirements and the information we require from ATOL holders.  These should enable us to react to problems – such as overtrading –  sooner for the overall benefit of consumers and the ATOL scheme.  We have included our proposals on transitional arrangements to help ATOL holders adapt to some of the changes. 

We are also proposing some changes to ATOL exemptions and the scope of ATOL Flight-Only protection so that we only regulate where we believe consumers face unacceptable risks.     

Looking further ahead, we are also seeking your views on the DfT’s intention to grant the CAA civil sanction powers to enhance our ability to tackle more routine compliance issues.   We are also proposing to issue ATOL Certificates to consumers from the data the industry provides us.  This will enhance our ability to manage the ATOL scheme and enable consumers to check their ATOL entitlement independently.

Audiences

  • Tour operators
  • Travel agents

Interests

  • Consumer protection