The CAA have published a response to the feedback from stakeholders responding to its consultation “Modernising ATOL” published in February 2018 . It gives full information about the New ATOL Regulations and accompanies the publication of a new version of the CAA’s Official Record Series 3 (ORS3), which includes ATOL Standard Terms for licences, required Agency Terms, ATOL exemptions, Accredited Body Standard Terms, and other ATOL information published by the CAA.
The CAA has stated that it intends to implement most of its proposals; but some changes have been made. The proposals relating to the implementation of and transition into relevant aspects of Package Travel and Linked Travel Regulations 2018 are being implemented in full and will take effect on 1 July 2018 but the ones less linked will have a deferred implementation date.
The main immediate changes are:-
Also, there will be some reworking of the exemptions to when holding an ATOL is required:-
The deferred obligations under the New ATOL Regulations largely relate to how consumer information is displayed and additionally, the CAA will not introduce the proposal that ATOL holders which advertised a specific flight must secure it straight away. Those measures will be implemented instead by 1 April 2019.
The proposed online ATOL Certificate system is still undergoing a feasibility study. The CAA expects to make a decision on whether or not to proceed during 2018/19.
Finally in its response, the CAA acknowledges the travel industry’s view that there is insufficient time for some changes, particularly system changes, to be made. They declare that they intend to take ‘a proportionate approach to the enforcement of compliance: ATOL holders are expected to take steps to comply immediately, but for a period of three months the CAA’s enforcement stance will be focused mainly on monitoring and gaining confidence that ATOL holders are taking steps to become quickly compliant.’ After that, they will review progress on an individual company basis, having regard to whether there is a material risk of consumer detriment.
For further information about how the New ATOL Regulations will impact on your business, contact us.