ABTA is advising its members that from 1 October it will be illegal for a travel agent to take any money from a customer when selling a tour operator’s holiday, unless the agent has a written agency agreement from the tour operator and is able to hand over an ATOL Certificate immediately to the customer.
If an ATOL Certificate is not passed over to the customer, then both the agent and principal will be breaking the law.
ABTA has written to its ATOL tour operator Members reminding them of their responsibility to produce a written agency agreement and is following this up with on-going monitoring.
However, agents must ensure that they contact their tour operator suppliers to obtain written agency agreements and to understand how to supply ATOL Certificates – processes may vary between ATOL holders.
The CAA has produced guidance on the production and supply of ATOL Certificates which can be found on its website. ABTA and the CAA are currently meeting Members across the country to discuss ATOL Reform and advise on ATOL Certificates.