The Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed travel retailers must have agency agreements in place with suppliers by April 30 in line with the Atol reforms announced on Thursday.
Abta said it had been hoping for a delay in the requirement for agency agreements until October 1, when the reforms are implemented in full.
However, the CAA confirmed the agreements are essential to the Flight Plus licensing process which comes into force on April 30. It is the Atol Certificate to be issued to customers that has been delayed to October.
A CAA spokeswoman said: “Agency agreements will need to be in place by day one [of Flight Plus] because agents have to be able to prove they don’t need a Flight-Plus licence.”
Abta expressed disappointment, but said: “It is not a big problem so long as the CAA does not come down on people like a tonne of bricks.”
Chief executive Mark Tanzer told Travel Weekly: “We hoped the agency agreements would not come in until October, but we understand they have to be in place by April 30. That could be a bit of a challenge.
“It sounds easy when you are not a travel agent, but the agreements are more varied than you might think. People will not end up with a standard agency agreement.”
- Guidance on the Atol reforms is available at the CAA website
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