Abta calls for clarity on Atol Certificates

Abta calls for clarity on Atol Certificates

Abta has asked the Civil Aviation Authority to clarify uncertainty on issuing Atol Certificates ahead of their launch on October 1.

Agents will be legally required to issue certificates to customers on receipt of any payment.

Abta foresees a problem where an Atol-holder is slow to produce a certificate, but an agency agreement specifies only the operator may issue it.

Abta head of legal services Simon Bunce said: “Operators want control of what is on a certificate. Agents want something in writing from the operator and don’t want responsibility for anything wrong. The problem is agents are not aware of what operators intend to do. We’ve told operators, you have to be ready and let your agents know by October 1.”

Abta has asked the CAA whether agents can issue a certificate when a client has paid, but an operator is slow to produce the document.

Bunce said: “Agents have an obligation to issue a certificate when they take any money. The concern is, should they wait for the operator or issue a certificate?

“If agents comply with their obligation, how does that fit with the agency agreement? What if it conflicts? Would the CAA overlook that in the event of a failure, provided information on the certificate was right?”

A CAA spokesman said: “The position is the Atol-holder issues the certificate unless the agent has permission. The Atol-holder would need to say they are happy for the agent to issue it on their behalf.”

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