For all your ATOL licensing and travel industry regulatory requirements

2014 CONSULTATION : REBALANCING ATOL

The CAA has recently issued a Consultation, a copy of which can be viewed at http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP%201190%20Rebalancing%20ATOL.pdf

THE PROPOSALS IF IMPLEMENTED would have most effect on future NEW ATOL licence applicants, especially those that would currently benefit from the Small Business ATOL (SBA) scheme which would be withdrawn.

The proposals also significantly affect current SBA holders and Standard ATOL holders to a lesser degree.

IF YOU ARE THINKING OF APPLYING FOR A NEW ATOL LICENCE IT WILL PROBABLY BE BENEFICIAL TO DO SO BEFORE 1 APRIL 2015 AS CURRENT BOND REQUIREMENTS ARE EXPECTED TO APPLY FOR ALL APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY THE END OF MARCH 2015. ADDITIONALLY ANY REQUIREMENT FOR AN INCREASE IN PAID-UP SHARE CAPITAL WILL BE PHASED-IN OVER THREE YEARS. PLEASE CONTACT US AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO DISCUSS THE ADVANTAGES OF APPLYING FOR A NEW ATOL LICENCE NOW IN LIGHT OF THE CONSULTATION PROPOSALS.

Below we have highlighted the main implications of the current proposals for POTENTIAL NEW ATOL holders and EXISTING ATOL holders:

POTENTIAL NEW ATOL HOLDERS:

Under the current proposals the Small Business ATOL scheme would be withdrawn, resulting in all new applicants – CURRENTLY EXPECTED TO APPLY TO THOSE SUBMITTING APPLICATIONS FROM APRIL 2015 – needing to meet the same requirements

EXISTING ATOL HOLDERS:

SMALL BUSINESS ATOL (SBA) holders

The removal of the SBA scheme

Existing SBA licence holders would have the option of:

Either:   Becoming a Standard ATOL holder

Or: Join an Accredited Body or Franchise

STANDARD ATOL holders

An increase in the minimum level of required Paid-up Share Capital from the existing level of £30,000 to £50,000

The need to meet additional financial ratios relating to profitability, liquidity/cashflow and financial stability/solvency – details of which have not yet been provided

ALL ATOL holders

ATOL Annual Accountants Reports would need to be completed by accountants/practices who are ‘Licenced Practitioners/Practices (ATOL reporting)’

HOWEVER, AT THE MOMENT THE PROPOSALS ARE JUST THAT, PROPOSALS. THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE YOUR SAY AND HOPEFULLY INFLUENCE THE OUTCOME OF THIS CONSULTATION

Having issued the consultation the CAA would like to hear from all interested parties. At the moment they are purely proposals, it is NOT a ‘done-deal’. If you do not reply it will be assumed that you are happy with the changes that are proposed. Whilst in the consultation document there are a series of questions that the CAA would be interested in receiving your response to, you are also more than welcome to just comment on one or two of the proposals or to make a general comment. If enough businesses make their thoughts heard it is possible that some or all of the proposals will be ‘watered-down’ or abandoned, this will not happen if only a few businesses respond.

Please either respond to the CAA directly consultations@caa.co.uk copying us in please office@theatc.co.uk or send your thoughts to us and we will forward them to the CAA on your behalf.

If, however, you have any particular queries you would like to discuss with us before submitting your response please do contact us by email office@theatc.co.uk or by telephone 01252 795200.