If you have any questions or would like to get involved in any of ACTA's advocacy initiatives contact our VP of Advocacy and member relations, Heather Craig Peddie at firstname.lastname@example.org
ACTA sends IATA your Feedback on NewGen ISS
In May, ACTA sent a communication to all IATA appointed ACTA members asking for specific feedback on the Canadian roll-out of the New Generation IATA Settlement Systems (NewGen ISS). The phased roll-out began in March and immediately caused problems for some of our Members.
Thank you to the many ACTA members who responded. Based on member feedback, a compiled reported was forwarded by ACTA to members of the World Travel Agency Associations Alliance (WTAAA) in advance of a global meeting with IATA to discuss and understand the impact of IATA’s initiatives.
In the initial rush following the March 1st implementation of PCI Compliance many agencies did meet their deadline to complete the necessary steps to become PCI DSS Compliant. For those that failed to submit either the Attestation of Compliance or Nil credit card self- declaration, IATA started sending out Administrative Non-Compliance notices at the beginning of May granting those agencies an additional 30 days to comply.
ACTA’s report to IATA emphasized that the perception expressed by many IATA appointed ACTA member agencies, is that NewGen ISS, combined with PCI DSS compliance, is another administrative and financial burden being placed on Canadian travel agencies who are not a risk to airlines, especially given the high usage of credit cards. The time and cost involved to meet these additional IATA requirements is counter-productive when an agency is simply trying to sell a travel experience.
Closely tied to NewGen ISS is the IATA initiative, Transparency in Payments (TIP) Go Live, which allows for the acceptance of travel agency cards (referred to as an Agent card) by airlines but only with the condition if the airline gives consent. If you do not obtain this consent, you will receive an Agency Debit Memo, which members have cited can be $150/transaction.
This initiative is not fully implemented yet as the ability to enroll an agency’s own card through BSPLink will not be available until the end of the year. Until then you must obtain authorization direct from each airline. ACTA and the WTAAA are actively working to lobby IATA on the global legalities of credit card restrictions, specifically what type of credit cards agencies can use.
Local Financial Criteria (LFC) – New Option to Annual Review Engagement
ACTA’s LFC Travel Agency Committee had success in negotiating with IATA member airlines to reduce the financial and administrative burden on small to medium sized Canadian Travel Agencies. When the LFC review initially began, at the request of our members, ACTA submitted a proposal for an alternative to the costly annual Review Engagement. This criteria under the NewGen ISS initiative has been addressed. An agency that holds the Standard Accreditation with Cash Facility (the ability for the agency to transact with both cash and credit), may apply to IATA in writing for approval not to be subject to annual financial assessments. In this case, if approved, the agency would be assigned a “fail” for the financial assessment but can still operate so long as a Financial Security is provided, and in accordance with the applicable LFC. ACTA is pleased that this option, one that we have been lobbying for, has been acknowledged in the new program.
Canada Fraud Prevention Group – Solution for Airline Ticket Fraud Coming
The Canada Travel Fraud Prevention Group (CTFPG), an ACTA and IATA jointly-led group of a wide range of industry stakeholders, met in May for a day long project update on IATA’s DISH 23.0. Within DISH 23.0, there is new software which will allow for the shift of liability for fraud from the merchant back to the card issuer. While a more in-depth report about DISH 23.0 will be coming soon, it is important to understand why ACTA is remaining close to this project and will continue to keep you updated. In the meantime, ACTA has scheduled a member webinar for June 19 with presenter Eric Johnston from ATOQ to share the latest tips and best practices for protecting your travel agency from fraud.
Transport Canada and the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) – Bill C-49 Passed... Now What?
On May 23, 2018, Bill C-49 (the Transportation Modernization Act) received Royal Assent. The bill gives the Canadian Transportation Agency the authority to develop rules within a Passenger Bill of Rights. The new air passenger protection regulations will be in place by late 2018 or early 2019. ACTA and members of the ACTA CTA Review Committee had an initial meeting with the CTA with a more fulsome consultation to take place in early July. While the ACTA CTA Review prepares a draft submission, we encourage all Members to review the questions posed by the CTA at http://www.airpassengerprotection.ca/discussion-paper or attend one of 8 scheduled in-person sessions at http://www.airpassengerprotection.ca/register-session.
Alberta Insurance Council (AIC) – The AIC recently sent out notices to all designated individuals within an agency that sells travel health insurance to Alberta residents. To continue conducting insurance business in Alberta, the renewal application must be filed, and the agency’s Certificate of Authority must be issued prior to June 30, 2018. ACTA and AIC are working together on educating members on how independent agents of a host agency can sell insurance more efficiently considering the legislative constraints in Alberta with a recorded interview/webinar available the week of June 11th.
Insurance Council of Saskatchewan (ICS) – A new Act is coming into effect January 1, 2019. This will mean changes to the ICS By-Laws and ultimately changes to the SK By-Laws Insurance Exam. We expect more information from the ICS in coming months, and we’ll work to ensure that travel agencies interests are protected.
Insurance Council of Manitoba (ICM) – ACTA received clarification on a situation brought to our attention by a MB ACTA Member. A travel health insurance policy had been sold to a consumer without the trip being purchased from the agency. The agency was fined as they did not have a separate Accident & Sickness license. The response from ICM is that if you are looking to sell insurance when the travel booking was not purchased with your agency, you do require a separate license.
Review of the Ontario Travel Industry Act and Bill 166 - Drafting New Regulations
ACTA and members of the ACTA Travel Industry Act (TIA) Review Committee met with policy advisors within the Ontario government on April 6, 2018 to begin drafting new TIA regulations. While the Compensation Fund was not on the agenda for this meeting, ACTA has not given up on lobbying the government to make the change to a much-needed consumer-funded Compensation Fund. ACTA’s written submission to the Phase 1 Regulatory Development is posted on the Members Only section of the ACTA website. ACTA will re-engage the Ministry now that the Ontario provincial election is over.
Consumer Protection BC - New Rules may be implemented this Summer
Consumer Protection BC implemented a new model to calculate administrative monetary penalty amounts effective May 15, 2018. At a recent meeting with Consumer Protection BC, ACTA learned that they are working on updating some rules including the acceptance of a mobile phone instead of the current requirement of a land-line phone. We anticipate this will be implemented as early as this summer. The ACTA BC-YK Regional Council is preparing a list of scenarios to present to Consumer Protection BC to address some of the outdated requirements.
Office de la protection du consummateur (OPC) - Drafting Regulations in Québec
ACTA participated in a recent meeting with the OPC as part of the Travel Agent Advisory Committee. The focus of the meeting was the presentation of draft regulations to Bill 134, which was unanimously adopted by the National Assembly in November 2017. There are some significant changes including the suspension of contributions to the FICAV (the Compension Fund in Québec) at $125 million.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – Enforceable May 25, 2018
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union. It addresses the export of personal data outside the EU. The GDPR aims primarily to give control back to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU. When the GDPR takes effect, it will replace the 1995 Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC). It becomes enforceable May 25, 2018. Unlike a directive, it does not require national governments to pass any enabling legislation and so it is directly binding and applicable. Click for more details on how this impacts Travel Agencies in Canada.
Update on Friends and Family Discounts by Suppliers
In a recent meeting of members of the ACTA Quebec and the Association of Tour Operators of Quebec (ATOQ), ATOQ advised that the issue of the abuse of the Friends and Family Discount is being addressed among their members and they are working on the restrictions to these fares. ACTA will continue to follow up on these concerns with travel suppliers on a national level as well.