The IAA is responsible for the licensing of tour operators and travel agents under the Transport (Tour Operators and Travel Agents) Act, 1982, the Package Holidays and Travel Trade Act, 1995 and the State Airports (Shannon Group) Act, 2014. In general terms, the two requirements that must be satisfied in order to obtain a licence relate to the financial standing of the applicant, as well as fitness and suitability to carry out either of the relevant activities. The applicant must put in place the relevant insolvency protection. In the event of this insolvency protection not being sufficient, recourse to the Travellers’ Protection Fund is available.
Only sales that meet the definition of “overseas travel contract” under the 1982 Act can be licensed.
An application for a travel agent or tour operator licence must be accompanied by the relevant fee. The fee structure for travel agent licence applications is as follows:
|Renewal of travel agent's licence||€300|
The fee for tour operator license applications is set according to the "licensable turnover" of the applicant company. The fee structure is as follows:
|€635,000 or less||€300|
|€635,001 but not exceeding €1,270,000||€600|
|€1,270,001 but not exceeding €3,810,000||€1,550|
|€3,810,001 but not exceeding €6,350,000||€2,150|
|€6,350,001 but not exceeding €12,700,000||€3,100|
|€12,700,001 but not exceeding €25,400,000||€7,800|
|For every €1,270,000 or part thereof in excess of €25,400,000 an additional fee of||€300|
|Additional fee for new applicant||€300|
*Note: Fees payable are non-refundable.
Please see below a listing of the main types of turnover that need to be to be covered by a licence and how it needs to be covered under current legislation:
- Flight/Travel Only commencing Ireland - Licensable.
- Retailing packages including travel commencing in Ireland (put together by an organiser) - Licensable.
- Retailing packages including travel commencing in another EU country (put together by an organiser) e.g. Cruise - No cover required (customer must be made aware of who the organiser is).
- Corporate travel packages/LTAs as part of a general agreement - No cover required.
- Corporate travel/flight only commencing in Ireland - Licensable.
- Organising Packages commencing in Ireland - Choice between: Licence under 1982 Act (Bond 4%/10%) or provide evidence of security to the IAA (full indemnity insurance).
- Organising Packages/LTAs commencing in other countries - full indemnity insurance under the 1995 Act.
- Accommodation only - no cover required.