Travel Trade licensing regime

(02 Oct 2013)

On 26 September, the European Commission set a deadline for Ireland to bring its travel industry licensing regime into full conformity with the EU’s Services Directive, which limits the extent to which Member States may require that companies intending to provide services in a European Union country first seek an authorisation.

The CAR currently oversees a licensing and bonding scheme consistent with the Transport (Tour Operators and Travel Agents) Act 1982.  This applies to all travel agents and tour operators selling travel out of Ireland.  The European Commission considers that its application to travel agents and tour operators from other Member States represents a barrier to the free movement of services in the EU, as required under the Services Directive. 

Ireland’s response to the European Commission’s view is a matter for the Irish State, in particular the Department of Transport and the Attorney General. The existing licensing legislation remains in force for the purposes of the Autumn 2013 travel trade licensing round at present underway.

If the CAR is notified by the Department of Transport  of any proposed change, it will notify the industry and proceed to implement the change. 

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