The BAWTA Repatriation Scheme

The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 state (amongst other things) themeasures which all Tour Organisers are required to have in place both to protect consumers' money and to ensure their repatriation in the event of financial failure. Conscious of the impact which this has on many small and medium sized Coach Tour Operators, The British Association of Wholesale Tour Agents (BAWTA), the trade association for Tour Wholesalers which was founded in 1987, offers a simple and effective means of complying with the law.

Do the Package Travel Regulations affect our business?

The answer is "YES" if you offer inclusive packages of more than 24 hours' duration which comprise more than one of the following: transport; accommodation; other tourist services.

How can we protect Consumers' money?

The Package Travel Regulations 17 to 21 state that one of three possible methods may be used:

Trust Accounts Placing clients' money in a Trust Account, separate from your own funds, where it remains safe until after you have provided their holiday.

Bonding Available through membership of a scheme such as those run by CPT, ABTA or AITO.

Insurance Available from some specialist travel insurance brokers.

What is the law on Repatriation?

Package Travel Regulation No.16 (1) states that you must "at all times be able to provide sufficient evidence of security for the refund of money paid over and for the repatriation of the consumer in the event of insolvency". Schedule 1 (9) to Regulation No. 5 states that you must include in brochures, where relevant to the packages offered, information on "the arrangements for security for money paid over and for the repatriation of the consumer in the event of insolvency".

How can we provide Repatriation Cover?

The bonding and insurance options will usually include measures to bring home any holidaymakers who are abroad at the time of a Tour Organiser's failure. If you choose to protect clients' money using a Trust Account, then you need to make separate arrangements in order to comply with the law on repatriation. Joining the BAWTA Repatriation Scheme is a simple and effective way of doing this.

Who will know if we don’t bother?

The Package Travel Regulations not only require you to make provision for your clients' repatriation but also to state in your brochures the measures which you have taken. Failure to do so is likely to lead to prosecution by your local Trading Standards Officers.

What is the BAWTA Repatriation Scheme?

For a small annual fee, the BAWTA Repatriation Scheme guarantees that, if you ceased trading whilst you had passengers on tour abroad, they would be repatriated to their local area (but not directly to their homes) in the UK. Your claim, or a call for help from your passengers, would activate our Repatriation Procedure, and BAWTA would make all the necessary arrangements to bring your clients home. You do not, however, need to provide repatriation cover for tours where your coach has simply been chartered by another Tour Organiser, as financial protection and repatriation cover are their responsibility, not yours.

How does the BAWTA Repatriation Scheme work?

You simply register with the independent Administrators of the Scheme, pay the fee, and they will take care of the rest. You will be given the appropriate wording to include in your brochures, and documentation telling you what to do in the event of a claim.

What is the limit of the Scheme?

The BAWTA Repatriation Scheme provides cover for a maximum of up to 6 coaches being outside the UK at any one time. Cover can not be extended above this level.

How much does the BAWTA Repatriation Scheme cost?

For details of the different options available, please click here. The cost per person is very small.

Do we have to use BAWTA Wholesalers for our tours?

Naturally, at least some of your tour arrangements must be purchased from a BAWTA member, but not necessarily all of them. For example, you can still book your favourite hotels or overnight stops direct if you prefer. Full details appear below. Click here for a list of BAWTA members.

Why bother with Repatriation Cover?

You are committing a criminal offence if you do not adhere to the Regulations. Is it really worth taking the risk, when such a small amount can buy you peace of mind?

BAWTA Repatriation Scheme Options and Fees

Option 1 All non UK tours arranged wholly or partially by a BAWTA member(s) One year
£125
Two years
£250
Option 2 Some non UK tours arranged, and some not arranged, by a BAWTA member(s) One year
£225
Two years
£450

What should we do next?

If you have any queries, you can contact any BAWTA member to discuss them. Otherwise, download the form in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, print it, fill in the form and send it by post with your cheque

If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed, you can obtain it free of charge from get.adobe.com/uk/reader/

All forms and cheques sent by post should be addressed to:

BAWTA Repatriation Scheme Administrator
Albert Goodman
Chartered Accountants
Mary Street House
Mary Street
TAUNTON
TAl 3NW
e-mail: repatriationscheme@bawta.co.uk