News briefs

Verification Statement Interpretation and Template

The Ontario government has made amendments to Ontario Regulation 26/05 aimed at the reduction of administration and other overhead expenses associated with financial reporting as follows: - Replace review engagement report requirement with a Verification Statement for registrants with Ontario gross sales of less than $2 million per year (click here to access the fillable verification statement).

- Replace audit report requirement with review engagement report for all registrants with Ontario gross sales of more than $10 million per year.

Although the timing of this burden reduction is reflective of the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the regulatory amendments with respect to financial documents are not time-limited. The new requirements will apply moving forward.

Extended TICO Fee Deferral Effective Immediately

The ongoing impact of the COVID-19 crisis continues to place severe

financial strain on all registrants. Effective immediately, TICO has

extended its original 90-day fee deferral on all fees as per the schedule


As a reminder, Renewal applications and Compensation Fund assessments (Form 1) must continue to be submitted to TICO on-time, consistent with required reporting timelines to support continued registration under the Travel Industry Act, 2002.

There is no action required by registrants to qualify for the above deferral. If you have already remitted fees for a prior period, or for the above periods, please note that TICO will not accept requests for refunds and appreciates your continued support and understanding. Please refrain from using couriers to send in your forms and use email or regular mail instead. Registrants who may otherwise be remitting payment by cheque are strongly encouraged to use online banking through your financial institution.

Please refer to TICO’s website and future Registrar Bulletins for further updates, including the timing of future remittances for the above deferrals.

Customer Refunds

and Trust Accounts

Customer Refunds

This is to clarify when Section 46 of the Regulation

governs the issuance of vouchers for future travel, and

when the Section does not govern the original terms &

conditions of customer contracts applied to the

issuance of refunds.

TICO continues to receive customer complaints

concerning cancellation requests made to Registrants

consistent with the terms & conditions at the time the

travel services were purchased, including when the

customer is prepared to forgo a deposit and/or pay a

penalty that may have been disclosed at the time of

purchase. This includes where Registrants may have

indicated that only a voucher for future travel will be

provided instead of a refund owing, in situations where

Section 46 of the Regulation may not apply.

Section 46 applies if a Registrant acquires rights to

travel services for resale and the supplier fails to

provide the travel services. A Registrant is considered

to have acquired rights to travel services for resale

including where it has packaged travel services and

marketed and then sold those services for an all-

inclusive price.

In a case where Section 46 does not govern, including because the customer’s future travel dates are beyond the declared delay and/or cancellation of travel by the supplier(s) and so the triggering event has not occurred, the customer’s booking is subject to the original terms and conditions that were disclosed at the time the travel services were purchased. All such refund requests should be subject to the original terms and conditions which cannot be unilaterally altered due to COVID-19. Until March 31, 2021, Section 46 will include a time limited provision that allows registrants to substitute a credit voucher for future travel when the supplier has failed to provide the travel service due to COVID-19. This provision will be revoked from the Regulation on April 1, 2021. Registrants issuing credit vouchers instead of a refund are expected to do so within a reasonable period of time after the cancellation occurs. Registrants are reminded they must always be accurate and complete in the information they provide about customer options.

Trust Accounts

Registrants are also reminded of their obligations to comply with all Trust Account regulatory requirements which remain a critical component of consumer protection at all times. Registrants shall not disburse or withdraw customer monies held in trust for any purposes other than to:

  • make a payment to the supplier(s) of the travel service for which the customer monies were intended;
  • make a refund to the customer; or,
  • after the supplier(s) of the travel services have been paid in-full, to pay the Registrant’s commission

The Trust Account may never be used by the Registrant to disburse funds for payments of operating costs such as salaries and wages, rent, advertising, telephone or other overhead costs. Where a voucher was issued, Registrants must maintain an up-to-date record of all outstanding voucher liability by customer name, unique identifier, the amount and date voucher issued. Registrants are also reminded of the requirement to complete Trust Account reconciliations on a regular basis and at a minimum, when transferring available surplus from the Trust Account to the General Account.

Next page: Convictions and Revocations