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B.C. Reg. 296/2004
O.C. 658/2004
Deposited June 30, 2004
effective July 4, 2004

Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act

Travel Industry Regulation

Note: Check the Cumulative Regulation Bulletin 2015 and 2016
for any non-consolidated amendments to this regulation that may be in effect.

[includes amendments up to B.C. Reg. 400/2008, December 1, 2009]

Link to Point in Time

Contents
Part 1 — Definitions
1Definitions
Part 2 — Licences
1.1Designated activities
2Exemptions from licensing requirement
3Qualifications for licence
4Licence fees
5Licence for each location
6Term of licence
7Repealed
8Display of licence
9Prohibited and regulated acts or practices
10Reporting to director
11Records
12Annual financial statement
12.1Receipts
13Trust accounts
14Security
Part 3 — Travel Assurance Fund
15Definition
16Contributor
17Payments to fund
18Claims against fund
19Limitation period for filing claims
20Deferred payment of claims
21Emergency payments from fund
22Maximum amount payable from fund
23Director's records and report

Part 1 — Definitions

Definitions

1  In this regulation:

"Act" means the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act;

"credit card" has the same meaning as in section 57 [definitions] of the Act;

"fiscal period", in relation to a licensee, means

(a) subject to paragraph (c), a period that does not exceed 53 weeks chosen by the licensee as a fiscal year for financial reporting and income tax purposes,

(b) subject to paragraph (c), the calendar year, if the licensee has not chosen a fiscal year referred to in paragraph (a), or

(c) another period approved under section 12 by the director;

"fund" means the Travel Assurance Fund;

"licence" means a licence, as defined in section 1 [definitions] of the Act, to engage in a designated activity designated under section 1.1 of this regulation;

"travel agent" means a person who engages in the business or occupation of selling or otherwise providing to the public travel services supplied by another person;

"travel service" means

(a) transportation,

(b) accommodation, or

(c) another service combined with transportation or accommodation

that is for the use or benefit of a traveller, tourist or sightseer;

"travel wholesaler" means a person who engages in the business or occupation of

(a) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 1 (c).]

(b) purchasing or acquiring from another person rights to travel services for the purpose of resale, or

(c) dealing with travel agents or other travel wholesalers for the sale of travel services supplied by another person.

[am. B.C. Regs. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 1; 400/2008, Sch. 3, s. 1.]

Part 2 — Licences

Designated activities

1.1  For the purposes of the definition of "designated activity" in section 142 of the Act, the following are designated:

(a) the business and occupation described in the definition of "travel agent";

(b) the business and occupation described in the definition of "travel wholesaler".

[en. B.C. Reg. 400/2008, Sch. 3, s. 2.]

Exemptions from licensing requirement

2  (1) The following classes of persons are exempt from the requirement to be licensed as a travel agent or travel wholesaler:

(a) a person providing sightseeing or tour guide services if the person is not providing any other travel services;

(b) and (c) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 2 (c).]

(d) a common carrier providing scheduled interline transportation if the carrier is not providing any other travel services;

(e) a person, who is an agent of a person licensed or whose licence is continued under the Passenger Transportation Act, selling bus travel services if the person is not providing any other travel services;

(f) an operator of a motel, hotel or resort in respect of arranging local travel services that are incidental to the provision of accommodation.

(2) An operator of a motel, hotel or resort is exempt from the requirement to be licensed as a travel wholesaler in respect of those accommodations.

[am. B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 2.]

Qualifications for licence

3  An applicant for a licence must meet the following qualifications:

(a) if the applicant is an individual, the individual is at least 19 years of age;

(b) to (d) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 3.]

(e) in the opinion of the director, the person has sufficient working capital to reasonably be expected to be able to operate as a travel service business.

[am. B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 3.]

Licence fees

4  (1) Subject to any applicable fees set by the administrative authority, a person must pay a licence application fee of $550 to the director and submit the fee with the person's application for a licence.

(2) Subject to any applicable fees set by the administrative authority, a person must pay a licence fee of $550 to the director and submit the fee with the person's application for a licence.

[am. B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 4.]

Licence for each location

5  (1) A travel agent and travel wholesaler must have a licence for each location from which the travel agent or travel wholesaler conducts business in British Columbia.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a travel agent or travel wholesaler who occasionally conducts business at a trade fair, exhibition, hotel or other temporary location or event approved by the director.

Term of licence

6  The director may issue a licence for a term not exceeding 3 years.

Repealed

7  Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 5.]

Display of licence

8  A licensee must prominently display the licensee's licence in the location for which the licence is issued.

Prohibited and regulated acts or practices

9  (1) A licensee must not

(a) carry on business from a place that is not a permanent place of business unless authorized by the director,

(b) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 6 (b).]

(c) carry on business in a name other than the name in which the licensee is registered,

(d) carry on business in a name that indicates the licensee has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation or connection that the licensee does not have, or

(e) knowingly carry on business in British Columbia with a travel agent or travel wholesaler in British Columbia who is not licensed unless the travel agent or a travel wholesaler is exempt from licensing.

(2) A licensee must ensure that the licensee and the licensee's employees and agents do not use a personal credit card to pay for travel services on behalf of a customer.

(3) A licensee must include the licensee's licence number in a visual advertisement respecting the licensee's business.

[am. B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 6.]

Reporting to director

10  (1) A licensee must report the following information to the director in writing within 14 days of the change occurring:

(a) a change of address for the location from which the licensee conducts business in British Columbia;

(b) if the licensee is a corporation,

(i) a change in the senior officers, as defined in the Business Corporations Act, of the corporation, and

(ii) a material change in the beneficial ownership of the shares of the licensee;

(c) if the licensee is a partnership, a change of partners in the partnership;

(d) a change of name of the licensee.

(2) If a licensee ceases to engage in business with another licensee because the other licensee has failed to fulfill a financial commitment made to the licensee, the licensee must report that cessation to the director.

(3) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 7 (b).]

[am. B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 7.]

Records

11  (1) Subject to subsection (2), a licensee must maintain in British Columbia proper records of account that set out all financial, commercial and corporate transactions of the licensee.

(2) A licensee whose head office is not in British Columbia must, on the request of the director, provide to the director copies of the records of account referred to in subsection (1).

[am. B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 8.]

Annual financial statement

12  (0.1) In this section, "generally accepted accounting principles" means the principles recommended in the Handbook of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

(1) A licensee must submit a financial statement to the director

(a) for the licensee's previous fiscal period, within 90 days of the end of the fiscal period,

(b) when requested by the director and for the period requested by the director.

(2) The financial statement must be in accordance with the following requirements:

(a) be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles;

(b) contain the information required by the director;

(c) be an audited statement, if required by the director;

(d) be approved

(i) if the licensee is a corporation, by a majority of the directors of the corporation,

(ii) if the licensee is a partnership, by all the partners of the partnership, or

(iii) if the licensee is an individual, by the individual.

(3) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 9 (c).]

(4) A person who holds more than one licence may submit one financial statement that contains the information in respect of all licences held by the person.

(5) For the purposes of the definition of "fiscal period" in section 1,

(a) the director may approve a period other than the fiscal year or calendar year to be the fiscal period for a licensee, and

(b) a licensee may not otherwise change the licensee's fiscal period without the approval of the director.

[am. B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 9.]

Receipts

12.1  When a licensee receives a payment or refunds an amount for travel services, the licensee must give the person making the payment or receiving the refund a receipt that includes the following information:

(a) the date the payment is received or amount is refunded;

(b) the name and address of the person making the payment or receiving the refund;

(c) the amount received or refunded and any outstanding balance;

(d) a description of the services to be supplied, including the dates on which the travel services are to be supplied;

(e) an itemized purchase price for the travel services to be supplied;

(f) the conditions for the reimbursement of any money received;

(g) the licensee's name, address, telephone number and licence number;

(h) if the licensee must deposit the payment into a trust account, that the payment will be deposited into a trust account.

[en. B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 10.]

Trust accounts

13  (0.1) In this section, "licensee" means a licensed travel wholesaler.

(1) A licensee must establish and maintain a trust account with a savings institution in British Columbia.

(2) A trust account established by a licensee must be designated as a "travel trust account".

(3) A licensee must deposit all money that is received in the course of business for travel services into the licensee's trust account.

(4) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 11.]

(5) A licensee may disburse money received from a customer from the licensee's trust account for only the following purposes:

(a) for services to be rendered for the customer;

(b) for expenditures on behalf of the customer;

(c) to reimburse expenditures incurred on behalf of the customer;

(d) to refund an amount to the customer;

(e) if the provider of the travel services for which the licensee received the money from the customer has been paid, money due to the licensee.

(6) A licensee must keep current records of

(a) all money deposited into a trust account,

(b) all disbursements from a trust account,

(c) the trust account balance, and

(d) the balance for each customer for whom money has been deposited into the trust account.

(7) The director may require a licensee to have the licensee's trust account records audited.

[am. B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 11 and Sch. 3, s. 1.]

Security

14  (1) A licensee must provide security to the director that is of the type and in the form acceptable to the director

(a) when the licensee applies for an initial licence, and

(b) within 90 days of the end of the fiscal period.

(2) If the licensee is a travel agent, the licensee must provide security in the amount set out in the following table in respect of all travel agent licences held by that licensee:

Item Licensee's Total Sales in the
previous fiscal period from
acting as a travel agent
Amount of Security
1 $0 to $4 999 999.99 $15 000
2 $5 000 000 to $9 999 999.99 $25 000
3 more than $10 000 000 $40 000

(3) If the licensee is a travel wholesaler, the licensee must provide security in the amount set out in the following table in respect of all travel wholesaler licences held by that licensee:

Item Licensee's Total Sales in the
previous fiscal period from
acting as a travel wholesaler
Amount of Security
1 $0 to $1 999 999.99 $15 000
2 $2 000 000 to $2 999 999.99 $35 000
3 $3 000 000 to $4 999 999.99 $50 000
4 $5 000 000 to $6 999 999.99 $70 000
5 $7 000 000 to $14 999 999.99 $100 000
6 $15 000 000 to $24 999 999.99 $125 000
7 more than $24 999 999.99 $150 000

(4) Despite subsection (2) or (3), the director may require a licensee to provide security greater than the amount required under that subsection.

(5) The director must return the security to the person who provided the security

(a) 6 months after the person's licence is cancelled if there are no outstanding claims against the security, or

(b) after a final decision has been made in respect of all claims against the security and there is no further opportunity for reconsideration or review.

(6) The director may realize on the security if the licensee fails to makes any required payments to the fund under section 136 [contributor must repay compensation fund for claims caused by contributor] of the Act.

[am. B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 12 and Sch. 3, s. 2.]

Part 3 — Travel Assurance Fund

Definition

15  In this Part, "contributor" means a licensee designated to make payments to the fund under section 16.

Contributor

16  For the purposes of the definition of "contributor" in section 129 [definition — compensation funds] of the Act, in relation to the fund, licensees are designated to make payments to the fund.

Payments to fund

17  (1) In this section, "contribution period" means

(a) subject to paragraph (b), the contributor's fiscal period except the contributor's fiscal period in which the contributor's initial licence is issued if that initial licence is not issued on the first day of that fiscal period, and

(b) if a contributor's licence is cancelled or expires during the contributor's fiscal period, the period from the beginning of that contribution period to the date the licence is cancelled or expires.

(2) Subject to any applicable amount set by the administrative authority, a contributor must pay $500 to the fund when the contributor applies for a licence.

(3) Subject to any applicable amount set by the administrative authority, a contributor must pay for each contribution period the greater of the following amounts to the fund within 90 days of the end of the month in which the contribution period ends:

(a) $100;

(b) an amount equal to 0.05% of the contributor's gross sales from acting as a travel agent or travel wholesaler in the contribution period.

(4) Subsection (3) does not apply to a contributor, in respect of all licences held by the contributor, if

(a) the book value of the fund is at least $2 000 000, and

(b) the contributor has paid amounts under subsection (3) for successive contribution periods totalling 3 years.

[en. B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 13.]

Claims against fund

18  (1) A person may apply to the director for compensation from the fund in the following prescribed circumstances:

(a) the person

(i) has suffered a loss as a result of paying a contributor for travel services that were not provided pursuant to a contract for travel services,

(ii) is not a travel agent or travel wholesaler, and

(iii) is not submitting a subrogated claim;

(b) if the person is a contributor,

(i) the person received money from a customer pursuant to a contract for travel services,

(i.1) the customer is eligible to apply under paragraph (a) for compensation from the fund,

(ii) the person properly disbursed the money to the travel service provider contracted to provide the travel services for the customer,

(iii) the travel services contracted for were not provided to the customer,

(iv) the person has suffered a loss, other than a loss of commissions, as a result of, at the licensee's own expense, reimbursing the customer or arranging for alternate travel services because the travel services contracted for were not provided to the customer, and

(v) the person has acted in good faith with and at arm's length from the travel service provider contracted to provide the travel services for the customer;

(c) if the person is a contributor,

(i) the person has entered into a contract for travel services by virtue of the fact that a customer has paid money to another contributor,

(i.1) the customer is eligible to apply under paragraph (a) for compensation from the fund,

(ii) the person has suffered a loss, other than a loss of commissions, as a result of, at the licensee's own expense, reimbursing the customer or providing the contracted travel services after not receiving some or all of the money paid to the other contributor, and

(iii) the person has acted in good faith with and at arm's length from the other contributor.

(2) The amount of compensation payable in respect of a loss referred to in subsection (1) is the amount paid by the person suffering the loss to the contributor for the travel services that were not provided.

[am. B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 14.]

Limitation period for filing claims

19  A person must file an application with the director claiming compensation from the fund within 6 months after the date the loss occurred.

Deferred payment of claims

20  The director may defer the payment of claims until the director is satisfied that

(a) in the case of a person applying for compensation under section 18 (1), the person has

(i) demanded payment of the amount paid referred to in section 18 (1) (a) (i), (b) (iv) or (c) (ii) from the contributor or travel service provider and given that person 30 days to honour the demand,

(ii) made reasonable efforts to obtain compensation from

(A) if the travel services were paid for with a credit card, the credit card issuer, as defined in section 94 of the Act,

(B) an insurer, and

(C) other available sources, and

(iii) made reasonable efforts to collect on a judgment, if the person has obtained a judgment in respect of the loss,

(b) all claims likely to be made in respect of a contributor have been filed, and

(c) all claims likely to be made in respect of an event have been filed.

[am. B.C. Reg. 369/2008, Sch. 2, s. 15.]

Emergency payments from fund

21  (1) For the purposes of section 133 (1) (b) [payments from compensation fund] of the Act, a person is in an emergency circumstance if

(a) as a result of the failure to receive the travel services contracted for, the person is stranded away from the person's normal place of residence,

(b) the person did not have adequate advance notice that the person would not receive the travel services contracted for, and

(c) money or facilities are necessary immediately in order to alleviate the inconvenience of the person.

(2) For the purposes of section 133 (1) (b) of the Act, the director must pay an amount not exceeding $5 000 to remedy the emergency circumstance.

Maximum amount payable from fund

22  (1) The maximum amount that may be paid from the fund to a claimant in respect of a claim is $5 000 for each person covered by the claim.

(2) The maximum amount that may be paid from the fund in respect of all claims relating to an event is the total of

(a) $2 000 000, and

(b) any money recovered by the director in respect of the claims as a result of the assignment of rights under section 134 [assignment of rights] of the Act.

Director's records and report

23  Each year the director must publish a report in respect of the fund for the previous calendar year or other period determined by the director that includes the following information:

(a) the amount owing to the fund by any contributor at the end of the period;

(b) the total amount of money received by the fund in the period;

(c) the total amount of money paid from the fund in the period;

(d) a statement of all claims paid in the period;

(e) a statement of changes to the capital of the fund;

(f) a statement of the assets and liabilities of the fund at the end of the period.

[Provisions of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, S.B.C. 2004, c. 2, relevant to the enactment of this regulation: sections 129, 131 to 133, 164, 143, 144, 148, 164, 194, 198 and 199]