TICO re-instating registrant fees after three-year hiatus

TICO re-instating registrant fees after three-year hiatus

TORONTO — TICO is re-instating registrant fees, with those owing as of April 1, 2023.

TICO made the announcement in a Registrar Bulletin and has also posted the news on its site.

Between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2023, all TICO annual registration renewal fees and Compensation Fund assessments owing during this period were waived.

This was possible due to temporary funding from the Ontario government, says TICO, and it allowed registrants to focus on their priority business needs without the added financial stress of meeting certain payment obligations with TICO.

TICO notes in its bulletin that while many travel businesses continue to experience challenges associated with the pandemic, the market is seeing pent-up consumer demand translating into travel bookings.

Says TICO: “In 2021, TICO conducted a fee review and industry consultation about a proposed funding approach that addressed only annual registration fees and other regulatory services. Much of the feedback we heard was that industry was looking for a review that also encompassed the Compensation Fund. TICO made a commitment to revisit registrant fees in a comprehensive manner, and we are now following through on that promise. As the industry moves through the recovery process, there is an opportunity to revisit TICO’s future funding framework and fee model.”


FEES STARTING ON APRIL 1, 2023

The funding provided by the Ontario government that allowed all registrant renewal fees and Compensation Fund assessments to be waived for three consecutive years by TICO will come to an end on March 31, 2023.

As of April 1, 2023, TICO will temporarily revert to the fee structure that was in place prior to the pandemic. This will be in effect until a comprehensive funding framework review is complete.

All registrants with a year-end or six-month period-end on or after January 1, 2023, will have fees owing starting on April 1, 2023.


COMP FUND ASSESSMENTS

The retail rate remains at 25 cents per $1,000 of retail sales and the wholesale rate also remains at 25 cents per $1,000 of wholesale sales. For more information about Compensation Fund assessments, please click here.

For the comprehensive funding framework review, TICO has hired Optimus SBR (Optimus), an Ontario-based full-service consulting firm, to lead an end-to-end review of TICO’s current funding framework, as well as a full review of the Compensation Fund.

In collaboration with TICO’s management, Optimus will consider all available options around an innovative funding model that meets the needs of consumer protection today and the future. Integral to this review is stakeholder input. Optimus will consider input from a selection of stakeholders as part of its engagement mandate.

Optimus will provide a recommended approach to TICO’s management for a future funding model that addresses both registrant fees and the Compensation Fund. This review is expected to be completed by the end of 2022, with a presentation of recommendations to TICO’s Board of Directors.


COMING UP NEXT

Following a review by the Board of Directors, and consistent with TICO’s Administrative Agreement with the Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery, recommendations will be provided to the Minister, detailing any proposed changes to the current funding framework and fee model.

Following the completion of the Minister’s review, TICO is committed to a comprehensive sector consultation with registrants and industry groups about any proposed changes. This is anticipated to take place in 2023.

Details and parameters of TICO’s funding framework and the Compensation Fund are included in the Travel Industry Act, 2002, Ontario Regulation 26/05 (General Regulation) under the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and the Safety and Consumer Statutes Administration Act, 1996.

Depending on the nature of the possible options that TICO submits to the government for consideration, the timelines to accept and implement any proposed changes to the fee model are variable.

Registrants would also require time to ready their businesses for any proposed changes.

As of April 1, 2023 and until this process is complete, TICO plans to revert to the funding model that was in place prior to the pandemic. “TICO is committed to keeping registrants up to date throughout this process.”


FEEDBACK OPPORTUNITY

TICO says: “Registrant feedback and input are critical in shaping TICO’s future funding model in support of its consumer protection mandate. Your participation and engagement throughout this review process is greatly appreciated.”

Anyone with questions can email tico@tico.ca.