We use necessary cookies to make our website work. We'd also like to use optional cookies to understand how you use it, and to help us improve it.

For more information, please read our cookie policy.

UK Civil Aviation Regulations

These are published by the CAA on our UK Regulations pages. EU Regulations and EASA Access Guides published by EASA no longer apply in the UK. Our website and publications are being reviewed to update all references. Any references to EU law and EASA Access guides should be disregarded and where applicable the equivalent UK versions referred to instead.

Issue of certificates

An ATOL Certificate must be issued immediately to a consumer when they make the first payment on a flight or trip covered by the ATOL scheme.

The Certificate is proof that the consumer’s purchase is protected by the ATOL scheme and will include details of what and who is covered as well as the issuer’s business name and ATOL number.

Taking payment

If you accept a cheque from the consumer or take their credit or debit card details, this is classified as taking payment, regardless of whether the payment is processed. Once you have taken payment in this way or in cash you will need to issue the ATOL Certificate immediately.

Immediate issue of ATOL Certificates

If the consumer is present

Immediate issue means providing the certificate at the time payment is made.

If the consumer is not present

Immediate issue means sending the certificate by email or another equivalent electronic means immediately after the payment is taken.

If the consumer books by telephone

Immediate issue means sending the certificate by email or another equivalent electronic means or immediately posting it.

You (or your agent) may not accept any payment from a consumer until you or your agent is able to issue an ATOL Certificate.


The CAA sets out the format for ATOL certificates. Individual certificates must follow the format exactly.

Colour printing

The ATOL Certificate design includes a yellow background which must be included on any electronic versions. However, if the document is given out as a hard copy, it may be printed in black and white.

Digital ATOL certificates

ATOL Certificates should be issued in pdf format.

If you have problems entering details into the digital certificate it is likely that you are using out of date software to access the pdf file. The CAA recommends you download the latest version of Adobe Reader (free of charge).


If any of the information in the ATOL Certificate changes more than 72 hours before the consumer is due to depart, you should issue them with a replacement ATOL Certificate.

Certificate issuer

The Certificate Issuer is the business which interacts with the consumer, regardless of who generates the Certificate. For example, if a consumer books a licensable package with an agent, but the ATOL Certificate is generated by the ATOL holder and e-mailed directly to the consumer, the Issuer box should still state the name of the agent.