Industry Advisory: All-In-Pricing Requirement Effective January 01, 2017
The Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) would like to remind all Ontario travel retailers that the recent amendments to Ontario Regulation 26/05 with respect to all-in-pricing come into force on January 1, 2017.
Section 33 of the Regulation outlines requirements for any representation that refers to a price. The requirements apply to all representations by registrants advertising a price and typically include, but are not limited to print and newspaper advertisements, websites, brochures and social media. The section has been amended to remove the flexibility that registrants had when displaying prices.
Effective January 1, 2017, any representation that refers to a price shall set out the total amount that the customer will be required to pay for the travel services, including all fees, levies, service charges, surcharges, taxes and other charges. In other words, “all-in” pricing is required.
Retail sales tax or federal goods and services tax must be included in the total price however; the tax has to be specified separately in addition to the representation.
- Registrants that charge counselling fees or service charges must include those amounts in the total price.
NOTE: The new provision requires registrants to ensure that they comply with the requirements of any Act or regulation under it respecting advertising of prices or in respect of taxes. It is the registrant’s responsibility to ensure that they comply with the requirements of any Act or regulation (i.e. Retail Sales Tax Act). TICO recommends that registrants seek legal advice if they are unsure about their obligations under other statutes.
For example, subsection 40(1) of the Retail Sales Tax Act provides that no vendor shall advertise or post or otherwise quote a price that includes the tax imposed by that Act unless the vendor specifies separately the amount of the tax payable under that Act. Thus, that amount would have to be specified separately in addition to the representation.
Some registrants may already advertise a base price plus total taxes, fees and additional charges. To meet the new requirement, the price advertised must be an “all-in price” that includes all taxes, fees and other charges. An amount representing the total taxes and fees can be specified separately however a detailed breakdown should always be available to the consumer upon request.
The goal of this change is to ensure that consumers know exactly what they will be required to pay for travel services and to make it easier for consumers to compare prices.
The change will also help to ensure that there is fair competition and a level playing field when registrants advertise the price of travel services in the province.
While TICO compliance staff will be focused on the obligations of registrants under the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and Ontario Regulation 26/05, it should be noted that the changes to Ontario Regulation 26/05 do not alter any obligations that registrants may have pursuant to other statutes. It is the registrant’s responsibility to ensure that they comply with the requirements of any Act or regulation under it respecting advertising of prices or in respect of taxes.
An Explanatory Paper on this and other recent amendments is available on TICO’s website – click here
Updated Advertising Guidelines and an accompanying checklist will be sent to all registrants in November`16.
Registrar, Travel Industry Act, 2002