Abta has forged an agreement with Kent County Council Trading Standards over the travel association’s code of conduct.

The ‘Primary Authority’ partnership will bring more benefits to members who follow the advice that Abta provides on trading standards regulatory requirements, according to chief executive Mark Tanzer.

He said: “Kent Trading Standards will confirm relevant Abta member advice as ‘Assured Advice’ and our core guidance – the code of conduct and guidance on the code of conduct – have already been through this process.

“Provided that members follow this advice, they can be confident that they are complying with the law.

“Additionally, a Primary Authority takes away the risk of businesses being subject to conflicting opinions from other trading standards authorities and facing unnecessary investigation.

“Any trading standards authority must notify Kent Trading Standards if they intend to take enforcement action against an Abta member. That action can be halted if it conflicts with Primary Authority advice, i.e. the Abta code of conduct and guidance on the code.”

The association’s legal services director Simon Bunce said: “Abta members should be greatly reassured that as long as they follow the advice given in the Abta code of conduct and guidance on the code, they will be abiding by all relevant laws and should be protected from potential prosecution from their local trading standards office, if an issue arises that is specifically covered in the advice.

“Having access to this Primary Authority agreement through membership of the association is a clear new member benefit.

“It will provide another excellent reason for customers to book with an Abta member and increase the already high levels of respect and trust the public has in the Abta logo.”