Travel agent consortium the Travel Trust Association is hoping members will not have to charge the new £1 ATOL contribution to non-tour operator packages.

Director Todd Carpenter said the 420-member consortium already guarantees the ATOL licences for members wanting one, so they do not face additional financial responsibilities. The new £1 ATOL contribution replaces ATOL bonding on April 1 2008.

He said the association would carry on footing the bill rather than asking members who are dynamic packaging to pass on the cost to the customer.

Carpenter said: “The new charge is not a charge on consumers but a charge on ATOL holders for the passengers they carry.

The TTA points out that everything its members sell is fully protected.

“Our members have their ATOLs based on their TTA membership and it covers all the transactions made whether it is a package, a non-package, just a flight or accommodation only,” said Carpenter.

He said this will not change with the change of funding regulations in April. He also said agents who try to pass on the £1 fee to their customers, rather than absorb it themselves, may face issues over whether they will need to charge VAT on the charge.

He said: “Bosses will have to think hard about how they break it down and charge for it. A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman said a decision was yet to be made on this issue. Final details of the scheme are expected to be clarified in due course.