Tariff requirements under Air Transport Agreements

Tariff requirements affected by Air Transport Agreements which do not require filing of prices

August 2010

In accordance with the terms of many Air Transport AgreementsNote 1, the Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency) no longer requires airlines designated under these Agreements to file prices (fares, rates or charges) with the Agency for review. In these cases, air carriers are free to establish any price as they deem appropriate. However there still remains a requirement to establish and maintain a tariff which is available to the public. Pursuant to subsection 110(4) of the Air Transportation Regulations SOR/88-58, as amended (ATR), air carriers are prohibited from applying a fare, rate, charge or a term and condition of carriage unless it is in their tariff. Section 116 of the ATR establishes that the consumer is entitled to request and receive a copy of that tariff. In the case of dispute or complaint, the tariff is the basis for adjudication.

Air carriers are reminded that aside from prices, tariffsNote 2 include terms and conditions of carriage applicable to the provision of an air service and other incidental services. Furthermore, Air Transport Agreements do not relieve air carriers from filing tariffs containing general terms and conditions including, for information purposes, those charges which are broadly applicable and not directly related to a fare.

Air carriers are required to file with the Agency tariffs which contain their general terms and conditions of carriage setting out the air carrier's policies with respect to such matters as baggage acceptance, transportation of unaccompanied minors, and denied boarding compensation. These terms and conditions of carriage are also known in the industry as General Rules. In some instances, General Rules also contain charges (e.g. excess baggage charges or fuel surcharges). Carriers are required to reflect their charges in their contract of carriage (i.e. tariff) to be in compliance with subsection 110(4) of the ATR even if the dollar amount of the charge is not subject to regulatory action.

Furthermore, to be in compliance with section 119 of the ATR, charges must be expressed in Canadian currency, though they may also be expressed in currencies other than Canadian.

If a carrier changes the level of a charge contained within its terms and conditions, then a revision of the carrier's tariff on file with the Agency must be made and submitted to the Agency in order to ensure the tariff on file with the Agency is current. These changes must be submitted to the Agency via the carrier's usual filing mechanisms. In order to facilitate this, the Agency has assigned Special Permission Number 57700 for the filing of immediate changes to the monetary amounts which should be referenced on the tariff revision. Should it be necessary for a carrier to make changes to a charge and at the same time make other amendments to its tariff then the amended charge can come into effect immediately under this special permission authority, but the balance of the amendments made must respect the required statutory notice period unless an additional special permission to reduce the filing period with respect to other changes has been granted.

Air carriers which operate services in accordance with these agreements are reminded of the need to observe these obligations.

For further information:

Canadian Transportation Agency
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0N9

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