Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make a billing?
This will be explained in the Training session, and involves submitting a claim to the Clearing House through the ICH Web interface, according to the specific dates for the Billing/Clearance Cycles.
What is a Clearance Cycle?
A clearance cycle covers a single week with a year of 48 cycles. For example, the clearance cycle for Period 2 of September 2007 has a Closure Day of 21 September, an Advice day of 25 September, and a Call Day of 2 October. Any valid transactions billed at that time may be included in the open Clearance. The only exception is for Passenger and Cargo items in Period 4, which may not be included if the service was delivered during the month after the active Clearance month.
What are the different currencies & zones for Clearance?
There are three currencies: US Dollar, Great Britain Pound, & Euro.
- If you choose to bill in USD then you will become a member of Zone B.
- If you choose the GBP then you will become a member of Zone A. Billings to other Zone A members will be in GBP, and for the other zones billings will be in USD.
- If you choose the Euro then you will become a member of Zone D. Billings to other Zone D members will be in Euro, and for the other zones billings will be in USD.
Can I receive funds in a currency of my choice?
You can choose to receive funds in USD, GBP, or Euro - called the Currency of Settlement. However it is usual practice to receive funds in the currency of billing/clearance.
What is the difference between the Currency of Billing, the Currency of Clearance, and the Currency of Settlement?
The Currency of Billing will be the same as the Currency of Clearance for Passenger, Cargo and UATP categories. For Miscellaneous items, the Currency of Billing may not be the same as the Currency of Clearance and this will be identified in the ICH Web claim. The Currency of Settlement is the currency you choose to receive funds in, again USD, GBP, or Euro.
Can I change the zone I am in, or the currency of settlement?
Yes this is possible, but any change must stay in place for a minimum of 12 months, and three months notice is required.
What are the Forms 1, 2 & 3?
These are the reports produced by the ICH Web. The Form 1 is a summary of invoices claimed against an airline in each billing category (Passenger, Cargo, UATP or Miscellaneous), the Form 2 is a total summary per airline, and the Form 2 Summary is a summary of the totals from the Form 2.
The Form 3 is a summary of the billings by & against each airline showing a net balance due to or from the Clearing House which is produced by the Clearing House on Advice Day.
What type of transactions can I bill?
Passenger coupons and related documents, cargo airway bills, UATP transactions, and miscellaneous items which includes most airline-related services.
What is Closure Day?
Closure Day is the day by which the Clearing House must be in receipt of all claims for a given Clearance Cycle.
What is Advice Day?
Advice Day is the day that the messages are sent advising whether money is owing to or owed from the Clearing House and stating the total value and applicable currency of this value.
What is Call Day?
Call Day is the day by which all funds due to the Clearing House must have been received. It is also the day that Airline Members receive any amounts owing.
What is Settlement Day?
Settlement Day is the day on which all funds due to Associate Members will be paid by the Clearing House.
What happens if I pay late?
There are various penalties which include a service charge, early call day, interest, and a security deposit; these and the relevant procedures are explained at the time of the training session. In addition to this all members of the Clearing House will be advised accordingly of any late payers.
What if another member is suspended?
Suspension usually occurs through non-payment. The member can be re-instated but only upon receipt of all debts owing. The Clearing House acts in the interests of all members and will endeavor to help the suspended member whilst ensuring the financial security of all other members.
What if another member goes bankrupt?
IATA will act on behalf of all members to secure any debts owed, which have been submitted for clearance before suspension of such bankrupt member.
What is an Associate Member?
Suppliers are non-airline companies who use the facilities of the Clearing House. They are only able to bill members if the member has signed a Letter of Instruction allowing such billing to be made.
What is the Airline Clearing House (ACH)?
The Airline Clearing House performs a similar function to the IATA Clearing House. It is based in the USA and it's membership consists of airlines in the American Continent, most of whom do not provide services beyond this geographical area.
Can I bill an airline who is a member of the Airline Clearing House?
Yes, all members of the Airlines Clearing House (ACH) are grouped under Zone C in the IATA Clearing House (ICH) members list. In a similar manner, ACH members can bill members in the ICH. There is an inter-clearance facility between the ICH and the ACH, however at present this facility does not extend to Associate Members.
How do Sponsored Carriers work?
A sponsoring airline will submit their own claims along with the claims of the airline they are sponsoring. The totals from the sponsored member's claim are included in the totals of the sponsoring carrier's claim. The Clearing House will treat the sponsored airline as a separate airline for billing purposes, but the amount due to/from Clearing House will be paid/received by the sponsoring airline; the sponsored airline will not receive an Advice Day message. When billing a sponsored airline create a Form 1 as if the sponsored airline is a member in their own right.
Who do I contact for the exchange rate service?
Participants in the Clearing House receive the exchange rates monthly.
What is the Call Day Adjustment Report?
This lists the differences (resulting in a value of US$1000 or more) between the applicable rate of exchange for Miscellaneous items used when submitting the Form 1, and the rate of exchange applied on Call Day. Differences may be billed within the next 4 clearances.
How can I get a copy of the Clearing House Manual?
The Clearing House Manual is available for download from the ICH pages of this website.
What is the Protest procedure & how does it work?
As per Regulation 22 an improper billing may be protested. Before a protest is lodged, the billing member must first be contacted and advised of the unacceptability of the specific invoice. The billed member then has until 2 days before Call Day to lodge the protest with the Clearing House. Should the protest be upheld then the item will be excluded from billing.
How are the exchanges rates applied?
Refer to the IATA Revenue Accounting Manual chapter A12.
What if I am late with my claim?
Contact the Clearing House and advise the situation - a problem cannot be addressed if it is unknown. Note that there are penalties for late claim submission.
What shall I do if I have an adjustment?
Adjustments can be made through the ICH Web up until Closure Day. Thereafter, contact the Clearing House and ask for assistance.