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IATA Clearing House (ICH)

The IATA Clearing House (ICH) provides fast, secure and cost effective billing and settlement services in multiple currencies for the air transport industry. 

It enables the world's airlines and airline-associated companies "suppliers" to settle their Passenger, Cargo, UATP and Miscellaneous/Non-Transportation billings by applying the principles of set-off/netting thus reducing cost, risk and increasing speed.

The ICH also offers a dispute mechanism of billings and protection in case of default, bankruptcy and cessation of operations.

Its annual turnover is around USD55b with a settlement success rate of 100% offered to the 430+ participants for the past 3 years.

FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)

General

What is the IATA Clearing House (ICH)?

The ICH is a netting solution, for the set-off of billings between Airlines and/or Airline-Associated Companies and Travel Partners.  Non-Airline entities may also invoice each other for services provided.

Who can join the ICH?

All Airlines (IATA and Non-IATA), Airline-Associated Companies and Travel Partners may join the ICH.

Is there a calendar for Invoicing and Settlement in the ICH?

An annual clearance calendar is prepared and made available to all participants.

The calendar details key clearance dates including initialization dates, Claims submission deadlines (Closure Day) and settlement dates for airline participants (Call Day) and Associate Members (Settlement Day).

Other important dates detailed in the calendar are Protest  Deadlines, Early Call Day & Suspension Day.

What additional services does the ICH provide?

The ICH offers

  • Special Clearance Agreements (ie Currency / category specific related)
  • On-line filing of weekly claims and retrieval of reports
  • Improved cash management and fast debt collection to standard schedules
  • Reduced credit risk and simplified control of receivables
  • Reduction in bank charges and exposure to losses on exchange

What is the difference between the ICH and SIS (Simplified Invoicing Settlement?

  • ICH is the settlement platform as outlined above.
  • SIS is the e-invoicing platform that feeds the billing details to the ICH for off-set and settlement. 

All ICH Members must participate in SIS as this is the only means for Members to send billing data to the ICH.

Membership

How does one join the ICH?

Should you be unsure of the specific category or your company please send an e-mail request to ISHelpDesk@iata.org.   Please include the company's legal name, location and in the case of an airline, the Airline Code (if already assigned).  Download the Clearing House documents

How long does the process usually take?

Dependent on the category and receipt of all required documents it is possible to finalize the application within 10 business days.  Some cases however require more documents be provided, thus the review may take as long as 30 days.

Are there fees for participating in the ICH?

There are no annual fees for IATA Member Airlines to participate in the ICH. 

Annual fees are applicable for participation of Non-IATA Airlines, Associates and Travel Partners.  The fees based on the Turnover (i.e. monetary value of transactions which will be processed)  are defined in the ICH Manual of Regulations and Procedures and will be provided once an application request has been received.

Are there different Currencies available for Billing and Settlement purposes?

There are 3 Currencies currently available under the Standard Agreement; GBP, USD and EUR. 

There is also a possibility to participate in a Special Agreement, thus having an option of JPY and/or AUD.

What is a Currency of Clearance?

The Currency of Clearance is the Member's chosen currency for invoicing between Members.  The applicable currency of billing for the Standard clearance agreement is the USD except those Members who have chosen either GBP or Euro, they shall be billed in GPB or Euro respectively.

Only miscellaneous category billings can be invoiced in the Members local currency.  In relation to the Standard Agreement, these invoices reported in local currency must be converted to the Currency of Clearance (GBP, USD or EUR) dependent on the Currency Zone in which a Member participates), using the Five Day Rate.

In regard to the Special Clearance Agreements the local currency would be converted to JPY or AUD respectively.

What is Currency of Settlement?

In regard to the Standard Agreement, a Member may choose to receive and effect settlement in any one of the GBP, USD or EUR currencies, or any combination thereof.

In respect to the Special Clearance Agreement, the Settlement Currency would be the same as the Clearance Currency.

Is it possible to request a change to the Clearance and Settlement Currencies?

Yes, it is possible to change the Clearance and/or Settlement Currency.  A Member however  is required to maintain their selection for a minimum prescribed period and requires a notification period to allow for changes to systems.

Management of bank details?

The ICH maintains Members bank account details.  Details are provided to the ICH, together with a list of Authorized Signatories and supporting passports.  Changes to the details on record with the ICH must be provided on a particular document and signed by two Authorized Signatories of the Member.

Operations

How do I send my billing details to the ICH?

All claims must be submitted via SIS. Participants can submit claims via file (IS-IDEC/IS-XML) or by web submission  IS Web.

Invoices are sent automatically to the ICH for settlement.

How and when will I know my billing details have been received?

You can monitor your claims activity with your SIS dashboard and retrieve a number of ICH financial reports from the SIS Web portal including  Forms 1 & Forms 3.

The ICH system will also send clearance participants a provisional and final claims confirmation message on Closure Day & Advice Day respectively detailing total  claims received by the ICH by currency of clearance.

Will I be notified if I have an amount due to ICH or due from ICH?

The notification of amounts "DUE TO ICH" or "DUE FROM ICH" are sent after Closure Day and no later than Advice Day as detailed in the published ICH Clearance calendar.

The actual communication sent by the ICH  is an email from the ICH System referred to as the Advice Day message. 

The Advice message will reference a subject clearance period and detail amounts Due To and/or Due From ICH by currency of settlement.

The related Call Day or Settlement date will also be included in the email.

What Exchange rates would I use to convert local currencies to ICH Currencies of Billing?

The rates used to convert local currencies to the ICH currency of billing is the IATA Five Day Rates (FDR).

The FDRs represent the average of the exchange rates for the five banking days ending on the 25th of each month.

The previous month's FDR's are used for the current month's interline billing.

Finance

How does the ICH Clearance Cycle work?

Completion of a Clearance Cycle takes approximately 3 weeks

From the opening of the Clearance Period, you will have approximately 1 week to submit your billings against other ICH Members into SIS e-invoicing platform

The netting process will give you a payable "DUE TO ICH" or receivable "DUE FROM ICH" position.  Once you know your net balance for the period, about one week later, either you will have to make your payment to the ICH or you will receive your credit.

The cycle concludes about 1 week later when all "DUE TO ICH" balances must have been received in the ICH account. Members with unpaid balances after the authorized period are liable to suspension.

What is the probability of my invoices being paid if I use the ICH service?

The settlement success rate in 2016 was 100%.  2015 had a settlement success rate of 99.99999%, with 2014 having a success rate of 100% out of the yearly USD55b processed.

If I am a Creditor "DUE FROM ICH" in a Clearance Period, how and when are the funds due?

Members provide their bank account details to the ICH, for each settlement currency selected.  Funds are transferred electronically on the pay-out date of the respective clearance period i.e. Call Day (Airlines) and Settlement Day (Associates - Non airline participants).

If I am a Debtor "DUE TO ICH" in a Clearance Period, how and when are the funds due?

All ICH Members must pay amounts that are DUE TO ICH no later than Call Day, unless subject to Earlier Call Day procedure.  The funds must be electronically transferred in order to be credited no later than Call Day, by close of business to the appropriate ICH clearing account.

With the exception of Bank Holidays, Call Day is 7 calendar days after Advice Day of the Clearance Period.

What happens if I cannot pay on time (Call Day or Earlier Call Day, whichever is applicable)?

Members are subject to a penalty for late remittance which consists of a service charge plus interests as defined in the ICH Regulations.

What happens if I cannot pay within the Clearance Deadline?

Any Member who fails to pay amounts DUE TO ICH at the expiration of the period beyond Call Day as set out in the Clearance Calendar (Suspension Day) is liable to suspension from the ICH.

What can I do in regard to an improper billing against my company?

Improper billings presented for settlement via the ICH may be rejected in accordance with the rejection procedures as outlined in the IATA Revenue Accounting Manual (RAM).  In the instance of an erroneous billing impacting a Members financial position in a clearance period, a Member may file a protest with the billing Member.  This could result in a possible adjustment being processed prior to Call Day amending the Members position in the clearance period.

What are the other grounds for suspension or possible expulsion from the ICH?

  • The Member fails to comply with the ICH Regulations.
  • The Member suspends all its global operations for more than 72 hours, or is suspended from all IATA Settlement Systems.
  • The Member is declared bankrupt.

How does the ICH protect the Members' monies/interests in the case of Suspension, Bankruptcy or Cessation of Operations of an ICH Member?

In the event a Member is consistently late in settling DUE TO ICH balances, the ICH Manager may require a Security Deposit from such Member

In case of non-payment by a Member leading to its ICH suspension, the ICH may use the Member's deposits if any, and/or apply its right for set-off to settle such debt

Any remaining debt will be collected by the ICH to its utmost ability either by filing a claim in the bankruptcy process or as is otherwise appropriate under applicable laws.

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