Terms of Trade


The terms and conditions contained in this document are in addition to the general terms and conditions available to members of the public (copy available upon request). The details in this document are specific to those agents making and paying for bookings on behalf of third party customers at a discounted net rate. NorthLink reserves the right to add, change or delete all or parts of these terms and conditions, upon 28 days notice in writing.


i) Serco NorthLink Ferries shall be referred to as ‘ NorthLink
ii) The customer or agent shall mean any company or individual offered discount or net rate terms.
iii) The sale of NorthLink products or services shall be referred to as ‘ booking ‘ or ‘ bookings ‘.
iv) A ‘ month ‘ shall mean a period between and covering the first day in a calendar month and the last day in the same calendar month


Where there is an overdue balance, NorthLink reserves the right to suspend trading until the balance is paid in full. Overdue balances shall incur interest at the rate of 5% of the outstanding balance every 14 days overdue.


Where the receipt of payment from an agent incurs additional charges to NorthLink – such as bank charges – the agent shall bear the cost of these with the charges passed through on the invoiced amount.


4.1 Account Types – Description

NorthLink operates two types of trading account:

  • Invoice Account – Invoices will be issued either at time of booking, 42 days prior to the first leg of travel or on departure. Payment is due within 14 days of date of invoice (or 28 th of the month following invoice if repaid by direct debit).
  • Cash account – No invoice is issued and a final booking confirmation is forwarded. This confirmation can be used for VAT purposes.

4.2 Assessment of eligibility for Credit Account status:

NorthLink shall extend booking account facilities to agents where certain criteria are met. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Assessment of credit worthiness
  • Evidence of status in relation to Package Travel Regulations
  • Provision of appropriate trade references
  • Value of turnover
  • Target market for sales
  • Promotion agreements in relation to development of NorthLink brand awareness, destinations, routes and schedules.

4.3 Payment terms

Invoice Account – Where credit is granted on the invoice trading account it is a required condition that repayments are made by direct debit. Payment is collected in full on the 28 th of the month following invoice. Where payment is not made by direct debit invoices are due for payment within 14 days of invoice date. Where credit is not granted payment is due within 14 days of invoice date with cleared payment being received no later than 72 hours prior to departure.

Cash Account – Payment must be received in full no later than 72 hours prior to travel. Where payment is not received in accordance with the terms offered then travel may be refused

In certain circumstances and in particular in relation to advance booking for group and inclusive tour operations where the booking date is greater than 42 days in advance of the first departure date, invoices may be issued at 42 days prior to travel, for payment within 14 days of invoice date. To ensure passengers can travel freely, cleared funds in respect of bookings made require to be received 72 hours prior to date of travel. Where payment is not received in accordance with the terms offered then passengers may be refused travel.

4.4 Payment at time of booking Credit card/Debit card

NorthLink may under certain circumstances extend net rate terms to agents on the basis that all bookings are paid for at the point they are made. Account holders will benefit from an immediate discount or net rate at pre-agreed rates. Reservations cannot be held but must be paid at time of booking. Payment will be taken by way of Credit or Debit card with the effective net rate charged. NorthLink will take reasonable steps to ensure that passenger confirmations will disclose only the rack fare.

4.5 Invoicing & Statements

NorthLink shall send all invoices and statements to one single ‘head office’ address. NorthLink shall undertake to record appropriate branch identity information at time of booking. Such information shall appear on the invoice for the purposes of branch identification by the agent.

The agent shall undertake to:

i) Inform NorthLink about each branch’s contact details including:

Branch Name
Contact Name
Branch Address
Email Address
Contact Telephone & Fax Numbers
ABTA, IATA, ATOL or other appropriate reference numbers.

ii) Inform each branch about the existence of NorthLink’s Trading terms and conditions and the account details.

iii) Allow NorthLink to make introductory and subsequent contact to educate and inform the agent and branch staff about NorthLink’s operations.


NorthLink offers net rate terms on certain products and services where appropriate promotion, selling and payment agreements are in place. Broadly, the range of products includes all pre-bookable ferry products, with the following exclusions:

a) Freight
b) Un-accompanied vehicles
c) Business travel
d) Discounted ‘Islander’ travel

NorthLink seeks to ensure that all customers/agents work from a fair and consistent price base. Our discount rates therefore apply equally across the travel trade.

Net rate facilities will not normally be offered where the historic or projected turnover on the account is less than £1000 per annum.

NorthLink reserves the right to withdraw account facilities by giving 28 days notice in writing to the booking agent.


6.1 Booking Process

All bookings by agents on behalf of third party customers must be made through NorthLink’s Group Tours department by sending an email to grouptours@northlinkferries.co.uk. Bookings by agents cannot be made via NorthLink’s website which is a service available for general fare-paying passengers only. The booking will only be completed where NorthLink has provided the agent with a written acceptance of the booking. The written acceptance shall include a booking reference number. Any bookings purported to have been made by the agent, which have not been made in accordance with this process shall be void.

6.2 Booking & Check-in.

Presentation of a valid booking reference number along with personal identification in keeping with the recorded reservation details will be accepted by NorthLink as authorisation to travel. NorthLink does not operate a travel voucher or warrant collection system. Authorisation to travel shall be given by the agent at point of booking. Such authorisation shall be validated and supported by the provision by the agent at the booking stage of unique details including, but not limited to, ABTA number, branch reference number, purchase order number, name of person making booking. Failure to provide such information at time of booking may leave the reservation incomplete and travel may be refused.

6.3 Coach Valet

Coach Valet embarkation/dis-embarkation must be requested 48 hours in advance of the first leg of travel. If not booked 48 hours in advance the Coach Valet must be paid at time of the request and a 50% surcharge will apply.

6.4 Travel on account

An agent shall accept that a contract of sale is entered into at the point of booking and confirmed by NorthLink by way of issue of unique reference number. Presentation of this number at check-in when supported by appropriate personal identification will authorise travel. NorthLink shall not operate travel voucher or warrant collection systems, nor shall it consider it necessary to present such vouchers or warrants with statements or invoices when requesting payment for travel. NorthLink shall however undertake to include relevant identifying details as noted at (a) above.


In return for net rate account facilities, NorthLink has expectations as to the manner in which its products and services are represented. Appropriate promotion and product familiarisation agreements will be negotiated as part of the account set-up process. However, in general, agents shall:

i) Accept that for any NorthLink product or service re-sold by them to their clients, any relationship between the customer and it’s client including any ‘contract of sale’ or ‘invitation to treat’, shall exist purely and exclusively between the agent and their client(s). Furthermore, the agent shall accept that NorthLink will not be held responsible for any failure whatsoever in the aforementioned relationship.
ii) Accept that wilful mis-representation of NorthLink’s intentions, standards, operations, promotions and statements etc may result in immediate suspension of all trading agreements between NorthLink and the customer and may result in NorthLink protecting its reputation and other assets through legal means.


NorthLink undertakes to provide, from time to time, promotional materials and advertising of its services and products which in its view are both suitable and sufficient for its purposes. Such items include but are not limited to posters, photographs, electronic recordings and other literature. Agents representing NorthLink’s products and services to their clients may use such materials where appropriate provided that:

i) Such items are not used in a way contrary to the best interests of NorthLink or its partners.
ii) Such items are displayed in original format unless specifically approved by NorthLink.

Agents may also prepare their own promotional materials to include a representation of NorthLink products and services provided that:

i) Such items are not used in a way contrary to the best interests of NorthLink or its partners.
ii) Such items are displayed in original format unless specifically approved by NorthLink


An approved agent shall be prohibited from discussing any details, which may be considered by NorthLink to be commercially, politically or otherwise sensitive, with any other party than those specifically involved in the said agents business and within the terms of this agreement, about the specific relationship established between the said agent and NorthLink.

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