The FCO wants its Consular information to be widely available to the British public on as many channels as possible. This information – including FCO Country Travel Advice and updates; FCO Travel News and general advice for travellers – is freely available on the FCO website.
This information is available to third parties via RSS feeds, APIs and social media so that they can re-use it on their digital and mobile channels including Smartphone applications. More information can be found in the blogs by Jimmy Leach, Head of Digital Diplomacy Group.
While the Open Government Licence applies to all content used in this way, we also ask all third parties to comply with the guidance below.
FCO Travel Advice, Travel News and other FCO information should be free at the point of use and not sold on unless specific value has been added. The FCO is not entering into any exclusive arrangements with external providers about the development or provision of Smartphone apps or other tools. This must be made clear in any information or advertising provided about the Smartphone app or websites which makes use of FCO consular information.
FCO Travel Advice, Travel News or associated updates should not be edited, changed or misrepresented in any way.
The FCO must be attributed as the author of the information which has originated on the FCO website and a link to the full FCO website should be included – the authority of the source is important.
Travel advice can change frequently, especially during crises, so it is important that members of the public do not rely on old, cached advice. Applications should therefore provide an easy way for users to refresh required data, ideally without incurring large data-roaming charges when they are travelling.
Any advertising displayed alongside FCO content included within Smartphone apps or websites should comply with Cabinet Office rules on sponsorship [PDF, opens in a separate window]. The advertising should be relevant and should enhance rather than detract from the content, ideally by providing a complementary service or information. The advertising content and location should not in any way imply that the advertiser is responsible for, or associated with, the FCO content.
The FCO provides consular assistance to British Nationals overseas as set out in our publication 'Support for British nationals Abroad' [PDF, opens in a new window].
Smartphone apps or websites making use of FCO consular information should not imply or make any commitment that British Nationals purchasing or downloading these apps, or making use of specific websites (including registration), will get any preferential or different consular assistance from the FCO other than our standard consular assistance.
Smartphone apps or websites making use of FCO consular information should make it clear that any messages sent by the customer, or data provided from any interactive tools, are not delivered to the FCO and are not in any way setting off a process that will involve an FCO consular assistance or crisis response – unless the customer is specifically using a clearly identified FCO phone number or email address.
The FCO reserves the right to withdraw the permission to include FCO consular information from Smartphone apps or websites if we decide that associated content or advertising is detrimental to the FCO or is in any way misleading.