IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PACKAGE TRAVEL DIRECTIVE

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3 DIRECTORATE GENERAL FOR INTERNAL POLICIES POLICY DEPARTMENT A: SCIENTIFIC AND ECONOMIC POLICY IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PACKAGE TRAVEL DIRECTIVE STUDY Abstract This study prvides an updated evaluatin f the Package Travel Directive. Firstly, the implementatin f the Directive especially thugh the current state f play in the new Member States is analysed. Particular aspects f the Directive are treated, such as the prblem f the travel prvider becming inslvent, issues relating t intermediaries and travel nt regulated by the Directive. Secndly, prpsals are treated. The Directive is evaluated frm the perspectives f stakehlders and cnsumers. An update is given n the latest relevant legislative develpments. This includes, specifically, the Cnsumer Rights Directive and the prpsal fr a Eurpean Sales Law in e-cmmerce. As a result, specific verarching prpsals are made which may remedy the issues addressed. IP/A/IMCO/ST/ March 2012 PE EN

4 This dcument was requested by the Eurpean Parliament's Cmmittee n the Internal Market and Cnsumer Prtectin AUTHOR(S) Prf. Dr. Hans Schulte-Nölke (Authr) Anne-Kathrin Barutta (C-Authr) Shaun Charltn (C-Authr) Julia Henning (C-Authr) Elisabeth Spiecker gen. Döhmann (C-Authr) Eurpean Legal Studies Institute Osnabrück RESPONSIBLE ADMINISTRATOR Elke Balln Plicy Department A: Scientific and Ecnmic Plicy Eurpean Parliament B-1047 Brussels LINGUISTIC VERSIONS Original: [EN] ABOUT THE EDITOR T cntact the Plicy Department r t subscribe t its mnthly newsletter please write t: Manuscript cmpleted in March Brussels, Eurpean Unin, This dcument is available n the Internet at: DISCLAIMER The pinins expressed in this dcument are the sle respnsibility f the authr and d nt necessarily represent the fficial psitin f the Eurpean Parliament. Reprductin and translatin fr nn-cmmercial purpses are authrized, prvided the surce is acknwledged and the publisher is given prir ntice and sent a cpy.

5 Implementatin f the Package Travel Directive CONTENTS Cntents 3 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS 4 Executive SUMMARY 5 Implementatin and refrm f the package Travel Directive 8 1. INTRODUCTION 8 2. IMPLEMENTATION Generally New Member States Scpe f applicatin f cncepts used in the Directive Measures f cnsumer prtectin The Implementatin f Article Intermediaries Initial Psitin and Demand fr steps taken in favur f the cnsumer The situatin tday Cnclusin: Prpsal: A EU label indicating cnsumer prtectin Travel falling utside the scpe f the Directive Small package travel Individual travel services REFOR M Weaknesses f the Directive as seen by stakehlders and pssible remedies The issues at stake Recmmendatins and an evaluatin f their imprtance An Update n the Latest Legislative Develpments Imprvements in the light f the Cnsumer Rights Directive The latest legislative develpments as regards e-cmmerce: Eurpean sales la w Overarching prpsals fr Refrm: greater clarity Clarity fr intermediaries: An EU label A Eurpean Travel Cde? GENERAL CONCLUSION 33 References 35 ANNEX 37 3 PE

6 Plicy Department A: Ecnmic and Scientific Plicy LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS Art. Article B2B Business-t-business BGB German Civil Cde (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch) CC Civil Cde COM Cmmissin Staff Wrking Dcument CRD Cnsumer Rights Directive ECJ Eurpean Curt f Justice etc. et cetera EU Eurpean Unin EUR ibid. Eur ibidem; repetitin f the same citatin i.e. id est; that is N. Number p. page et seq. et sequitur; and the fllwing UCP Unfair Cmmercial Practices Directive UTCC Directive n Unfair terms in Cnsumer Cntracts PE

7 Implementatin f the Package Travel Directive EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Backgrund Cuncil Directive 90/314/EEC n Package Travel and Hliday Turs ( the Directive ) was adpted ver tw decades ag. The Directive seeks mainly t prtect parties wh purchase hliday packages, which generally take the frm f travel and vernight accmmdatin packaged by a single prvider. It des this by prviding a minimum harmnised level f prtectin f package travellers against the rganisers and retailers f their package. The Directive was riginally cnceived with a Eurpean Unin f 13 Member States in mind wh were t incrprate the prvisins f the Directive by 13 December This was the first wave f the Directive s implementatin. With the majr enlargement f the EU in 2004, 2 the new Member States were required t transpse Eurpean Unin law int their natinal legal systems. 3 As a result f the enlargement f the Eurpean Unin t its present day size f 27 Member States, the Directive has undergne a secnd life f implementatin in the past decade. It is the Directive s secnd life which prvides the fcus fr this study s analysis f the way in which the Directive has been implemented. The secnd majr develpment since the adptin f the Package Travel and Hliday Turs Directive has been the unravelling f the traditinal package hliday. The success f lw-cst airlines and greater access t the internet are but tw factrs which have led t cn sumers picking and chsing varius deals frm a variety f service prviders t repackage a custm-made hliday. As there is n link between the service prviders, whether legal r cmmercial, the Directive affrds n prtectin in these instances. A related trend t the unravelling f the package hliday is the s-called dynamic package. An example f dynamic packaging being where an internet platfrm, fr example, fr bking flights will als prvide add-ns by which the cnsumer can cntract fr services such as car-hire, insurance r htel accmmdatin. Althugh cmm ercially linked, it is the cnsumer wh individually cntracts with each service prvider. The extent t which the prtectin f the Directive is given t cnsumers f dynamic packaging is cnsequently unclear, despite limited psitive judicial interventin. 4 This majr develpment in the market shuld be taken int cnsideratin fr any prspective refrm f the Directive. Implementatin f the Directive The Directive is ne f minimum harmnisatin. Member States are therefre free t chse the frm and methd fr transpsing a directive int natinal law as lng as the transpsitin achieves the aims set by the directive. This has resulted in great variety in the mde f transpsitin (whether the law f transpsitin takes the frm f a Cde, a separate Act n Package Travel, r is implemented thrugh secndary legislatin). Due t the principle f harmnisatin, variatins in the natinal laws are nrmally fully cmpatible with the Directive. Therefre the fllwing remarks are restricted t significant pints f interest which are cmpatible with the Directive unless therwise stated. Scpe f applicatin: The new Member States use different terms frm thse used in the Directive with the exceptin f package where a unifrm definitin is the nrm; 1 Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Prtugal, Spain and the United Kingdm. 2 Althugh als in 1995 (Finland, Sweden) and 2007 (Bulgaria, Rmania). 3 Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estnia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Pland, Slvakia and Slvenia. 4 ECJ judgment f 30 April 2002, C-400/00 - Club Tur. 5 PE

8 Plicy Department A: Ecnmic and Scientific Plicy There is a mixed apprach by new Member States t the issue f whether cmmercial r nn-cmmercial interests are used in defining terms used by the Directive. The definitin f package rganisers is restricted in sme Member States t thse acting in a cmmercial interest, whilst ther Member States apply the Directive s prvisins t rganisers acting nncmmercially as well. Measures f cnsumer prtectin (equivalencies in substance) Additinal infrmatin duties: sme new Member States specify a timeframe fr btaining a passprt and visa. The Czech Republic, Estnia and Slvenia are the nly new Member States t impse the duties nly n the rganiser (Estnia and Slvenia) r travel agency (Czech Republic). Specific timeframes are stipulated in the new Member States in the transpsitin f the Directive expressin in gd time. Limitatin f price revisin: while half f the new Member States intrduced natinal prvisins restricting price increase as well as price decrease, the ther half f the new Member States have intrduced prvisins which nly restrict price increases. Cnsumer rights: there are divergences in the regime f ntificatin by the cnsumer f the exercise f cnsumer rights. There is a limitatin f the right f cancellatin in Lithuania, which is nt in cnfrmity with the Directive. Article 7 inslvency: in setting minimum levels f insurance, which may nt be sufficient t refund the cnsumer fully, several f the new Member States seem t be in nn-cnfrmity with the Directive. 5 Intermediaries The rle f intermediary is decisive in three main areas: (1) the cnclusin f the cntract, and (2) respnsibilities and (3) liability t the cnsumer. Hwever, the rle and the respnsibilities f intermediaries are difficult t determine in the Member State transpsitins thrugh use f the expressin in the Directive f rganiser and/r retailer. Travel falling utside the scpe f the Directive Small package travel: in general, Member States have nt extended the scpe f applicatin f the Directive t these packages where, fr instance, the service cvers a perid up t twenty-fur hurs r des nt include vernight accmmdatin.6 In such cases, sme prtectin is affrded thrugh the general rules f cntract and the Unfair Terms in Cnsumer Cntracts (UTCC) Directive7. Hwever, where nn-perfrmance f ne service has knck-n effects upn the ther services cntractually based remedies are f n avail t the disappinted cnsumer. Such a regulatry gap culd nnetheless be filled thrugh extending the scpe f the Directive t small package travel. Individual travel services: are perhaps t far remved frm the specific prblems in the functining f the market which the Package Travel Directive was designed t meet. As a result, whlesale refrm may nt be required. Hwever, it may be wrth cnsidering inslvency prtectin fr individual travel services. 5 ECJ rulings f 8 Octber 1996, Case C-178/94 Dillenkfer, and f 15 June 1999, Case C-140/97 - Rechberger. 6 Germany is an exceptin where the prtectin f the Directive is applied (excluding prtectin against inslvency). 7 Cuncil Directive 93/13/EEC f 5 April 1993 n Unfair T erms in Cnsumer Cntracts. PE

9 Implementatin f the Package Travel Directive Refrm The fllwing weaknesses have been nted by stakehlders: the inclusin f dynamic packaging within the scpe f the Directive; difficulties in interpreting the Directive, especially relating t general key terms such as cnsumer, rganiser, retailer ; the nn-mandatry incrpratin f pre-cntractual duties int the cntract; lack f clarity in relatin t specific aspects f the infrmatin requirements as well as what cnstitutes an essential term fr the purpses f withdrawing and cancelling the package travel cntract; inslvency regimes may create barriers t trade. These prblems can mstly be reslved thrugh greater clarity in plicy decisins. It might be wrth cnsidering full harmnisatin in the mst sensitive areas like pre-cntractual infrmatin duties, brchures and frmal requirements fr infrmatin duties as well as exclusin f liability clauses. Hwever, as past experience has demnstrated, this may prve very difficult t integrate int the existing natinal legal systems withut a certain level f cmpleteness in, fr example, the remedies granted t cnsumers in cases f nn-perfrmance r defective perfrmance. This prblem must be addressed thrugh further research. The latest legislative develpments Cnsumer Rights Directive ( CRD ). As the Directive was nt included in the cnslidating wrk f the CRD and excluded frm its scpe f applicatin, the psitin f cnsumers has actually deterirated in specific instances. Thus, any refrm f the Directive needs t cnsider whether cnsumers wh cnclude package travel cntracts in an ff-premises r distance selling situatin need specific prtectin. In additin t the frmer pint, it wuld be desirable fr imprvements in definitin achieved by the CRD be carried ver int any refrm f the Directive. Eurpean Sales law. Tw pints are wrthy f interest. Firstly, in relatin t legislative technique, the ptinal instrument n a cmmn Eurpean Sales law culd prvide a useful template fr an (ptinal) EU travel cde. Secndly, n a mre substantive level, damages fr nn-material lss, as well as rules n terminatin, excuse r n restitutin after terminatin culd be prvided fr explicitly in a newly refrmed directive n package travel. Overarching prpsals fr Refrm: greater clarity Evaluating the Directive frm the perspective f stakehlders. An EU label? Greater precisin is needed in determining which duties apply t intermediaries. The issue is less wh shuld be respnsible in abslute terms, but rather clearly determining which persn is respnsible. A Eurpean label culd be intrduced indicating that the prpsed cntract is gverned by EU law and specifically mentining the persns against whm cnsumer remedies can be pursued. A Eurpean Travel Cde? A basic plicy decisin has t be made n whether just cnsumers (i.e. persns wh are acting fr nn-cmmercial purpses) r every traveller shuld be prtected. Shuld refrm f the Directive envisage an extensin in the scpe f applicatin f the cntracting party (the persn travelling), then it wuld be advisable t enact an verarching EU Travel Law. This wuld take the frm f a single law cnslidating the existing patchwrk f Eurpean legislatin in the area f travel and supplemented by generalised rules n pre-cntractual infrmatin duties, the basic bligatins under the mst relevant travel cntracts and remedies. 7 PE

10 Plicy Department A: Ecnmic and Scientific Plicy IMPLEMENTATION AND REFORM OF THE PACKAGE TRAVEL DIRECTIVE 1. INTRODUCTION This study aims t prvide backgrund infrmatin and advice n pririty measures and actins t be taken in the field f package travel. Cuncil Directive 90/314/EEC n Package Travel and Hliday Turs 8 was adpted n 23 June 1991 and needed t be transpsed by Member States by 31 December The Directive was designed t prtect cnsumers wh cntract package travel in the EU. It cvered the sale f a pre- cnsumers were cvered where at least tw f these travel arranged cmbinatin: elements were sld r ffered fr sale at an inclusive price and the service cvered a perid f mre than twenty-fur hurs r includes ver-night accmmdatin. There were tw main regulatry measures cntained in the Directive: infrmatin duties and rules n the liability f prviders f package travel. The Directive prescribed rules n the infrmatin that must be given t cnsumers at different pints in time. It thus cntained specific requirements with regard t the cntent f brchures where prvided n infrmatin such as the price, itinerary and frmalities in the event f cancellatin. In relatin t liability, the Directive impsed respnsibility fr the perfrmance f the services ffered. This included specifically rules n cmpensatin fr nn-perfrmance r unsatisfactry perfrmance f the cntract as well as the duty t help cnsumers in the eventuality that the package did nt g accrding t plan. In rder t assess the success f the Package Travel Directive ( the Directive ), this presuppses a full expsitin f its implementatin befre prpsals fr refrm can be made. The part n the implementatin f the Directive prvides an verview f the current state f play, fcussing upn its latest implementatin in new Member States. It als includes specific cncepts f the Directive. These are, firstly, the prblem f Article 7 relating t security in case f inslvency, then issues relating t intermediaries and finally the scpe f applicatin, specifically travel which is nt cvered by the Directive. The part n refrm begins with an expsé f the strengths and weaknesses f the Directive as perceived by stakehlders and cnsumers and an update n the latest legislative develpments in the field. Cncerning this latter pint, this includes the Cnsumer Rights Directive and the prpsal fr a Eurpean Sales Law in e-cmmerce. Once analysed, specific verarching prpsals which address the issues can, finally, be made. This generalised cnclusin fr measures and actins t be taken is based upn the need fr clarity: greater clarity in the duties f intermediaries and the greater clarity as t the persns wh are prtected under the EU regime. The endnte thus begs the questin: is nw the time fr a Eurpean Travel Cde? 8 OJ n L. 158 f 13 June 1990, page 159. PE

11 Implementatin f the Package Travel Directive 2. IMPLEMENTATION 2.1. Generally T he Package Travel Directive 90/314/EEC has been transpsed in all new Member States. Member States are free t chse the frm and methd fr transpsing a directive int natinal law as lng as the transpsitin achieves the aims set by the directive. 9 This is the principle f minimum harmnisatin. As a result f the principle f minimum harmnisatin and the cnsequent freedm f the Member States in implementing the Directive, the Member States transpsitins differ enrmusly in legislative technique. The majrity f the Member States chse t transpse the Directive s prvisins thrugh a special act n package travel. The nly Member States nt t have chsen this apprach are AUSTRIA, ESTONIA, GERMANY, ITALY, THE NETHERLANDS and SLOVENIA. These Member States chse t transpse the Directive s prvisins in mre general regulatins like the Civil Cde (GERMANY and SLOVENIA as well as CZECH REPUBLIC, HUNGARY, LITHUANIA and SLOVAKIA), Cnsumer Cdes (AUSTRIA and ITALY), the Law f Obligatins (ESTONIA and SLOVENIA), Turism Act (ESTONIA as well as BULGARIA, FRANCE, LATVIA and LITHUANIA) r thers (AUSTRIA, ESTONIA and SLOVENIA). Anther way f transpsing the Directive s prvisins is by gvernment decree, which was chsen amng AUSTRIA, DENMARK, FINLAND, GERMANY, HUNGARY, LUXEMBOURG, LATVIA, THE NETHERLANDS and PORTUGAL. 10 The principle f minimum harmnisatin is als stated expressly in the Directive s Recital. Thus, Member States are at liberty t adpt, r retain, mre stringent prvisins relating t package travel fr the purpse f prtecting the cnsumer. Therefre, mst deviatins frm the Directive fully cnfrm t the Directive and this is the case with the accunt given f the implementatin by new Member States. The fcus f the current state f play f the implementatin f the Package Travel Directives must lie n the new Member States. A full analysis f the first wave f implementatins is available elsewhere. 11 Over the past ten years many states have jined the Eurpean Unin. These new Member States are CYPRUS, CZECH REPUBLIC, ESTONIA, HUNGARY, LITHUANIA, LATVIA, MALTA, POLAND, SLOVAKIA and SLOVENIA, which jined the Eurpean Unin in 2004, as well as BULGARIA and ROMANIA, which jined the Eurpean Unin in As there has nt been an analysis f the Directive s implementatin in these Member States, the fllwing up-t-date analysis will fcus n them New Member States Scpe f applicatin f cncepts used in the Directive In sme cases, the Member States prvide a wider scpe f applicatin in the field f package travel by bradening the ntin f rganiser (Art. 2(2)) r package (Art. 2(1)). Mst Member States made use f the minimum clause and f the ptins prvided fr in Art. 5(2)(4) f the Directive. The terms cnsumer, rganiser, retailer, package and cntract as prvided by the Directive are nt always used in the transpsitin laws f the Member States. Amng the new Member States the majrity have used different terms fr cnsumer, rganiser and retailer. In the case f the terms cnsumer and rganiser, sme f the new Member 9 Art. 288(3) f the Treaty n the Functining f the Eurpean Unin. 10 Fr further infrmatin n the natinal transpsitin laws: 11 see: Reprt n the Implementatin f Directive 90/314/Estnia n Package Travel and Hliday Turs in the Dmestic Legislatin f EC Member States [SEC(1999) 1800 final]. 9 PE

12 Plicy Department A: Ecnmic and Scientific Plicy States have used mre than ne t cnsumer as well as turist ; LATVIA: peratr as well as undertaking ). Only regarding the term package have the majrity f the new Member States used the term as frmulated in the Directive. Different terms used by the ther new Member States are turist travel with general price (BULGARIA), turist event (POLAND) r excursin (CZECH REPUBLIC and SLOVAKIA). HUNGARY 13 and LITHUANIA have used the term package as well as the term travel cntract. Mst f the new Member States have used a single definitin f cntract. HUNGARY 14 and LITHUANIA have used a cmbined definitin f cntract and package, whereas SLOVENIA has used package in the definitin f cntract. ESTONIA and POLAND have n specific legislative transpsitin fr cntract. The majrity f the new Member States have deviated frm the cntents f the Directive s definitins fr retailer, package and cntract. Almst all new Member States have deviated frm the cntent f the definitin fr rganiser. While CYPRUS, CZECH REPUBLIC, ESTONIA, HUNGARY, POLAND, ROMANIA, SLOVAKIA and SLOVENIA 15 have nt intrduced an explicit requirement f acting ther than ccasinally, ther new Member States have intrduced a restrictin t cmmercial persns (CZECH REPUBLIC, ESTONIA, HUNGARY, LITHUANIA, POLAND, SLOVAKIA and SLOVENIA) r specialized agency (ROMANIA). HUNGARY 16 has als intrduced a qualified exclusin f nt-fr-prfit rganisatins. Only regarding the cntent f the definitin fr cnsumer, have the majrity f the new Member States transpsed the cntent f the definitin in a substantively equivalent manner t the Directive. Deviatins have nly been made by POLAND, which has excluded prfessinals frm the definitin f cnsumer, and HUNGARY, LITHUANIA and LATVIA 17, which have nt explicitly transpsed the secnd and third part f the Directive s definitin Measures f cnsumer prtectin Infrmatin duties erm (ROMANIA 12 Infrmatin duties have been regulated in detail in the Directive. The Directive cntains prvisins abut infrmatin in travel brchures, pre-cntractual infrmatin duties, infrmatin befre the start f the jurney, elements that have t be included in the cntract, infrmatin requirements with regard t all terms f the cntract, a general prhibitin f misleading infrmatin and sanctins fr nn-cmpliance with the infrmatin duties. The infrmatin duties cncerning travel brchures are regulated in Art. 3(2)(1) f the Package Travel Directive. The majrity f the new Member States have used a different term than the term 'brchure' as used in the Directive. ESTONIA is the nly new Member State t have transpsed the infrmatin requirements in a substantially equivalent manner t the Directive. The majrity f the new Member States chse t g beynd the standards set substantively in the Directive by intrducing additinal infrmatin requirements. Art. 4(1)(a) f the Package Travel Directive prvides prvisins fr pre-cntractual infrmatin duties cncerning passprt and visa requirements and health frmalities. All new Member States have transpsed these infrmatin duties. Except fr HUNGARY, ROMANIA and SLOVENIA, the majrity f the new Member States have als intrduced prvisins cncerning the timeframe fr btaining a passprt and visa. The majrity f new Member States have als intrduced additinal infrmatin requirements t be 12 The definitin in Art. 2(4) Law 631 f 16 Nvember 2001 uses the term cnsumer while ther regulatins, e.g. Art. 15 f the same law, mentin the term turist. 13 Gvernment Decree N. 214/1996 uses the term travel cntract when transpsing the definitin f package, in cntrast t the definitin in Decree N. 213/ f the CC cntains general rules with respect t travel cntracts; Gvernment Decrees N. 213/1996 and 214/1996 establish special rules. 15 The Cde f Obligatins des nt define wh an rganiser is. Hwever, the Prmtin f Turism Develpment Act defines wh may be an rganiser/seller f turism: a sle trader r a legal persn. 16 Article 1(4) f the Gvernment Decree N. 213/ It is unclear whether the definitin f client als cvers the transferee f a travel package purchased by a third persn. PE

13 Implementatin f the Package Travel Directive prvided befre the cnclusin f the cntract, whereas exemptins have nly been intrduced in BULGARIA, ESTONIA, HUNGARY and SLOVENIA. The majrity f the new Member States have impsed the duty f prviding infrmatin n the rganiser and/r retailer, as stated in the Directive. CZECH REPUBLIC, ESTONIA and SLOVENIA are the nly new Member States t impse the duty nly n the rganiser (ESTONIA and SLOVENIA) r travel agency (CZECH REPUBLIC). In all new Member States, the infrmatin must be prvided befre the cnclusin f the cntract, in accrdance with the Directive. Mst new Member States deviated frm the Directive's methd fr prviding the infrmatin, prviding that the infrmatin may nly be given in written frm (BULGARIA, LITHUANIA and POLAND), in a frmat which can be reprduced in writing (ESTONIA), r in a brchure, r in ther written frm (CZECH REPUBLIC, HUNGARY and SLOVAKIA). Accrding t Art. 4(1)(b) f the Package Travel Directive, certain infrmatin has t be prvided befre the start f the jurney. While mst f the new Member States fllwed the Directive by impsing the bligatin n the rganiser and/r retailer, there is n specific transpsitin f this requirement in LATVIA. Nevertheless, LITHUANIAN law includes all the infrmatin duties in Art. 4(1)(b) f the Directive in the requirements t be fulfilled befre the cntract is cncluded. 18 Sme f the new Member States have intrduced a mre specific timeframe in which the infrmatin has t be prvided, fr example 7 calendar days (CZECH REPUBLIC 19, HUNGARY and SLOVAKIA) r 7 wrking days (BULGARIA) befre the start f the jurney. The majrity f the new Member States require the infrmatin t be prvided nly in written frm, thereby deviating frm the Directive. In CZECH REPUBLIC and ESTONIA n special frm is necessary. ESTONIA, POLAND and SLOVENIA have nt transpsed all the infrmatin requirements listed in the Directive. While the majrity f the new Member States have intrduced additinal infrmatin requirements, exemptins have nly been intrduced in BULGARIA, CZECH REPUBLIC 20, ESTONIA and SLOVAKIA 21. In Art. 4(2)(a) f the Package Travel Directive it is stipulated that the cntract shall cntain at least the elements listed in the Annex f the Directive. Infrmatin n the itinerary, services included in the package price, the package price itself and infrmatin n deadlines fr ldging a cmplaint due t imprper r nn-perfrmance are the elements listed in the Directive's Annex that have been transpsed in all f the new Member States. HUNGARY, LITHUANIA, MALTA, SLOVAKIA and SLOVENIA have nt transpsed all f the elements listed in the Directive's Annex. Except fr ESTONIA, all new Member States have als intrduced additinal elements. HUNGARY, SLOVAKIA and SLOVENIA have als intrduced exemptins. In the majrity f the new Member States the elements have t be included in the travel cntract, as stipulated in the Directive. Hwever, a different apprach has been taken in ESTONIA and SLOVENIA 22, where the elements must be included in a cnfirmatin dcument. Except fr POLAND and SLOVENIA, the natinal laws f the new Member States stipulate that all the terms f the cntract must be cmmunicated t the cnsumer befre the cnclusin f the cntract, fllwing Art. 4(2)(b) f the Package Travel Directive. The alternative given by the Directive, f prviding the cntract in anther frm that is cmprehensible t the cnsumer, has nly been transpsed in BULGARIA, HUNGARY 23, LATVIA and LITHUANIA. In ROMANIA, the cntract may als be presented in the frm f a catalgue, flder r ther written frm. 24 Exemptins have been intrduced in general in MALTA and in case f last-minute bking, as in accrdance with Art. 4(2)(c) f the Package Travel Directive, by CYPRUS and SLOVAKIA. 18 Article 5 f the Cabinet Regulatin N CC sec. 852d(1). 20 CC sec. 852(2). 21 If the cntract is cncluded less than 7 days befre departure. 22 Equally pssible in a travel prgramme. 23 2(4) f the Gvernment Decree N. 214/1996 rules that the cntract must be in writing. 24 Article 12(4) f the Gvernment Ordinance 107/1999 n package travel as apprved and amended by Law 631 f 16 Nvember PE

14 Plicy Department A: Ecnmic and Scientific Plicy The majrity f the new Member States have transpsed a general prhibitin f misleading infrmatin substantially equivalent t Art. 3(1) f the Package Travel Directive. Variatins have been intrduced in CZECH REPUBLIC, LATVIA and SLOVAKIA, where the infrmatin given must be accurate, cmplete, clear and precise (LATVIA) r where the cnsumer must be prvided with exact, clear, crrect and truthful infrmatin (CZECH REPUBLIC and SLOVAKIA). CYPRUS, HUNGARY and MALTA have als intrduced sanctins in case f nn-cmpliance with infrmatin duties. Such sanctins take the frm f fines r ther administrative law sanctins, which can be fund in CYPRUS, r an peratr's licence t run a travel agency can be revked, as intrduced in HUNGARY and MALTA. In CZECH REPUBLIC, n the ther hand, there are n special sanctins, thugh the general system gverning imprper perfrmance and damages applies. The majrity f the new Member States have transpsed the cnditins fr price revisin as stipulated in the Directive. CZECH REPUBLIC 25 and SLOVAKIA are the nly Member States t have intrduced variatins as regards the cnditins. In CZECH REPUBLIC, 26 an increase in the package price is pssible nly as a result f an increase in payments cnnected with transprtatin, e.g. airprt and prt taxes, included in the price f the package. Furthermre, an increase in price due t variatins in the exchange rate f the Czech crwn is nly pssible where the exchange rate increases by mre than 10 % n average. 27 Additinal ly, an agreement between the parties may state that the travel agency is entitled t increase the package price unilaterally if the revisin methd is precisely set ut in the cntract. 28 A similar prvisin can be fund in the SLOVAKIAN transpsitin law, which states that a change in the exchange rate f the Slvak crwn can nly be taken int accunt if the exchange rate increases by mre than 5 % n average. CZECH REPUBLIC and SLOVAKIA als deviated frm the Directive's minimum harmnisatin requirement that 20 days prir t the departure the price stated in the cntract shall nt be increased, by intrducing a 21-day-perid. Other increases in the level f cnsumer prtectin which is prvided in the Directive have been made limiting the value f price increases under the cntract. The limit f price increase varies frm 2% (CYPRUS 29 ), 5% (BULGARIA 30 ) t 10% (ROMANIA 31 and SLOVENIA) f the riginal/ agreed price. Limitatin f price revisin Art. 4(4)(a) f the Directive restricts changes in the price. While half f the new Member States intrduced natinal prvisins restricting price increase as well as price decrease, the ther half f the new Member States have intrduced prvisins which nly restrict price increases. Cnsumer rights Where the cnsumer is prevented frm prceeding with the package, Art. 4(3) f the Package Travel Directive stipulates that the cnsumer may change his bking. In that case, accrding t the Directive, the cnsumer must ntify the rganiser r the retailer f his intentin. While SLOVENIAN 32 law des nt require ntificatin t the rganiser and/r retailer, in the majrity f the new Member States, nly the rganiser has t be ntified. Only BULGARIA, ESTONIA and MALTA have transpsed this prvisin precisely as fund in the Directive, requiring a ntificatin either t the rganiser r the retailer. 25 CC 852c. 26 CC 852c(2). 27 CC 852c(2)(c). 28 CC 852c(1). 29 Article 11(3) f the Package Travel, Hlidays and Turs Law. 30 Article 35 f the Law n Turism. 31 Article 14(3) f the Gvernment Ordinance 107/1999 n package travel as apprved and amended by Law 631 t 16 Nvember Article 899 f the Cde f Obligatins. PE

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