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Commission plans “travel now, pay later” rule

November 8th, 1993

Statement: Package tour firms could be forbidden to demand payment for holidays until customers have returned home under new rules proposed by the European Commission.
Source: Evening Standard (8 November 1993)

Response: This is not true. The European Commission has adopted a draft Directive on Distance Selling so that consumers ordering goods or services by mail or telephone will be protected.The European Parliament has asked the Commission to strengthen its original proposal on the issue of payment in advance, and the modified proposal gives the consumer the right to choose in advance or afterwards (*).

However this proposal does not apply to package tour firms as made clear in Article 17 of the Directive on Distance Selling, which says that should another Directive refer to a specific case, then that Directive applies. In this case it is the Council Directive on Package Travel, Packeage Holidays and Package Tours (**), which includes a provision (Article 7) on protection of the financial interests of the traveller.

(*) – initial proposal – COM(92) 11 final, 20.5.92
– amended proposal – COM(93) 396 final, 15.11.93

(**) – 90/314/EEC of 13 June 1990

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