Polish Presidency in the UE and the Package Travel Directive

This directive is a part of a package of consumer directives that should be reviewed before 2013. Works on the revision have entered the initial stage (in 2009 the first presentations of the European Commission regarding the possible scope of the review were presented). Poland plans to start work on revising the text of the directive, but this is dependent on the date of the relevant project presentation by the European Commission.

Since the adoption of the Package Travel Directive (PTD) in 1990, the tourism sector has changed significantly. Due to the development of information society, the traditional tourist events package of services which are purchased at office of the tour provider, based on a single contract, are displaced in favor of the so-called dynamic packages. These products are composed of at least two separate services that have a significant impact on the overall price of the event (e.g. flight, accommodation, car rent), sellers of these services are closely related commercially (e.g. the entrepreneur’s website includes references to services provided by other entrepreneur), and these services are purchased at the same time.

This change in market structure led to a situation in which a significant number of services are not sanctioned by law, and regulations currently in force for the most part do not correspond to the market expectations and structure. The need for revision of the Package Travel Directive was also highlighted by recent events such as volcanic eruption in Iceland, or unrest in North Africa, which showed that the current rules on consumer rights in the tourism sector are either insufficient or do not regulate at all the options to be used in situations like this.

Therefore, among the main reasons for the revision of the Directive there are: the need to modernize the provisions of the directive and remove the legal loopholes, remove inconsistencies and to simplify existing regulations, as well as removing existing barriers to the functioning of the internal market, by seeking the convergence of solutions in the member states.

The tourism sector is important both for consumers and businesses. Tourist services due to their cross-border nature are among the common stimulants of the internal market, enabling the opening of markets for foreign businesses associated with the tourist industry, and providing consumers with a wider range and a uniform EU-wide protection. It is therefore important to eliminate the existing legal inconsistencies and to simplify the existing regulations, as well as remove the existing barriers by seeking convergence solutions in the Member States.

If the Commission fails to submit the proposal during our Presidency, we hope that the start of works on it will be a priority for the TRIO countries – Denmark and Cyprus.

Source: http://www.prezydencja.uokik.gov.pl/en/sectoral-priorities

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