Legal alert no. 56

Legal Alert no. 56

Decree-Law no. 17/2018 was published in Portugal Official Gazette on the 8th, March, which foresees the access regime and exercise of the activity of travel and tourism agencies, which transposes into the legal order the Directive 2015/2302 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25th, November 2015 on package travel and linked travel arrangements, amending the Regulation no. 2006/2004 and Directive 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing the Directive 90/314/EEC of the Council.

The above mentioned Directive aims to contribute to the proper functioning of the internal market and to the achievement of a high and as uniform as possible level of consumer protection by approximating certain aspects of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States in respect of contracts between travellers and traders relating to package travel and linked travel arrangements.

Consequently, Decree-Law no. 17/2018, based on the referred purpose, updates and clarifies the access regime and exercise of the activity of travel and tourism agencies and introduces new concepts in our legal system.

Therefore, is introduced the figure of the traveller, who is defined as any person who entered a travel agreement or linked travel arrangements, either as a consumer, independent  professional, or other natural persons, except if he does on the basis of a general arrangement for the organization business travel.

It is also introduced the concept of linked travel arrangements which corresponds to, at least, two different types of travel services purchased for the purpose of the same trip or holiday, not constituting a package, resulting in the conclusion of separate contracts with the individual travel service providers, in order to distinguish from the concept of package travel.

With particular relevance to the consumer, the Decree-Law reinforce the right to pre-contractual information of travellers that wish to purchase organized travel services and, following that, the travel agencies are obliged to provide standardized information regarding the description of the essential aspects of the travel in a clear, comprehensible and prominent manner.

The Decree-Law also establish the rules regarding the travel agreement, the non-fulfillment and, moreover, the liability of the travel agencies on the conclusion of those agreements.   

Furthermore, it is foreseen that the termination right of the travel package may be exercise before the start of the package travel, either by the travelers or by the travel agencies.

It should also be noted that the law adapts the rules applicable to the FGVT (Travel and Tourism Guarantee Fund) face to the new challenges of travelers' guarantees and services marketed and covered by Directive 2015/2302.

This Decree-Law comes into force on the 1st, July of 2018 and repeals Decree-Law no. 61/2011, of 6th, May.

To access the full version of Decree-Law no. 17/2018, dated from 8th, March, please go here.

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