On July 1, 2018, the new travel law on the sale of package tours, linked travel arrangements and travel services came into effect. This law is the result of a European directive.
The law has profound consequences for everyone who organizes (sports) travel.
As an organization, specialized in sports travel, we believe it is our duty to inform everyone about this.
It applies to all professionals * who, as organizers or brokers, sell package travel * or facilitate linked travel arrangements * and to organizers * and retailers * who sell travel services * as intermediaries.
Travel agents and / or legal entities must fulfill a number of obligations in the above case:
• They have an obligation to provide pre-contractual information.
• Must have insolvency insurance.
• Must perform the agreement correctly and completely.
In principle yes, but there are three conditions that lead to an exemption:
Friends who travel (internship) together / sports clubs / all other clubs that organize travel (internships) can rely on the three cumulative conditions in a number of situations:
• non-profit, for the club and the individual;
• and a limited group of travelers.
When all three conditions are met, one can make use of the exemption.
Important note: in the event of a dispute, the above text is open to interpretation. Ultimately, it is always the courts and tribunals that will have to rule on whether or not these conditions have been met.
The FPS Economy clarifies the application of the travel law in its guidelines, see Guidelines-Pakketreizen.pdf (in dutch), with specific examples.
If the 3 conditions are met at the same time, the law does not apply.
First condition: incidental
The guidelines do not give a definition of "incidental character", but an indication is given on the basis of a few examples. For example, you can assume that when a sports club:
• Organize his first trip or internship, which is of course incidental.
• When organizing a next trip or internship, this can no longer be regarded as incidental.
Second condition: not-for-profit
The guidelines say that you should check whether the professional is effectively pursuing profit.
If only the costs are covered, then there is no profit motive.
If a small surplus or marginal profit is realized, the "not-for-profit" condition is still fulfilled, provided that the surplus is not realized systematically and deliberately.
This profit can be profit for the club fund or for an individual. They can also make a profit by, for example, accepting a free trip or obtaining a discount. From that moment on, he / she makes a profit on the whole and the “non-profit making” rule expires.
Third condition: a limited group of travelers
• An exact number cannot be pasted here. The guidelines state that the "members" of an association, supplemented by the necessary escorts, can be a limited group of travelers. However, if everyone, without meeting certain conditions, can easily become a member, according to the guidelines there is no longer a restricted group. The membership group should not be subject to constant changes.
• In addition, no public communication may be conducted, which makes it a lot more difficult to meet this criterion.
• The 'Explanatory Memorandum' states that trips offered by sports clubs are seen as trips for a specific target group, provided they are not offered to the general public.
Would you like to know more about this legislation and its possible impact on a specific situation?
Contact us here or by mobile phone on 0475 55 58 85.
We will always provide you with all necessary information without obligation. If we cannot provide an answer to your question ourselves, we will inform ourselves at the 'FPS Economy' www.economie.fgov.be or the 'Association of Flemish Travel Agencies' www.VVR.be in order to be able to provide you with the correct information afterwards. to give.
(*) Legal definitions (taken from the “Guidelines for package travel and linked travel arrangements that are offered / facilitated incidentally and not for profit to a limited group of travelers)
What is a package holiday?
The combination of at least two different types of travel services for the same trip or holiday, where these services, regardless of whether separate contracts are concluded with different travel service providers, are purchased from different professionals through interconnected online booking procedures, where the name, payment details and email address of the traveler from the professional with whom the first contract is concluded to another professional (or professionals) and a contract is concluded with the latter professional no later than 24 hours after the confirmation of the booking of the first travel service.
What is a linked travel arrangement?
At least two different types of travel services purchased for the same trip or holiday, which do not constitute a package holiday and for which separate contracts are concluded with different travel service providers, whereby a professional:
• facilitates the individual selection and separate payment of each travel service by the traveler during one visit or contact moment with the own point of sale
• Facilitates in a targeted manner the purchase of at least one additional travel service from another professional, whereby an agreement is concluded with that other professional no later than 24 hours after the confirmation of the booking of the first travel
What is a travel service?
a) passenger transport;
(b) accommodation which is not an intrinsic part of passenger transport and which is not intended for residential purposes;
c) rental of cars or other motor vehicles;
d) any other tourist service that is not an intrinsic part of a travel service.
What is a traveler?
Any person who, within the scope of this Act, wishes to conclude an agreement or who is entitled to travel on the basis of an agreement already concluded.
What is a professional?
Any natural or legal person, whether private or public, who acts in relation to contracts covered by this Act, including through another person acting on his behalf or on his behalf, in the context of his trade, business, craft or professional activity, regardless of whether he acts as an organizer, retailer, professional facilitating a linked travel arrangement or travel service provider.
What is an organizer?
A professional who puts together package holidays and sells or offers them for sale directly or through or together with another professional or the professional who transfers the data of the traveler to another professional in accordance with the provision under article? 2 °, b.5).
What is a reseller?
A professional, other than the organizer, who sells or offers for sale package tours that have been put together by the organizer.
On November 21, 2017, a new law on the sale of package tours, linked travel arrangements and travel services was passed.
What does this new law mean for you?
• Legal text of November 21, 2017 -Wettekst van 21 november 2017 (In Dutch)
• Guidelines to the law of 21 November 2017 - Richtlijnen bij de wet van 21 november 2017 -(In Dutch)