New Rules For Registering And Operating Travel Agencies

Author:Ms Carolina Meireles and Catarina Cortez Gamito

    Decree-Law no. 17/2018 published on 8 March implements into Portuguese law Directive (EU) 2015/2302 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015, on package travel and linked travel arrangements ("Directive 2015/2302").

    This new Decree-Law establishes the rules for registering and operating travel and tourism agencies. It repeals Decree-Law no. 61/2011 of 6 May (as amended) and is clearly intended to improve the functioning of the internal market and achieve a higher and more uniform level of consumer protection by seeking to standardise the legislative, regulatory and administrative provisions of the Member States.

    The decree-law now published: (i) introduces new concepts and adds detail to others (including the concepts of "Traveller", "Linked Travel Arrangements" and "Package"); (ii) reinforces the right of travellers to pre-contractual information and increases the content of the package travel contract; and (iii) establishes new rules on the changes to the terms of the package travel contract, to breaches of it, to the responsibilities of the travel and tourism agencies ("agencies") and to the rights of travellers and agencies to terminate contracts.


    1. New Concepts

      Following the provisions of Directive 2015/2302, this new Decree-Law introduces a new concept of "Traveller". This now covers any person who seeks to enter into a contract for package travel or linked services, in their capacity as a consumer or as a professional, provided they do not make travel arrangements on the basis of a general agreement for organisation of business travel.

      The new decree-law also introduces the concept of "Linked Travel Arrangements"1, and distinguishes it from the concept of "Package Travel"2, which is now defined in greater detail and covers travel acquired from different agencies through linked online booking processes3.

      In addition to the ones described above, some other concepts have also been introduced. They include the concepts of "Trader", "Organiser", "Repatriation", and "Retailer".

    2. Additional Pre-Contractual Information To Be Provided By Agencies And The Content Of The Travel Package Contract

      This new decree-law broadens the list of pre-contractual information that now has to be given to the traveller by agencies before the package travel contract is signed.

      The pre-contractual information must now include the standard information on the travel which must be provided using the forms for travel package that appear in parts A and B of Annex II to the Decree-Law. When applicable, the following information must also be provided:

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