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The applicable law to cross-border contracts

In September 2003 the European Commission launched an extensive consultation on the modernisation of the Rome Convention and its conversion into a Community instrument. The Rome Convention of 1980 is an international legal instrument, which settles the law applicable to cross-border contracts. The consultation document also addresses cross-border contracts concluded in the tourism industry.

ECTAA considers that the transformation of the Convention into a Community instrument is not necessary, as there are no particular problems in contractual relations with customers, including in online transactions. Moreover, this transformation will not resolve the variety of interpretations of the rules by national jurisdictions. However, ECTAA would welcome a solution, which would make the rules simpler and more transparent.

ECTAA supports the creation of a specific rule for short-term holiday tenancy, which would provide legal security.

On the matter of consumer protection, ECTAA is in favour of a balanced solution, such as the application of the law of the country where the professional is established and of mandatory rules of the country where the consumer has his legal residence, provided that the consumer informs the professional before the conclusion of the contract of his country of residence.

A single market for services

With the goal of achieving the Internal Market, the Commission published an ambitious proposal for a framework Directive on services in the Internal Market on 13th January 2004. The Directive proposal aims at cutting administrative burdens that can prevent businesses from offering their services across borders or from opening premises in other Member States. The main objectives of the proposal are to:

  • Make it easier to establish a service business in another Member State;
  • Make it easier to provide services across borders;
  • Ensuring consumers’ and businesses’ rights to use services offered in Member States other than their own.

The framework Directive covers all services, including leisure services such as those provided by travel agents and tour operators. The proposed measures will apply in addition to existing Community rules on services (e.g. Directive 90/314 on package travel).

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ECTAA will closely monitor the measures proposed in the frame of the Community initiative.

Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.