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Brexit Advisory Issues

Package travel after Brexit

Your consumer rights until 31st October 2019

Your rights as a UK consumer will stay the same while the UK remains in the EU.

Your package holiday is protected if you bought it from an organiser within the EU and complete the holiday before 31st October 2019. This means that you could be repatriated and/or refunded if the organiser becomes insolvent. Linked travel arrangements, which are looser combinations of travel services, also have a limited level of protection. Your package travel provider should be able to provide you with more information. You can find more information on these protections and how they apply to your situation in the package travel guidance for business.

If you are unsure where your package travel organiser is based, for example if you are shopping online, you should verify with them and check their terms and conditions.

Your consumer rights in the event of a deal

The UK will leave the EU on 31st October 2019. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, there will be an implementation period until December 2020 where your consumer protections will be the same as they are now. Your package travel will be protected if you bought it from any business within the EU and complete the holiday before the end of that period.

Your consumer rights in the event of a ‘no deal’

If we leave the EU without a deal, after 31st October 2019, your protections will stay the same if you buy a package holiday from a UK based business. If you are unsure where your package travel organiser is based, for example if you are shopping online, you should verify with them and check their terms and conditions.

When you buy travel from EU businesses you will be covered by the UK insolvency protection rules if the EU business is one that operates in or targets the UK market or is sold by a UK established retailer. You should confirm with your package travel organiser.

If buying from a package travel organiser which is not established in the UK or does not obviously direct its business to the UK, you should make sure that you are provided with clear information, including on the level of insolvency protection, before you buy. Your package travel organiser will be able to provide that information to you.

If you book your holiday before 31st October 2019 but the holiday takes place after that date, there is a risk that, in the event of a no deal exit, the insolvency protections put in place by EU businesses will cease to apply to UK consumers as soon as the UK ceases to be part of the EU. In that situation, if an EU business became insolvent, the protection for UK travellers would depend on the law of the country concerned.

Help and advice

For more help and advice you can contact Citizens Advice or the UK’s European Consumer Centre. The UK ECC offers free advice and assistance to consumers who buy goods or services in another EU country (and Norway and Iceland) and experience a problem.

Citizens Advice does not operate in Northern Ireland, and as the statutory consumer body for Northern Ireland all Northern Ireland consumer related queries should be passed through the Consumer Council on 0800 121 6022.

 

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