General terms and conditions
For provision of services to groups and the general public – 1 January 2018
In compliance with Article R.211-12 of the French Tourism Code, you will find hereunder the texts of Articles R.211-3 to R.211-11 of the Tourism Code.
Other than the exceptions provided for in the third and fourth paragraphs of Article L.211-7, any proposition or sale of travel or holiday services must be confirmed by adequate documentation complying with the rules defined in this section. In the case of ticket sales for air transport or transport on scheduled routes with no related services, the seller delivers to the buyer one or more tickets covering the entire journey and issued by, or under the responsibility of, the transport company. In the case of transport on demand, the name and address of the transport company on whose behalf the tickets are issued, must be included. If the different items included in a tourism package are invoiced separately, the seller remains bound by the obligations and regulations set out in this section.
All pre contractual information is to be provided in writing, as are the terms and conditions of the contract itself. This can be done by electronic means under the conditions of validity and practice set out in Articles 1369-1 to 1369-11 of the French civil code. Such information must include the seller’s name or business name and its registration number in the register mentioned in Article L.141-3 or, where appropriate, the name, address and registration number of the federation or union mentioned in the second paragraph of Article R.211-2.
Prior to signing the contract, the seller must provide the consumer with all information relating to prices, dates and other items pertaining to the provision of the travel or holiday services, such as:
1. The destination and the transport means, characteristics and categories;
2. The type of accommodation and its location, level of comfort and main characteristics, and its certification and touristic rating by virtue of the regulations or customs of the country concerned;
3. Any proposed catering services;
4. A description of the itinerary if the contract relates to a tour;
5. Any administrative or health-related formalities to be accomplished by French nationals or by citizens of other European Union Member States or of States having signed the European Economic Area Agreement, notably when border crossings are involved, as well as the time needed to accomplish such formalities;
6. Any visits, excursions or other services which are included in the package or available at additional cost;
7. The minimum or maximum group size for which the journey or holiday can be provided and, if a minimum number of participants is required, the deadline by which the consumer is to be informed in the event of cancellation of the journey or holiday. This deadline cannot be less than twenty one days before the date of departure;
8. The amount or percentage of the price to be paid as a deposit on signing of the contract, as well as the payment calendar for the balance;
9. The price revision conditions as set out in the contract in accordance with Article R.211-8;
10. The contractual terms and conditions of cancellation;
11. Cancellation terms and conditions as defined in Articles R.211-9, R.211-10 and R.211-11;
12. Information pertaining to optional insurance covering certain cases of cancellation, or to travel assistance covering certain specific risks, including repatriation in the event of accident or illness;
13. For contracts including air transport services, the information provided for in Articles R.211-15 to R.211-18 and pertaining to each leg of the flight.
The preliminary information provided to the consumer commits the seller, unless it specifically states the seller’s right to modify certain elements. In this case, the seller must clearly indicate the potential extent of such modification and to which elements it applies.
In any event, modifications to the preliminary information must be indicated to the consumer before finalisation of the contract.
The contract between the seller and the buyer must be written and established in two copies and signed by both parties. The buyer retains one copy. When the contract is finalised by digital means, then Articles 1369-1 to 1369-11 of the French civil code shall apply. The contract must include the following clauses:
1. Names and addresses of the seller and the seller’s guarantor and insurer, as well as the name and address of the organiser;
2. The destination or destinations included in the journey and, in the case of multiple destinations, the dates for each period;
3. The transport means, characteristics and categories, and the dates and places of departure and arrival for the outward and return journeys;
4. The type of accommodation and its location, level of comfort and main characteristics, and its touristic rating by virtue of the regulations or customs of the country concerned;
5. Any proposed catering services;
6. The itinerary if the contract relates to a tour;
7. Any visits, excursions or other services which are included in the total cost of the journey or holiday;
8. The total cost of invoiced services and facilities, as well as an indication of any price revision that may be applied by virtue of the provisions of Article R.211-8;
9. An indication of any other fees or taxes relating to certain services such as port or airport boarding or landing taxes and tourist taxes when these are not included in the cost of the provided services;
10. Payment methods and payment calendar; the last payment made by the buyer must represent at least 30% of the total cost of the journey or holiday and must be made when the travel or holiday documents are provided to the buyer;
11. Any special conditions requested by the buyer and accepted by the seller;
12. The procedure through which the buyer can file a claim for non-fulfilment or unsatisfactory fulfilment of the contract by the seller. Such claim must be initiated as soon as possible by any means that provides proof of receipt by the seller and, if applicable, with written notice to the travel organiser and/or service provider concerned;
13. The deadline by which the buyer is to be informed in the event of cancellation of the journey or holiday by the seller when a minimum number of participants is required, in accordance with the provisions of clause 7 of Article R.211-4;
14. The contractual cancellation terms;
15. The cancellation terms set out in Articles R.211-9, R-211-10 and R.211-11;
16. Detailed information on the risks covered and the level of indemnity under the insurance policy covering the seller’s professional civil liability;
17. Information relating to the insurance policy covering the consequences of certain cancellation scenarios taken out by the purchaser (policy number and insurer’s name) as well as those relating to the assistance contract covering certain specific risks, including repatriation fees in the event of accident or illness; in this case, the vendor shall provide the purchaser with a document setting out, as a minimum, details of risks covered and exclusions;
18. The deadline to notify the seller in the event that the purchaser assigns the contract;
19. An undertaking to provide the purchaser, no later than ten days before the planned date of departure, with the following information:
a) The name, address and telephone number of the seller’s local representative, failing which, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of local organisations that may help consumers in the event of difficulties, failing which, a telephone number to enable the purchaser to contact the seller urgently;
b) For journeys and holidays abroad by minors, a telephone number and an address at which the child or the responsible adult at the child’s place of stay may be contacted;
20.The clause relating to termination and reimbursement, without penalties, of the sums paid by the purchaser in the event of breach of the obligation to notify set out in clause 13 of Article R.211-4;
21.An undertaking to notify the purchaser of arrival and departure times in a timely manner before the start of the journey or holiday.
The purchaser can transfer the contract to an assignee who meets the same conditions in respect of the journey or holiday, as long as the contract has yet to come into effect.
Except where expressly stipulated, the assignor is required to inform the seller of such a decision, by any means that will produce a proof of receipt, no later than seven days before the beginning of the journey, or fifteen days in the case of cruise holidays. Prior authorisation from the seller is in no way required for such transfers.
Where the contract includes the express possibility to revise the price, in respect of the provisions of Article L.211-12, it must stipulate the precise method for calculating any increase or decrease in price, and in particular the amount of associated transport charges and taxes, the currency or currencies that may have an impact on the price of the journey or holiday, the portion of the price to which the variation applies, and the currency exchange rate(s) used to establish the price that appears in the contract.
Where, prior to the departure of the purchaser, the seller is obliged to modify one of the key items of the contract, significantly increasing the price, for example, and disregards the obligation to inform the purchaser as stipulated in paragraph 13 of Article R.211-4, the purchaser, without affecting any right to seek damages, and having been informed by the seller of the modification by any means producing a proof of receipt, can take the following action:
– either terminate the contract and receive an immediate and complete reimbursement of all monies paid;
– or accept the modification or substitute package proposed by the seller; in this case an additional clause stipulating the changes must be signed by both parties; a price decrease is to result in a deduction of the corresponding amount from any monies still owed by the purchaser or, if the payment already made by the purchaser exceeds the price of the modified service, in the reimbursement of the excess amount to the purchaser prior to departure.
In the circumstances provided for in Article L.211-14, where prior to the purchaser’s departure the seller cancels the journey or holiday, the latter must inform the purchaser using any means producing a proof of receipt; the purchaser, without affecting any right to seek damages, then obtains immediate and complete reimbursement of all monies paid; in this case the purchaser also receives compensation that is at least equal to the penalty payment that would have been due if the cancellation had been made by the purchaser on the same date.
The provisions of this article in no way prevent the parties from reaching an amicable agreement whereby the purchaser accepts the substitute journey or holiday proposed by the seller.
In the event that, following the purchaser’s departure, the seller is unable to provide a significant part of the services set out in the contract, and where this represents a significant percentage of the price paid by the purchaser, the seller must immediately take the following measures, without affecting any rights to claim damages:
– either offer replacement services in lieu of the agreed services, covering any additional costs involved and, where the services accepted by the purchaser are of an inferior quality, reimburse the price difference upon the purchaser’s return;
– or, where the seller cannot offer any replacement services or where they are refused by the purchaser for valid reasons, provide the purchaser, at no extra cost, with the means to return to the departure location or any other location accepted by both parties, in conditions deemed to be equivalent to those of the originally planned journey.
The provisions of this article are applicable in the event of failure to respect the obligation stipulated in paragraph 13 of Article R.211-4.
Financial guarantee: APST, 15 avenue Carnot, 75017 PARIS
Professional Civil Liability: ETHIAS/ PNAS, 159 rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 75009 PARIS
Intra-EU VAT number: FR 43 824932016