Security and use thereof

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1. Security
In Estonia, an individual security system applies, meaning that all tour operators and traders facilitating the conclusion of contracts of linked travel arrangements are required to hold a security, to evaluate the adequacy of the security and, if necessary, to increase the security so that it complies with the requirements established by the Tourism Act at any time during the activities of the travel company.
The Tourism Act provides both the general requirement of a security and its minimum mandatory rates, depending on the areas of activity of the travel company.
The minimum mandatory rate of a security has not been established for the organisation of packages containing travel arrangements provided in Estonia, while operating in the remaining areas of activity is subject to the minimum mandatory rates of a security as follows:
 
  • The organisation of packages containing travel arrangements and charter flights outside Estonia – the security for a travel company operating in this area of activity shall be at least 7% of the annual total sale of packages, but no less than 32,000 euros.
  • The organisation of packages containing travel arrangements and scheduled flights outside Estonia – the security for a travel company operating in this area of activity shall be at least 3% of the annual total sale of packages, but no less than 32,000 euros.
  • The organisation of packages containing travel arrangements, except charter or scheduled flights, outside Estonia – the security for a travel company operating in this area of activity shall be at least 7% of the annual total sale of packages, but no less than 13,000 euros.
  • The mediation of packages of a travel company from outside the European Economic area – the security for a travel company operating in this area of activity shall be at least 7% of the annual total sale of packages, but no less than 32,000 euros.
  • The offering of linked travel arrangement services and the facilitation of the conclusion of contracts – the security for a travel company operating in this area of activity shall be at least 3% of the annual total sale of packages, but no less than 13,000 euros.
Based on the general requirement of a security, the security of a tour operator and a trader facilitating the conclusion of contracts of linked travel arrangements should comply with the following requirements:
  1. The security of a tour operator should be adequate at all times during the activities of the travel organiser, so that, if necessary, it is possible to transport all passengers to the travel starting point or another agreed place and to accommodate them at the expense of this, provided that the package includes passenger transport, and to refund all travel expenses paid for the packages by them and also fees for the gift cards of unused packages.
  2. The security of a trader facilitating the conclusion of contracts of linked travel arrangements should be adequate at all times during the activities of the travel organiser, so that, if necessary, it is possible to refund the passenger all travel expenses paid by the passengers to the facilitating trader for linked travel arrangements, and if the facilitating trader is an operator responsible for passenger transport, to bring all passengers to the travel starting point or to another place agreed upon and to accommodate them.
2. Use of security

Pursuant to subsection § 15 (2) of the Tourism Act, the use of a security shall be decided upon by the Consumer Protection Board, and pursuant to subsection § 15 (3) of the Tourism Act, in order to use a security, the Consumer Protection Board shall:

  1. designate a period of time for travellers to lodge claims to the Consumer Protection Boards, which shall not be less than 14 calendar days;
  2. collects the claims of travellers and verifies the justification of the lodged claims and offers the option to continue the package, if possible;
  3. organises the fulfilment of the obligations named in clauses 15 (3) (4) of the Tourism Act and determines for the guarantor a reasonable due date to make the security payments.