Security and use thereof

1. Security

In Estonia, an individual security system applies, meaning that all tour operators and undertakings facilitating the conclusion of contracts of linked travel arrangements are required to provide a security, to evaluate the sufficiencyof the security and, if necessary, to increase the security so that it complies with the requirements established by the Tourism Act at any given time during the activity of the travelundertaking.

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 undertaking.

The minimum mandatory rate of a security has not been established for the organisation of packages containing travel serivices provided in Estonia, while operating in the remaining areas of activity is subject to the minimum mandatory rates of a security as follows:
 
  • Organisation of packages which include travel services provided outside of Estonia and charter flights– the security for a travel undertaking engaged in this area of activity shall be at least 7% of the annual total sale of packages, but no less than 32,000 euros.
  • Organisation of packages which include travel services provided outside of Estonia and scheduled flights– the security for a travel undertaking engaged in this area of activity shall be at least 3% of the annual total sale of packages, but no less than 32,000 euros.
  • Organisation of packages which include travel services provided outside of Estonia, except for charter flights or scheduled flights– the security for a travel undertaking engaged in this area of activity shall be at least 7% of the annual total sale of packages, but no less than 13,000 euros.
  • Intermediation of packages combined by a travel undertaking of a state outside the European Economic Area – the security for a travel undertaking engaged in this area of activity shall be at least 7% of the annual total sale of packages, but no less than 32,000 euros.
  • Offer of linked travel arrangements and facilitation of entry into contracts – the security for a travel undertaking engaged 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 undertaking facilitating the conclusion of contracts of linked travel arrangements should comply with the following requirements:

  1. The security of a tour operator should be sufficient at any given time during the activities/activity of the tour operator, so that, if necessary, it is possible to return all travellersto the place of departure or another agreed place and to accommodate them at the expense of this, provided that the package includes carriage of passengers, and to refund all the payments made on the traveller’s behalf and unused package gift voucher.
  2. The security of a undertaking facilitating the conclusion of contracts of linked travel arrangements should be sufficient at any given time during the activities/activity of the travel undertaking, so that, if necessary, it is possible to refund the travellers all payments made in the traveller’s behalf to the travel undertaking which facilitates the conclusion of contracts on linked travel arrangements, and if the undertaking which facilitates the conclusion of contracts on linked travel arrangements is liable for the carriage of passengersto return all travellers to the place of departureor to another agreed placeand to accommodate them.
2. Use of security

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

  1. designate a period of time for the submission of claims by travellers to the Consumer Protection Board, which shall not be shorter than 14 days;
  2. gather the claims of travellers and check the justifiability of timely submitted claims and, if possible, offer the possibility to continue the package travel;
  3. organise the performance of the obligations set out in § 15 (3) and (4) of this Act and grant the issuer of security a reasonable period of time for the making of payments out of the security.