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April 3, 2020
CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS OF SERVICES:
THE SOLUTIONS FOR TOURIST OPERATORS

In the exceptional context of the spread of the covid-19 virus, many states, including France, have adopted restrictive travel measures, which leads, at the request of travelers or certain operators, to cancellations and refunds of services. Consequently, it weighs on these operators a strong risk of tension on their cash flow and subsequently of default. To this end, an order "relating to the financial conditions for the termination of certain tourist travel and stay contracts in the event of exceptional and unavoidable circumstances or force majeure" has been issued by the Ministry of the Economy and Finance, in application of article 11 of the law n ° 2020-290 of March 23, 2020 of emergency to face the epidemic and in particular to prevent and limit the cessation of economic activity.

This ordinance modifies the obligations of professionals for their allow them to offer their customers, for a strictly determined and time-limited period, a refund in the form of an identical or equivalent service offer, or by means of a credit valid over a long period, of 18 months , in order to balance support for companies in the sector in this crisis period with respect for consumer rights.
► These new terms apply to contract resolutions notified, either by the client, or by the professional or association, after March 1 and before September 15, 2020 inclusive.
► The contracts concerned:
- travel and stay sales contracts,
- contracts relating to travel services: accommodation, car rental, any other tourist service which is not an integral part of a travel service (excluding the sale of transport tickets regulated by international law and legislation of the European Union on passenger rights)
► When this credit is offered, the customer cannot request the reimbursement of these payments during the validity period of the credit.
► The professional or association, proposing a credit to the client, must inform them on a durable medium (mail or email) at the latest 30 days after the termination of the contract, or, if the contract has been terminated before the date of 'entry into force of the order, at the latest 30 days after this date of entry into force. This information specifies the amount of the credit, as well as the conditions of time and duration of validity.
► The professional or association must offer a new service so that their client can use the credit. This service is the subject of a contract meeting conditions strictly defined in relation to the service provided for by the contract terminated:
- The service must be identical or equivalent
- The price of the service must not be higher unless it differs from the first, in which case the price to be paid must take account of the credit. Concretely, this translates into:
• in the event of a higher quality and price service: payment by the customer of an additional sum
• in the event of a service other than an amount lower than the amount of the credit: the conservation of the balance of this credit, remaining usable according to the terms provided for by the order, until the end of the period of validity of the to have.

Failing to conclude the contract relating to the new service, for which the customer has a credit, before the end of the validity period of 18 months, the professional or association proceeds to the reimbursement to which he or she is bound ( e), that is to say, all of the payments made under the canceled contract or, where applicable, the balance of the remaining credit.


source: https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/eli/ordonnance/2020/3/25/ECOC2008134R/jo/texte
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