Travel Offers Code
The aim of this Travel Offers Code (hereinafter to be referred to as: the Code) is to assist consumers by preventing misleading advertising on the Dutch market relating to the price and availability of travel, leisure, transport and accommodation services (hereinafter to be referred to as: the services). This Code has been drawn up by the ANVR, BARIN, HISWA Vereniging and KNV trade organisations, after consultations with the Consumer Association, the Dutch Advertising Code Authority [Stichting Reclame Code] and the ministries of Economic Affairs and of Transport, Public Works and Water Management. The Code applies to advertising regarding services with a departure date or commencement date on or after 1 April 2007.
The Code is evaluated annually and, if necessary, adapted by the trade organisations, after consultations with the Dutch Advertising Code Authority and the Consumer Association.
As soon as the Lower House of the Dutch Parliament has passed the statutory regulations implementing the Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices (2005/29/EC), the Code will be assessed for its compatibility with the new legislation relating to unfair commercial practices and adapted as necessary. The Code will also have to be assessed and possibly adapted when the Regulation proposed by the European Commission (DG Transport) on transparent airline ticket prices (among other issues) comes into effect.
The Code applies to advertising directed at the Dutch market for travel, leisure, transport and accommodation services.
The ANVR, BARIN, HISWA Vereniging and KNV Busvervoer trade organisations (see Appendix 1 for these organisations’ contact details). Travel, leisure, transport and accommodation services (not exhaustive): transport, accommodation or another tourist service not connected to transport or accommodation, which constitutes a significant element of the travel, or a combination of these services (referred to jointly in this Code as: the services). Advertising: any public recommendation of goods and services. Provider: the party that, as part of its business operations or professional activities, offers travel, leisure, transport and accommodation services to consumers, as well as those that act in said party’s name or for said party’s account. Consumer: a natural person who does not act as part of business operations or professional activities.
The providers are obliged to use correct and clear prices in their advertising. They will publish their prices, whether or not broken down into the various components of the total cost, and including the unavoidable additional costs known to them at the moment of publication, which the consumer is required to pay for the services offered. Unavoidable additional costs are taken to mean costs that are inextricably linked to the service offered. This does not include the costs of supplementary services that the provider or a third party renders at the consumer’s request, such as insurance premiums, nor costs that are charged for each booking per party and that vary according to the size of the party, nor reservation costs that may vary per sales channel. Special offer prices or special offers must be referred to as such in the advertising, together with a reference to the applicable conditions.
The providers will ensure a reasonable availability of the services offered in their advertising for the price referred to. They will refrain from offering services if there are grounds for suspecting that they cannot provide these services for said price (or have them provided) for a period and in the quantities that are reasonable, taking into account the service, the scope of the advertising for that service and the price offered (no teasers). Advertising for services that are no longer available will be terminated immediately.
V) Complaints procedure
Any party that believes that a provider is not observing the Code can contact the Advertising Code Committee [: Stichting Reclame Code, Buitenveldertselaan 106, 1081 AB Amsterdam, tel. +31 (0) 20 696 0019.For procedures, regulations and sanctions, please consult the website of the Advertising Code Committee (www.reclamecode.nl).
VI) Holder of the Code; changes
The trade organisations are holders of the Code. Changes to the Code can only be implemented with the consent of all the trade organisations participating in this Code after consultation with the Dutch Advertising Code Authority and the Consumer Association.