Details on the updated 1073 Ordinance, which allowed tour operators to defer obligations to tourists who were unable to travel abroad due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, on purchased tours until 31.03.2020 were presented by experts. The situation was commented to “TURPROM” by lawyers of the company “Lawyers for Tourist Business “Bayborodin and Partners”.
We present the most common questions and answers – about what has changed and what you should pay special attention to.
- What happened? Which act was issued?
On December 30, 2021, Federal Law N498-FZ “On Amendments to the Federal Law” On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation on the Prevention and Elimination of Emergencies” was adopted. In short, this Federal Law granted the Government of the Russian Federation the authority to 2022 to establish the features of the execution and termination of contracts for the sale of a tourist product concluded before 31.03.2020 inclusive.
Having exercised this authority, Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation N557 was adopted, within the framework of which changes were made to Decree N1073.
- What is it about in a nutshell?< br/>Tour operators are given the opportunity to provide an equivalent tourist product (for “covid” tours) until 12/31/2022. Refunds are expected within the same time period. But there are nuances with regards to countries. The new term, which we mentioned above, does not apply to all tourism products. The selection criterion is the direction (country). Not all destinations provide the opportunity to extend the terms for providing an equivalent tour or the refund period.
The list of closed countries was published by Rostourism on Saturday, 04/09/2022, albeit in an unusual manner: a list of countries is indicated, tours to which are not subject to under the extension of the resolution, but with the proviso that all countries that are not included in the specified list fall under the extension.
- What are “open” and “closed” countries?
In our opinion, the logic is to determine the countries to which the TO had an unhindered (financial opportunities do not count) opportunity to provide an equivalent tour, and to which not. That's just for tours in areas where the tour operator objectively could not provide equivalent tours, and the extension of Decree 1073 extends its effect. In simple words: they extend in those areas where the tour operator could not provide an equivalent tour a priori.
- What does the operator or agent need to do right now?
The tour operator needs to notify the travel agent and/or customer about changes in the regulation within 10 working days, in particular about countries (closed by Rostourism) and about themselves accepted changes. The travel agent, in turn, must track the specified information of the tour operator and inform the tourist about it within 5 working days.
Information, which I indicated above, is allowed via the Internet (FOR TOUR OPERATORS)
- And what about the decisions of the courts in January? When the old decree was no longer in effect, but the new one was not yet? Can I dispute it?
If the deadline has not expired, you can. There are precedents for challenging decisions made during the period when the N1073 order was not in force, but at the time of the appeal, the N1073 order came into force and the judicial acts were canceled.
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