Once Spain and UK (for Gibraltar area) have notified the Commission of a new law transposing the EU Timeshare Directive in their correspondent territories, all Member States have now transposed the Directive into their national law, looking to protect this tourist activity with an economic significance demonstrated by the fact that roughly 1.5 million European households are timeshare owners.
New rules provide significant protection for consumers against unwanted timeshare contracts and contracts on similar holiday products, which often bear considerable financial risks for consumers. In particular, consumer protection has been extended to additional holiday products, for instance timeshare contracts for a period under three years, timeshare-resale contracts, timeshare exchange schemes and long-term holiday products such as participation in holiday discount clubs. There is now a uniform EU-wide 14-day cooling-off period, during which consumers may change their mind and withdraw from the contract while traders may not ask for any payments.
Under the Directive, traders must provide detailed information to consumers in good time, before the consumer is bound by any contract, including the price to be paid, a description of the product and the exact period and length of stay that the consumer is entitled to under the contract. This information should be provided in the consumer’s own language if they need it.
“The Commission’s persistence has paid off, to the benefit of European consumers” stated the EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Viviane Reding. The next step will be carrying out a thorough assessment of the overall quality and completeness of the transposition, ensuring the whole process to be applied and completed in the adequate terms.
For more information: ec.europa.eu/justice/consumer-marketing/travel/timeshare