The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves support to organisers of package travels in Norway in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves support to organisers of package travels in Norway*

The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a scheme that will help ensure that organisers of package travels can obtain refund guarantees from insurance companies and continue operations.

In order to offer package holidays, companies in Norway must be able to provide a refund guarantee issued by the Package Travel Guarantee Fund. The organisers purchase guarantees from insurance companies, which then commit themselves to paying into the Fund. This allows consumers to be refunded, should organisers of package travels become insolvent.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many companies offering package travels in a challenging economic situation. As a result, insurers have had to take on an increased risk when providing guarantees to organisers of package travels. Insurance companies are therefore less inclined to offer coverage at all – or they demand very high premiums that are often difficult to pay – leaving organisers of package travels unable to provide services.

In response, the Norwegian authorities will take on half of the risk carried by the insurance companies, and will in return receive part of the premiums collected from the organisers. This will reduce the risk taken by the insurers and so encourage them to provide guarantees, providing organisers of package travels access to the refund guarantees needed to operate.

*This is the original title of the press release. The title above has been amended in order to match the e-Competitions format. Individual authors are welcome to provide original independent commentaries on the case law. Articles are subject to approval by the Board of e-Competitions Bulletin before publication based on the Editorial Policy (click here).

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EFTA Surveillance Authority, The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves support to organisers of package travels in Norway in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, 26 May 2021, e-Competitions May 2021, Art. N° 100921

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