The government has recently laid out the newly proposed enforcement powers for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to better enforce consumer laws in the travel industry.
In 2021 and 2022 there has been continuous work by the government to evaluate the enforcement of consumer laws in travel, alongside the Package Travel Regulations, after the course of the pandemic has highlighted some consumer protection laws to be addressed.
The new powers proposed by the government for the CMA were set out in the Reforming Competition and Consumer Policy paper that the Department for Business (BEIS) published in April. This paper came as a response to the consultation on consumer law enforcement last year, in 2021.
These new enforcement laws will make it easier for the CMA to enforce consumer law and Package Travel Regulations compliance without having to take travel businesses to court in order to do so.
This could include but may not be limited to:
- The ability to fine businesses a maximum of 10% of their global annual turnover if they fail to comply with the Package Travel Regulations or other consumer protection laws,
- The ability to fine businesses for breaches in consumer laws without going to court; and
- The ability to sanction companies that breach undertakings they give or fail to provide information to the CMA.
The government proposed that the CMA will have the power “to decide for itself where consumer protection law has been breached”, and beyond that they will “be able to impose a penalty of up to 10% of global annual turnover” when they deem the business has broken the law.
Alongside this, the Package Travel Regulations have received some proposed changes, though these are not being considered as impactful as the new CMA enforcement powers proposed. Currently, the changes expected to be the focus of change in the Package Travel Regulations centre around the clarity of information and definitions presented in the Package Travel Regulations.
These proposed changes have caused a lot of discussion in the travel industry concerning how this may change some aspects of travel and the intent behind these changes. Keeping up to date with enforcement laws is important for travel businesses in order to ensure complete consumer law compliance.
As such an important aspect of running a travel business, but one that doesn’t need to be unnecessarily stressful, Protected Trust Services (PTS) provide support for all PTS members to ensure complete Package Travel Regulations compliance so our members can focus on creating and selling the holidays they’re passionate about.
Changes to the enforcement of consumer laws doesn’t need to have a huge impact on your business. When a travel business becomes a member of PTS, they have the support of our expert team to ensure changes like this won’t cause any big bumps in the road, so they can focus on running their business how they want to, and we can provide their consumers confidence that they are booking with a business that is 100% consumer law compliant.
Staying prepared for these changes is simple with the support of Protected Trust Services. So, if you’re worried about the new CMA enforcement powers and want to ensure your business is completely Package Travel Regulations compliant, you can get in touch with one of our lovely team members today by calling 0207 190 9988 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire.
Or, if you’d like to know more about how we support PTS members and their consumers, check out our member support and consumer protection pages.