Rights under EU consumer regs for non-EU residents

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Jun 25, 2020
I am trying to ascertain what rights, if any, non-EU citizens may have with regard to EU regulation of businesses in the EU, because I have three group trips for clients booked with various EU-based suppliers. I know that we have rights when it comes to EU-based airlines concerning cancelled flights, for example, but I do not know if we have any rights in this Covid situation with other kinds of suppliers.

It is my understanding after reading information on the EU website (and in European newspapers) that the various national emergency decrees allowing forced imposition of vouchers are NOT valid under EU law and are thus superseded by EU rules; and that, under those rules, the choice should remain with the consumer.
(Ref https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32020H0648 )

I understand that everyone in the travel business is in very difficult circumstances, just like me, and I have worked to rebook everything for approximately a year from all the original dates (or have vouchers pending final date details on the third trip). Clients are generally agreeable and very understanding, but I would still rather be able to give them refunds.

I have been unable to confirm what rights non-citizens have to file complaints through the EU regarding travel and Covid, and want to be sure of that before I write any supplier again asking for refunds they have heretofore refused. I don't want to play the EU card if it's a meaningless exercise....

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
If you find the answer let me know. We are in the same boat with a company in Greece and they aren’t budging. In the case in Greece, the country is allowing a voucher but if the client doesn’t use the voucher by Dec. of 2021, then the client will be refunded and paid by the Greek government if the supplier goes out of business.