Select Committee on European Union Third Report


EU Sub-Committee G (Social Policy and Consumer Affairs) is conducting an Inquiry into the issues raised by the European Commission's proposed replacement of the Timeshare Directive. The Commission's Proposal for a Directive concerning the protection of consumers in respect of certain aspects of timeshare, long-term holiday products, resale and exchange was published on 7 June 2007. The relevant Commission document COM(2007) 303 final and other pertinent documentation are accessible on the Commission website at:

The Commission indicates that a replacement is necessary because of a number of flaws uncovered when reviewing the current Directive[30].

The Proposal seeks to: expand the scope of the directive to cover new products such as discount holiday clubs and "timeshare-like" holidays on cruise ships and canal boats; extend the Directive to include timeshare resale; and clarify aspects of the existing Directive.

The purpose of the Committee's Inquiry is to assess the need for a new Directive, analyse the content of the proposed text and draw conclusions that will be linked into the EU's decision making process.


Against this background, the Committee hereby invites you to submit written evidence to the Inquiry. The Committee would find it helpful if, in addition to any general issues you may wish to raise, you would focus on a number of specific issues. It is recognised that those submitting evidence will not necessarily have an interest in all the questions and may therefore wish to be selective. The issues are:


With regard to measures intended to safeguard timeshare consumers, what is the rationale for binding legislation rather than a voluntary agreement?

In this policy area, what do you consider to be the respective roles of EC law and national law?

What has been your experience of the existing Directive? What, in your view, are its strengths and weaknesses?

Scope and Definitions

What is your view of the scope and definitions contained in the draft Proposal (Articles 1 and 2)? Might they be expanded, clarified or reduced? If so, how might this be achieved?

Information Provision

On the basis of your own experience, what is your assessment of the proposals relating to information provision and advertising (Article 3 and Annexes)?

How can consumers generally be best informed by national governments or other bodies about their rights in relation to this Directive (Article 10(1))?

The Right of Withdrawal

How satisfactory, from the consumer's perspective, are the provisions on the right of withdrawal (Article 4(3) and Article 5)?

One of the aims of the provisions is to establish a more consistent regime across Member States. To what extent is this achieved, particularly given the flexibility enshrined within Article 1(2) which allows Member States to apply more stringent national provisions relating to aspects of the right of withdrawal?

Advance Payments

How can consumers best be protected from any demand to make advance payments before the end of the period during which the consumer may exercise the right of withdrawal (Article 6(1))?

How significant a problem for consumers have advance payments been in the resale market (Article 6(2))?


What are your views on the provisions relating to judicial, administration and out-of court redress (Article 9 and Article 10(2))?

Sanctions, Monitoring and Enforcement

The proposed Directive expands the current requirement for penalties against infringements of the legislation (Article 11). What is your view on the level of sanctions imposed by Member States for infringements of the current Directive, and on the efficacy of monitoring and enforcement across the EU?

With particular relation to enforcement, do you consider that the relationship between the proposed new Directive and the provisions of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive[31] is sufficiently clear?

Outstanding issues

Are there any significant issues in the timeshare market that the proposed new Directive has failed to address?

We also would welcome views on any other aspect of the Commission's Proposal.

Interested parties are invited to submit a concise statement of written evidence to this Inquiry by Friday, 14 September 2007. Guidance for the submission of evidence is set out on the following page

30   op.cit. Back

31   op.cit.  Back

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