Travel agency registry problems can arise for tour operators, as well as for travel agencies themselves, if they come across an angry tourist who knows the law. The fact is that, as reported by Bayborodin and Partners Lawyers for Tourist Business on its channel in Yandex.Zen, although most travel agents have already been included in the Unified Federal Register of Travel Agents (EFRTA) by at least one tour operator, a large percentage of tour operators and did not proceed to add information about their agents. Lawyers told in detail what this could threaten.
“According to information from a recent survey of one of the specialized travel agency associations in one of the social networks, a number of official travel agents did not find themselves at all in the EFRTA (10%), and more than 20% of respondents complained that they were included, but not from all tour operators. That is, the cut shows us that more than 30% of the travel agency market is still waiting for their contribution from tour operators,” the experts said. However, some tour operators say they have only recently begun uploading travel agent information, with the deadline set to expire at the end of this year.
“Tour operators must enter data on travel agents into the State Register by the end of this year and there are no plans to postpone the deadlines. This is reported by the Ministry of Economic Development. Travel agents can work without entering information into the Unified Federal Register of Travel Agents only until December 31, 2022. The same applies to subagents (travel agents working under a subagency agreement with a travel agent). Membership in the EFRTA becomes mandatory for travel agents from January 1, 2023, and from July 1, 2023, fines are provided for work outside the register both for travel agents themselves and for tour operators who did not enter information about agents into it, ”the experts warned in detail talked about the fines.
The details are as follows: Federal Law of 04/05/2021 N 64-FZ “On Amendments to the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation” states that penalties for officials in the amount of ten thousand to thirty thousand rubles, for legal entities – from fifty thousand to one hundred thousand rubles are provided for:
non-entry by the tour operator of information about the travel agent promoting and selling the tourist product formed by the tour operator into the unified federal register of travel agents, subagents, entering information about the travel agent into the register of travel agents in violation of the procedure provided for by the legislation of the Russian Federation, or entering false information into the register of travel agents;
failure by a travel agent to enter information about a subagent promoting and selling a tourist product formed by a tour operator into the register of travel agents, entering information about a subagent into the register of travel agents in violation of the procedure provided for by the legislation of the Russian Federation, or entering false information into the register of travel agents;
carrying out travel agency activities by a person whose information is not in the register of travel agents, or by a person who does not have the right to carry out travel agency activities;
implementation by a travel agent of activities to promote and sell a tourist product in the absence of information in the register of travel agents about the conclusion between the travel agent and the tour operator that formed the tourist product, an agreement for the promotion and sale of the tourist product formed by the tour operator;
transfer by a travel agent of the execution of the tour operator's order for the promotion and sale of a tourist product if the travel agent does not have the right to such a transfer;
implementation by the subagent of activities to promote and sell a tourist product in the absence of information in the register of travel agents about the conclusion between the subagent and the travel agent of an agreement providing for the transfer of the execution of the tour operator's order for the promotion and sale of the tourist product formed by the tour operator.
“Punishment in the ruble is provided for both the tour operator, who did not enter information about each of his current agents, and for the travel agent, information about which was not entered from this tour operator,” the lawyers of Baiborodin and Partners Lawyers for Tourist Business warned. They urge travel agents who have an up-to-date contract with a tour operator, but they do not find themselves in the register, to hurry up and remind the tour operator of themselves. To avoid the most relevant risk for travel agents. “Otherwise, any angry tourist can complain that a travel agent illegally sold him a tour. Naturally, after conducting a very light check online in the registry, the travel agent will be fined,” they stressed.
At the same time, experts noted that there are exceptions, and massive ones. Large wholesale tour operators of travel agents have already counted and entered into the register for the most part, and “the bulk of TO in Russia” is not in a hurry and will not be in a hurry. “These are small companies that do not work under long-term travel agency contracts or sell individual services without even forming a tourism product. And it is precisely such tour operators that, for the most part, can not be seen in the register of travel agents, since they simply do not need it. For example, we can see many sanatoriums, hotels, etc. among tour operators, they received the status in order to be able to hold various field conferences, organize excursions without any problems. And it is precisely such operators that do not conclude an agreement with an agent, services are provided under an offer, through an application. They simply do not have an agency agreement with a travel agent and they do not need to monitor the agent's presence in the register at all. That is, if travel agents expect such companies to be included in the register, it’s in vain,” the lawyers explained.
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