A tour operator is a travel business that prepares and offers package tours or concludes package tour contracts itself or through or with another travel business; as well as an undertaking that transfers passenger data to another undertaking per § 7(2)(5) of the Tourism Act (transfer of passenger data to another undertaking if this is done through interconnected online booking sites).
A travel intermediary is a tourism agency that offers package travel arranged by a tour operator or concludes package travel contracts on behalf of a tour operator. A travel intermediary offering package travel or concluding package travel contracts on behalf of a tour operator established outside the EEA shall be subject to the requirements imposed on tour operators.
The following travel operators must submit a business activity notice to the register of economic activities before starting their activities:
- Tour operators;
- Travel intermediaries who offer package holidays prepared by, or conclude package travel contracts on behalf of, a tour operator established outside the EEA;
- Operators facilitating the conclusion of contracts for the provision of related tour operator services.
Requirements for the applicant
The tour operator must guarantee to fulfill the obligations listed in § 15(3) of the Tourism Act if it is unable to fulfill its obligations under the package travel contract due to its financial capacity. An undertaking facilitating the conclusion of a package travel contract must have a guarantee to fulfill the obligations listed in § 15(4) of the Tourism Act in the event of failure to provide the travel service forming part of the package travel contract due to its insolvency.
The security provided by the tour operator must at all times be sufficient to meet the obligations listed in § 15(3) and (4) of the Tourism Act, and the tour operator is obliged to prove the existence and sufficiency of the security. The security may be in the form of a guarantee or an insurance policy issued by an insurance company, credit institution, or financial institution established in Estonia or another Contracting State to the European Economic Area. More detailed requirements for guarantees are laid down in §§ 15 and 15'1 of the Tourism Act.
The table below shows the minimum guarantee limits depending on the type of activity of the tour operator. It is up to the tour operator to analyze and assess the commitments entered into and arising from the sale of package travel and related tour operation services to determine the level of guarantee appropriate to its activity and following the legal requirements.
If a travel operator carries on more than one activity requiring a guarantee, the guarantee must not be less than that required for the activity requiring the highest guarantee.
IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE TOUR OPERATOR TO ASSESS THE AMOUNT OF THE GUARANTEE AT THE TIME OF ITS OPERATION AND INCREASE IT IF NECESSARY.
Total sales of package travel and related tour operation services shall be deemed to be the aggregate of all payments made by or on behalf of travelers to the travel agent (including the travel intermediary) under package travel contracts or related tour operation service contracts, including any amount received in advance and any unredeemed gift cards.
|Field of activity||The minimum amount of security|
|1. Organisation of package tours including travel services provided in Estonia||There is no minimum amount of security, but security is required.|
|2. Organisation of package tours, including travel services outside Estonia and charter flights.||At least 7% of total package sales, but not less than EUR 32 000.|
|3. Organisation of package tours, including travel services and scheduled flights outside Estonia||At least 3% of total package sales, but not less than EUR 32 000.|
|4. Travel services, other than package tours, other than package tours including charter or scheduled flights, provided outside Estonia.||At least 7% of total package sales, but not less than EUR 13 000.|
|5. Package travel brokerage by a non-EEA tour operator||At least 7% of total package sales, but not less than EUR 32 000.|
|6. Provision of related travel arrangement services and facilitation of the conclusion of contracts involving travel services in Estonia and outside Estonia or exclusively outside Estonia.||At least 3% of the total sales of related tour operator services, but not less than EUR 13 000.|
|7. Provision and facilitation of the contracting of related tour operator services, including travel services provided in Estonia.||There is no minimum amount of security, but security is required.|
- Travel service is paid in full following the provision of a set of travel services and does not include passenger transport (only applicable to activities 1 and 4);
- The operator facilitating the conclusion of the linked travel arrangements is not responsible for the carriage of passengers as part of the related travel arrangements, and either the fee is not paid to the operator facilitating the conclusion of the related travel arrangements or the full cost for the linked travel arrangements is paid only after the provision of the related travel arrangements (only applicable to activities 6 and 7);
- A tour operator from a non-EEA country providing package travel services shall prove that the actual tour operator has fulfilled the guarantee obligation following the Tourism Act's requirements (only applicable to activity 5).
In the absence of an obligation to lodge a guarantee, the minimum guarantee threshold applicable to the selected activity in the table above and the general guarantee requirement do not apply to the tour operator.
IN THE CASE OF ACTIVITIES 2 AND 3, THE TRADER IS ALWAYS REQUIRED TO LODGE A GUARANTEE.
Enterprises from another contracting state of the European Economic Area that provide services in Estonia temporarily do not need to submit a declaration of economic activities.
If an entrepreneur is established and operates as a travel company in another EEA contracting state but wishes to provide services permanently in Estonia on behalf of a foreign company, the entrepreneur must register a branch in the Estonian Commercial Register and submit an economic activity notification to the Economic Activities Register. In such a case, the trader will fulfill the guarantee obligation under the requirements of their country of establishment.
A travel business established in a country outside the European Economic Area that offers package travel or related tour operation services or concludes package travel contracts or acts as a facilitator of the conclusion of related tour operation contracts in Estonia or directs its activities to Estonia in any way must register a branch in the Estonian Commercial Register and submit an economic activity report.
The notice of economic activities
The notice of economic activities must contain the following information:
- business name and registration code, postal address, and contact details;
- the trademark or trademarks used if any;
- the classification of the requested activity;
- the address(es) and contact details of the place(s) of business and, in the case of e-commerce, the address of the website;
- the amount of the appropriate security corresponding to the travel business's activities, the starting and expiry dates, and the name of the company issuing the document proving the existence of the security, and, where applicable, the document proving the security. If no guarantee is required for the activity selected, the corresponding reason for the absence of a guarantee must be indicated by a cross; a tour operator offering package travel prepared by a tour operator from a country outside the European Economic Area which indicates the reason for the absence of a guarantee must attach proof that the tours sold through it are covered by a guarantee provided by the actual tour operator and complying with the requirements of the Tourism Act (a policy or letter of guarantee must be attached as a file);
- where the notifier has delegated the right to offer and contract package travel by him to other tour operators, the particulars of the relevant tour operators, including their name, address and other contact details, their business registration number or, failing this, their commercial register number or the name and number of another relevant register;
7. where the travel organizer has been authorized to offer package travel by or on behalf of non-EEA travel organizers, the details of the relevant travel organizers, including their name, the name and number of the relevant registry in the country of establishment, address, and other contact details;
8. the EMTAK codes of the activities;
9. the date of the commencement of the economic activity, if different from the date of the notification of the economic activity;
10. the date of cessation of the economic activity, if the economic activity is scheduled to end on a specific date;
11. the date of payment of the state fee (if the application is submitted by any other means than via the eesti.ee information gateway);
12. details of the person authorized to sign the notification. The notification of economic activities shall be signed by a management board member or another person authorized to sign. In the case of a person holding a power of attorney, a power of attorney must be attached to the application.
You can submit the notice of economic activities :
- by logging in to the register of economic activities via the state portal (to use the service, you need to log in via ID-card, mobile-ID, or internet banking);
- via a notary.
Modification of data in the notice of economic activities
As a trader, you must notify the registrar of any changes to your economic activity details, including changes to the security details, without delay, but no later than 5 working days. You can check the details of the notification on the MTR website. Make sure that your contact details are correct.
You can modify your economic activity notice details by logging into the register of economic activities via the national portal (the service requires logging in via ID card, mobile ID, or internet banking).
Confirmation of the data in the notice of economic activities
As an entrepreneur, you must validate your economic activity register data once a year by submitting an annual report or income declaration.
Before confirming, check the data's accuracy and, if there are any changes, bring the data into line with reality.
Withdrawal from economic activity
In the case of temporary cessation of economic activity, submit a notice of temporary economic activity termination, indicating cessation and resumption date.
In the case of a total cessation of economic activity, submit a notice of termination of economic activity indicating the date of the end of economic activity.
Supervision and submission of reports by the tour operator
Supervision of the tour operator's activities is carried out by the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority.
The tour operator is obliged to forward the document proving the guarantee to the Authority without delay after the warrant has been issued. If the travel organizer has attached the document confirming the existence of the guarantee to the statement of economic activities, the obligation to forward the form shall be deemed to have been fulfilled.
Once a quarter, by the 20th day of the month following the reporting quarter, the tour operator must submit to the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority a report on the total sales of package travel and related tour operation services and the specified planned total sales of package travel and related tour operation services for the following quarter.
Upon commencement of operations, and every year after that, together with the report on the total sales of package travel and package tour services for the fourth quarter of the preceding year, the travel operator must provide a breakdown of the planned annual total sales of package travel and package tour services, including sales for each quarter, on which the guarantee is calculated.
Last updated: 06.04.2021