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Compensation of losses of travel agencies to social and natural disasters possible with official declaration of force majeure, - Oleksyi Volkov

Kyiv, June 12 2013

An official declaration of force majeure by a country that tourists visit is required to compensate for losses which face travel agencies sending tourists abroad and caused by social and natural disasters, a managing partner of Volkov and Partners Law Firm, Oleksiy Volkov, said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday.
"The force majeure circumstances have to be formalized and declared by the state agency of a certain country as a fact of force majeure, to declare that force majeure circumstances have appeared. Until there is such a declaration, travel agencies, insurance companies and travel agents will not consider events in the country as force majeure and pay claims to tourists," the lawyer said.
Volkov said that "irrespective of the information stipulated in the contract signed by the travel agency and tourists, a range of events, which are declared in the concrete legal system as force majeure events, which the sides cannot foresee, have to occur so that one can say that a force majeure occurs.
"Both for international trade and international tourism, a force majeure is to be recognized by the chambers of commerce of the concrete country. The recognition – a specially published bulletin – says that a force majeure event has occurred, and it fixes not only its start, but also the expected duration. In addition, the next declaration should state the prolongation or the end of the force majeure events. These are all official documents that are spread via the foreign ministries of the countries and sent to all foreign diplomatic organizations," he said.
Commenting on the situation on the tourism market due to events in Turkey, Volkov said that if people bought trips in January-February 2013, it is likely that they did not expect that the said events could occur and the events could be considered a force majeure for them.
"Those who buy trips today know about the events and it is unlikely that they can appeal to a force majeure, not only because the force majeure was not declared by the country, but because the tourist was informed on the events not only via media reports, but also by his travel agency," he said.
Volkov said that the major part of the countries where the said events happen, does not hurry to declare the events a force majeure.

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