CATO to review its T&Cs amid upcoming ACCC changes

CATO to review its T&Cs amid upcoming ACCC changes

In line with the ACCC announcement of changes to the laws on unfair contract terms which will come into effect on 9th November 2023, the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) has announced to members that CATO lawyer and board member Aaron Zoanetti will be undertaking a review of CATO’s Industry Standard Booking Terms and Conditions.

Travel law specialist, Zoanetti said, “Significant penalties may apply to businesses that include unfair contract terms in their standard form contracts. For tour operators and travel wholesalers active in the Australian market this relates to their booking terms and conditions”.

Zoanetti added “when Australian consumers are travelling overseas, the booking terms and conditions sit between the consumer and the tour operator/wholesaler (known as the principal). These T&C’s are very different to (and should not be confused with) the T&C’s of a retail agent that outline the terms of their service (not the terms of the travel contract).”

CATO members that already use CATO’s Industry Standard Booking Terms and Conditions will be provided with suggested amendments to make particular provisions commonly applied within the industry less likely to be considered unfair.

Any further tailoring requirements can be provided by Aaron Zoanetti.

“It is critical that member businesses implement a mitigation strategy to reduce the risk of enforcement action being taken. Members that have not reviewed their booking terms and conditions or who may be new to CATO, should note that they have access to CATO Industry Standard Booking Terms and Conditions, at exclusive member rates that includes a free 30-min consultation with Aaron,” said Brett Jardine, managing director, CATO.

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