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Brazil: New Law on Travel Agencies Partially Vetoed

(May 28, 2014) Brazilian President Dilma Roussef vetoed one-half of the articles of Law No. 12,974 of May 15, 2014, which regulates the activites perfomed by travel agencies. (Mensagem No. 113, de 15 de Maio de 2014, PLANALTO; Lei No. 12.974, de 15 de Maio de 2014, PLANALTO.) According to Roussef, the vetoed articles represented a degrading of the rights guaranteed by the Consumer Defense Code. (Código de Defesa do Consumidor, Lei No. 8.078, de 11 de Setembro de 1990), PLANALTO); Mario Russo, Luciana Casemiro, & Cristiane Bonfanti, Presidente Veta Metade dos Artigos de Lei das Agências de Viagem, O GLOBO (May 16, 2014).)

In the veto message sent by Roussef to the President of the Federal Senate, Roussef stated that after consulting with the Ministries of Tourism, Justice, and Planning, Budget, and Administration and the Brazilian Central Bank, it was decided that a partial veto of the law was required because it was contrary to the public interest and to the protection and defense of the consumer. (Mensagem No. 113, supra.) The message further explains that some articles that dealt with the duties of travel agencies (id. arts. 11-17 & 25) had to be vetoed because they exempted the companies from joint liability for services offered in travel packages sold to customers, which is contrary to the public interest as it dismisses such general principles of protection and defense of consumers as strict liability on the part of the suppliers of the related products and services. (Id.)