GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS REGARDING THE PROCUREMENT OF
DIVE-SAFARI TRIPS ON THE MALDIVES
These General Terms and Conditions of Business govern the services, rights and obligations between the Customer (hereinafter "CUSTOMER") and Maldives Scuba Diving GmbH, Raiffeisenplatz 1, 8739 Trofaiach, Austria (hereinafter MSD)
1.) Subject of the contract:
MSD acts as a reseller of safari tours in the Maldives under the brand names "Maldives Dive Travel", "Maldives Scuba Diving", "Maldives Liveaboards" and "Malediven Tauchreisen" ("Maldives Dive Travel"). MSD intends to sell safari tours to the CUSTOMER; the customer intends to book safari tours using the web pages and the booking service of MSD. The CUSTOMER is aware that all safari tours offered are organised and carried out by contractual partners of MSD (OPERATORS), meaning that MSD only acts as a travel agent.
All services/agency services are offered by MSD on behalf of the actual owner/OPERATOR of a safari boat/an airline/or a tour operator, even if the invoicing is done in its own name. Monies collected for the OPERATOR can therefore categorically only be paid back with the approval of or directly by the OPERATOR/owner.
3.) Terms of payment:
A down payment of 15% of the total price becomes due when the travel contract is concluded, unless this does not come into effect in a legally binding manner. The remainder of the amount is due at the latest 40 days before commencement of the trip. If the booking is made within the 40-day deadline before the start of the trip, the entire price of the trip is due immediately after receipt of the written travel confirmation. If the entire amount has not yet been paid in full when travel commences, MSD reserves the right to prevent the CUSTOMER from commencing the trip or to demand the outstanding residual payments locally. If the CUSTOMER pays using a credit card, this will not be charged until written authorisation has been given by the CUSTOMER.
4.) Booking process / conclusion of contract:
Bookings and reservations can be made in writing, by fax or e-mail or verbally/by telephone and on one of the MSD web pages.
However, a legally valid contract does not come into effect between the CUSTOMER and MSD until MSD has issued a corresponding booking confirmation and the necessary down payment / total payment pursuant to Point 3.) of these General Terms and Conditions of Business has been made by the CUSTOMER.
5.) Right of withdrawal:
If he or she is a consumer pursuant to the Consumer Protection Act (KSchG), the CUSTOMER has a right of withdrawal if he or she has not submitted his/her declarations relating to the conclusion of the contract in premises that are permanently used by the entrepreneur for his business purposes or at a stand used by the latter for this purpose at a trade fair or a market. This withdrawal is, however, excluded if the consumer has himself/herself initiated the business relationship or if the contract's entry into force was not preceded by any discussions. This withdrawal can be pronounced up to the date when the contract enters into force or afterwards within one week in written form (for instance by registered letter, fax), in which case it is to be addressed to MALDIVES SCUBA DIVING GMBH, RAIFFEISENPLATZ 1, 8739 TROFAIACH, AUSTRIA. In addition, if the customer is a consumer pursuant to the Consumer Protection Act (KSchG), the customer can withdraw in writing (for instance by registered letter, fax) from the contract concluded by distant selling (e.g. web shop) within seven working days after conclusion of the contract regarding the service without indicating any reasons. This declaration of withdrawal is also to be sent to MALDIVES SCUBA DIVING GMBH, RAIFFEISENPLATZ 1, 8739 TROFAIACH, AUSTRIA. The timely sending of the revocation is sufficient to comply with the deadline for revocation.
If the CUSTOMER withdraws from the travel contract before the start of travel or if he or she does not appear at the start of travel, the flat-rate cancellation conditions of the respective OPERATOR will be charged by MSD. These conditions are published in the booking documents or on the website. In addition, MSD shall charge as a booking and cancellation fee the full agency commission that MSD would have received in the event of the trip being carried out by the OPERATOR. Telephone or fax charges incurred for the cancellation will be charged separately.
7.) Price changes:
If price changes are made by the OPERATOR in a legally permissible manner between the travel confirmation and commencement of travel, the CUSTOMER is obligated to pay the difference. If price increases exceed 5% of the total price, the CUSTOMER can withdraw from the contract, without any separate charging of a cancellation fee, within 10 days after notification of the increase. Point 5.) of these General Terms and Conditions of Business applies accordingly for the declaration of the withdrawal.
The CUSTOMER who makes a booking for himself/herself or for third parties is deemed to be the client and in the lack of any declaration otherwise assumes the obligations from the issuing of the contract towards MSD (payments, withdrawal from the contract, etc.).
9.) Travel conditions:
It is deemed to be known that for travel abroad a valid passport is generally necessary that must be valid for 6 months beyond the date of departure. As a fundamental principle, the CUSTOMER is responsible himself/herself for complying with valid travel regulations and must obtain information from the relevant authority with regard to the validity of his/her passport and/or visa requirements. Reference is explicitly made to the fact that the import of drugs, alcohol, pornography, as well as of religious materials, is punished unusually severely in the Maldives. In addition, it is pointed out that the export of maritime animals, shells and corals is subject to strict checks and penalties.
10.) Information about the travel management:
MSD will depict the service of the OPERATOR or provider that is to be procured, taking into account the special features of the respective contract procured and the circumstances of the specific destination country or destination place, to the best of its knowledge. MSD cannot be made liable for incorrect or out-of-date information regarding safari boats or services that MSD is provided with by contractual partners.
The liability of MSD is restricted to
*the careful selection of the respective OPERATOR and/or service provider and the careful analysis of the experience gained.
*the impeccable provision of services including corresponding information
to the CUSTOMER and issuing of the travel vouchers;
*the demonstrable forwarding of advertisements, declarations of will and payments between
CUSTOMER and procured companies and vice versa (such as e.g. changes in the agreed
service and in the agreed price, declarations of withdrawal, complaints). This role of an agent is restricted to the establishment of the initial contact between CUSTOMER and OPERATOR. If MSD breaches the obligations depicted above, it is obligated to compensate the CUSTOMER for the resulting damage if it does not provide evidence that it is not guilty of wilful intent or gross negligence.
For culpable breaches of contract, MSD is only obligated to compensate the CUSTOMER for the resulting damage up to the amount of the commission for the business procured.
12.) Liability restrictions:
MSD is not liable for the provision of the service brokered or obtained by it. With the travel confirmation, MSD must notify the CUSTOMER of the company wording (product name) and the address of the OPERATOR if this information is not already available in the prospectus or on the web pages of MSD. Claims resulting from failure of performance, accident and other circumstances that make a contractual provision of the service booked impossible are to be filed directly with the OPERATOR and not with MSD.
All notifications and declarations of the CUSTOMER that relate to the contractual relationship must be done in writing by post, fax or e-mail.
Side-agreements, including amendments to the contract, require explicit written confirmation on the part of MSD.
15.) Mutual acceptance:
Through the conclusion of reservations, bookings and payments and/or acceptance of travel documents, both MSD and the CUSTOMER declare these General Terms and Conditions of Business to be the only valid contractual provision.
16.) Severability clause:
If one of the clauses in this contract should be invalid, this shall not affect the validity of the agreements as a whole. The invalid clause is then agreed to be replaced by a clause that comes as close as possible commercially to the invalid clause in a legally valid manner.
17.) Place of jurisdiction:
The place of jurisdiction is the relevant court in Leoben. The contract is governed by Austrian law.