The Timeshare, Long-Term Holiday Product, Resale and Exchange Contracts Directive 2008/122/EC (the Directive) was adopted in February 2009. This Directive was designed to contribute to the important objectives of boosting consumer confidence in the timeshare industry and to eliminate the operations of rogue traders, which bring legitimate traders into disrepute and causes considerable problems for consumers.

As a “maximum harmonisation” Directive, member States were obliged to implement its provisions in national law in a way that accurately reflects, does not exceed, or fall below the requirements in the areas it covers.

The Directive addresses shortfalls in consumer protection in relation to timeshare, long term holiday products, resale and exchange contracts. Intervention at European level was necessary because of the cross-border nature of the sale of these products and the nature of the exposure to detriment which consumers face in this market. The Directive replaces Directive 94/47/EC, which provided for the protection of consumers in respect of the sale of timeshare in real property. Given the minimum harmonisation nature of the Directive, a number of States, including the UK, adopted national provisions that went beyond the level of consumer protection required by Directive 94/47/EC.