Last June 20, 2001 the Colombian Senate approved in second debate law project 209 of 2001 whereby the percentage charged by travel agencies to international airlines is increased to a minimum of 10%. The project would become a law if approved in two additional debates in the Colombian Chamber of Representatives.
This commission of a 10% was originally established by the Colombian Air Authority through Resolution 2743 of 1988. Resolution 820 of 2000 subsequently revoked the latter and established the gradual reduction of such commission in one point each year until 2004.
With respect to this same matter, a claim was filed requesting the annulment of article 4 of Resolution 2743 of 1988 issued by the Colombian Air Authority, which established that the commission for the sale and promotion of international airline's tickets would be of 10%.
The judge of the First Section of the Administrative High Court, Mrs. Olga Ins Navarrete, decided on August 30, 2001 to reject the above-mentioned claim.
This decision was based on the following arguments:
In spite of the fact that Resolution 2743 of 1988 was revoked by Resolution 820 of 2000, the Court has jurisdiction to decide on the grounds of the latter. This, since the Administrative High Court has sustained in past legal decisions that a revoked norm may continue to produce legal effects with regard to legal situations consolidated during its term and the legality of the norm is assumed until an express judicial decision providing otherwise is issued.
b. Admissibility of the Claim
Third parties intervening in the proceedings claimed that the nullity action was not the appropriate action to be filed In their opinion, only the nullity and re-establishment of the right action could be applied because of the existence of a particular interest of one airline (i.e. American Airlines, Inc.)
Notwithstanding the above, the Court considered that the above-mentioned Article 4 is of a general character because it affects evenly all airlines and travel agencies and not only those that have decided to ignore the provisions therein contained . In consequence, the nullity action was the appropriate one.
c. Jurisdiction of the Colombian Air Authority to issue Article 4 of Resolution 2743 of 1988.
i.) The control exercised by the Colombian Air Authority is not exclusive in relation to transport companies. Travel agents and intermediaries working in the aeronautical sector, are subject to...