a. Responsibility for enforcement
The Danish Maritime Authority is responsible for the enforcement of rules related to carriers, including shipowners, performing the transport. Sections 440 and 514 a of the merchant shipping act (søloven) provide the legal basis for laying down rules on compliance and application of the Regulation, including rules on the right to complain as well as on fees and penalties.
Pursuant to the merchant shipping act (søloven) and by authority, the Danish Maritime Authority has issued order 74/2013, as amended by order 7/2015. The order concerns the rights of ship passengers and the possibility of ordering anyone grossly violating the Regulation, including carriers, travel agents, tour operators and ticket vendors, to rectify the situation immediately or before a given deadline, cf. section 5.
The Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority is responsible for rules related to port terminals, including terminal operators, ticket vendors, travel agents and tour operators. Sections 1a, 17a and 18(3) of consolidated act 457/2012 on ports (lov om havne) provide the legal basis. The Authority has also issued order 1236/2014 on the right to supervise and complain about the accessibility of port terminals, etc., for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility.
b. Right of complaint
b.1. The Danish Maritime Authority
Section 2 of order 74/2013 provides that passengers can file complaints related to the Regulation to the Danish Maritime Authority, if the Danish Consumer Complaints Board or the Danish Travel Industry Complaint Board cannot consider them, or if they concern terminal operators. Prior to that, complainants must file complaints with the carrier, i.e. typically the shipowner.
b.2. The Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority
Section 2 of order 1236/2014 provides that complainants must forward complaints about a terminal operator's non-compliance with the obligations under the Regulation to the terminal operator. If the complaint is not accepted, the complainant can appeal the terminal operator's decision to the Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority.
Section 3 of order 1236/2014 provides that a complaint about a ticket vendor's, travel agent's or tour operator's obligations under the Regulation must be forwarded to the ticket vendor, travel agent or tour operator. If the complaint concerns ship passenger rights in the port area and is not accepted, the complainant can appeal the reply from the vendor, travel agent or tour operator to the Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority.
b.3. Danish Appeals Boards Authority (DABA)
Section 9 of act 524/2015 allows consumers to bring complaints arising from an agreement between a consumer and an economic operator about the purchase of a product or a service before the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (DCCA). However, DABA took over this competence on 1 January 2017.
According to section 3 of order 65/2019, DABA now acts as a mediator related to complaints that do not concern a dispute resolution body covered by the consumer complaints act (forbrugerklageloven) and are filed by a consumer. From 1 January 2023 the price of the product or service, including sea voyages, must be at or above a limit of DKK 1,100. In 2021-2022, the limit was DKK 1,050. Adjustment of the minimum price takes place every three years.
Section 7 of order 65/2019 allows the Danish Consumer Complaints Board (DCCB) to consider a complaint in case mediation does not lead to an amicable solution and the consumer goes on to bring the complaint before DCCB. From 1 January 2023 the price of the product or service, including sea voyages, must be at or above a limit of DKK 1,100. In 2021-22, the limit was DKK 1,050. Adjustment of the minimum price takes place every three years.
b.4. The Danish Travel Industry Complaint Board
The Danish Travel Industry Complaint Board considers complaints about package tours, including package tours by ship. It is a private complaint board approved by the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs in pursuance of section 6 of act 524/2015 on alternative dispute resolution of consumer complaints.
c. Other issues
According to Article 2(4) Member States may exempt passenger voyages covered by public service obligations, public service contracts or integrated services from application of the Regulation, if national law secures the rights of passengers to a similar extent. Denmark has chosen not to use this option.
The Danish Maritime Authority has produced complaint forms, complaint guidelines as well as a summary of the Regulation here
An update of the guidelines took place in 2018. Section 3 of order 74/2013 on the rights of passengers provides that consumers must pay a fee of DKK 160 in order to submit a complaint under the Regulation and get the amount refunded if they are fully or partially successful. Passengers with reduced mobility can submit complaints free of charge and use a special complaint form for the purpose. The Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority and the Danish Consumer Complaints Board also provide guidance on complaints.