What settings do I need to check to comply with European Union consumer law?

On September 1, 2019, we changed the way we show prices to Europe-based customers.

This change ensures all properties on Booking.com comply with European Union consumer laws, which aim to provide transparency for online companies’ displayed prices. To avoid any guest confusion, listings on Booking.com will now show all mandatory charges, even if they were previously set as excluded. Listings also won’t show any mandatory charges as incalculable or may vary.


Only Europe-based bookers are affected for now, but we think transparency is good for all guests. So whether you regularly get bookings from European guests or not, we ask that you make a few updates to some settings on the Extranet. Keep in mind that, without these updates, your listing may not comply with European Union consumer law, so we would have to temporarily remove your property from Booking.com.

To make sure your listing is compliant with these laws, check your pre-authorization, extra charges (including local taxes and other additional fees), and child policy settings on the Extranet. See below for step-by-step instructions on how to do so:


1. General requirements for setting discounts

We must ensure price comparisons that appear on our website as discounts represent genuine savings for our customers.

The price that you use as a benchmark for the discount is or has been available to customers to book on our website for a reasonable time period.

You're required to make sure that's the case if you set discounts on Booking.com.

You can also visit the CTSI Guidance for Traders on Pricing Practices and the sections of the UK Code of Non-Broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing that relate to prices.

If you don't comply with the above discount criteria, you may experience issues with guests – and fail to comply with EU consumer law. If that happens, we'll have to take appropriate action.


2. Pre-authorization

EU law requires all partners to state whether they pre-authorize guest credit cards or not. If you pre-authorize guest credit cards—even occasionally—you’ll need to display:

  • The amount you pre-authorize

  • When you pre-authorize

  • Which booking policies you pre-authorize for

If you don’t pre-authorize cards at your property, you'll need to indicate that too.


To update your pre-authorization settings, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the Extranet and go to the Property tab.

  2. Click Policies and scroll down to Pre-authorization preferences.

  3. Click Update preferences and select your preferences.

  4. Click Save.


Update my settings


3. Extra charges: Local taxes and other additional fees

To be in compliance with the regulations, you need to specify all mandatory fees, taxes, charges, and other price components, including the price your guests have to pay if they’re traveling with children. Price components like taxes or extra charges for towels can no longer be set as incalculable.

Which extra charges are included in this?

  • All mandatory fees. This includes any fee the guest is expected or required to pay by default to you or through you to other authorities, as a result of booking your property or staying there.

  • Optional or conditional fees are not included in this. These are any fees that the guest incurs only after explicitly asking for a service, like fees for spa facilities or extra cleaning services the guest agrees to pay for.

  • Due to these regulations, all fees marked as mandatory will be included in the overall price the guest sees on your listing. Any fees marked as “incalculable” will be considered opaque mandatory charges, and your property won't be compliant. As a result, we'll remove these fees from your listing(s), so you shouldn't charge guests for them unless you re-add them later as mandatory fees with specific prices.

How do I update my settings?

Check these sections:

  • Check Additional fees, then follow the steps that match your property type. 

If your property is a home, apartment or any other non-hotel accommodation:

  1. Log in to the Extranet and go to the Property tab.

  2. Click Policies and select Additional fees and charges.

  3. If you have any charges set as “incalculable,” enter the appropriate fee.

  4. If you have any optional charges (non-mandatory charges), delete them by clicking Remove. Only mandatory charges should appear in this section.

  5. Click Save.


If your property is a hotel:

  1. Log in to the Extranet and go to the Property tab.

  2. Click VAT/tax/charges.

  3. If you have any charges set as “applies, charges may vary,” get in touch with your local Booking.com team, who can help update your info.

  • Next, all property types need to check local taxes. Depending on your location, you may have to pay tourist taxes or other extra charges for each guest. Under European Union consumer law, this number can no longer be set as “incalculable.” By September 1, we’ll adjust any taxes or charges that are currently marked as “incalculable” or “charges may vary” (e.g. different tax rates for different nightly prices, not applicable for children, not applicable for more than x nights). For these charges, we’ll set a value that corresponds to the highest possible tax for that category, so the tax (or other locality charges) are never shown with a value lower than what the guest might have to realistically pay.

After September 1, 2019, check the adjustments we’ve made to the info for your local taxes and charges are correct. To check these settings, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the Extranet and go to the Property tab.

  2. Click VAT/tax/charges.

  1. If any of the charges have been configured incorrectly, you’ll need to get in touch with your local Booking.com team, so they can help you update these fees.

Note: In accordance with European Union consumer law, mandatory charges can’t be set as either “incalculable” or “charges may vary.” Any optional, non-mandatory charges should be added to the fine print section of your property description.


Update my settings


4. Child policies

In accordance with European Union consumer law, all prices on Booking.com need to reflect the total amount guests will pay for their stay. If you allow children to stay at your property, you’ll have to check your policies are configured correctly to ensure you’re in compliance with the regulations.

From September 1, 2019, fixed prices for children staying in existing beds (i.e. not extra beds added to the room) will be added to the total price on Booking.com and be subject to commission.

Note: You can no longer configure variable charges such as percentages.


To check and update your child policies, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the Extranet and open the Property tab.

  2. Click Policies and scroll down to the Children & extra beds section. 

  3. Specify if children are allowed at your property.

  4. Set the maximum number of children that can stay in each of your room types and how much you charge per child, per night, then click Save. Only use fixed fees per night because percentage pricing is no longer allowed.

  5. Click Preview to check your info is all correct.

  6. Click Save when you’re done.


Note: Each section must be configured and saved as you go.


Update child policies