STATEMENT ISSUED ON BEHALF OF ESF FOLLOWING COURT RULING
AGAINST LE SKI
Following today’s court ruling in France with legal action brought against UK tour operator, Le Ski, Simon Atkinson, Director, ESF has issued the following statement:
“ESF has incorrectly been cited as being the organisation for taking the Le Ski to court for its own protectionism. It should be stressed that ESF has not brought the action in the French courts, but the Public Ministry’s (French Administration) did so in pursuing action against Le Ski for non-compliance with French regulations, after a Border Police Patrol Control found them to be contravening French law.
Under Article L.212-1 of the Sport Code in France, it is legal requirement to have a qualification to teach or lead skiing if remuneration is received.
The laws governing sport in France say that it is illegal to ‘teach, lead, guide, animate’ without an appropriate professional qualification. For professionals, and in particular for ESF, security on ski slopes is of paramount importance. Wintersports touring needs to be conducted with maximum security for those being escorted on the slopes with qualified guides/instructors. France recognises the equivalent professional qualifications for instructors and guides from other countries. Any qualified ski instructor and guide is allowed to operate in France and there is cooperation between European Ski Schools, so the qualifications obtained are to reach the European standards terms of certification. Certificates to operate officially are issued directly by the Ministry of Sports.
ESF will not receive any re-numeration as a result of this judgement other than its legal fees being paid for representing them as a “Civil Party” and importantly, ESF has never sought otherwise. The fine required by the Public Ministry to Le Ski is factored upon an infringement of law and missing Social Taxes to be paid on such activity. Contrary to some opinion, there is no financial gain to ESF.
This is not an ESF led court action, but the organisation has rightly shown its support for French law to be upheld and that for those organisations using hosting or other personnel to ‘guide’ such people must possess a valid qualifications to do so.
ESF is committed to ensuring the safety of UK tourists using French resorts for wintersports.
ESF reiterates its commitment to supporting the UK ski industry and will work with UK tour operators in finding workable solutions for lawful guiding on the French ski slopes”.