Brexit and your business
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has responsibility for enforcing competition and consumer protection law, as well as a specific remit in relation to the safety of non-food consumer products.
Over the coming weeks, information and guidance relating to Brexit will be updated on this page. You can also get information on how to comply with competition and consumer protection law in our Help for Business section.
Product safety – If you are involved with importing or selling products in Ireland
All businesses must ensure that they only place or sell products which are safe and comply with the product safety legislation on the Irish market. You must inform consumers of any risks associated with the products you supply and make sure that you take appropriate action if you become aware of products available on the EU or Irish market that are potentially dangerous. These obligations apply irrespective of whether the product was manufactured in Ireland, in another EU State, or elsewhere (‘a third country’).
It is important to note:
- In the context of Brexit, the UK will become a third country if it leaves the Customs Union.
- In such circumstances, products from the UK will be treated similarly to products originating from any other non EU country, and will be subject to border controls, customs checks etc.
- If you are a business dealing with UK-based importers you must take action. Your options are to become an importer and comply with the importers obligations under the legislation or alternatively, engage with an EU-based importer to supply the products.
- Detailed information on this issue has been provided by Revenue.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Merging parties and their legal representatives should note that as of 1 January 2019 the thresholds for mandatory notification of transactions to the CCPC have increased. More details are available here.
After the UK leave the EU:
- Transactions which would have reached EU thresholds may no longer do so.
- UK turnover will not be used in calculating whether a transaction reaches the European Commission’s thresholds after the UK leaves the EU. Details of the EU regime are available here.
- Failure to notify a mandatory notifiable merger is a serious breach of the law and can result in a transaction being deemed void.
- The CCPC’s website has detailed information to guide firms on the transactions that require notification.
- A separate notification may need to be made to the UK merger control authorities. More details on this area are available from the UK Competition and Markets Authority.
The EU Commission has published a Notice to Stakeholders confirming the arrangements that will apply to the application of EU competition law in the event of a ‘no deal’.
Links to other resources
- The Department of Foreign Affairs provides information on the important steps that are being taken to prepare for Brexit, including the supports and information available to citizens, businesses and others with specific concerns about how the UK’s departure from the EU will affect them.
- The Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation has information to help businesses get prepared.
- Revenue has information on the customs implications of trading with the UK after Brexit.
- The European Commission’s website has a section dedicated to Brexit preparedness, including legislative initiatives.
- If your business operates in both Ireland and the UK, you will need to keep abreast of updates from both the CCPC and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The UK Government has published a number of guidance documents on a range of issues.
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