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 has left the Customs Union and is now considered a ‘third country’.
- Products from the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) 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 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.
- The CCPC has published a Brexit guidance document providing clarification on the impact of Brexit on EU product safety rules
Brexit has altered the trading environment where businesses may have to manage longer delivery timelines and VAT/customs charges. In these circumstances, it is important that businesses provide information to consumers that is up to date and in line with consumer protection law.
When selling online, the key points to be aware of are:
- The onus is on the business to provide the information as outlined in the guidelines, in a clear and comprehensible manner so that a consumer can make an informed transactional decision.
- Businesses must disclose the geographic address of their place of establishment or place of business and also, when they are acting on behalf of another business, that business’s geographic address/place of business to which consumers can address complaints.
- Information in relation to the total cost and additional charges must also be disclosed before consumers place their orders.
The Brexit transition period has now ended. Merging parties and their legal representatives should note:
- Transactions which would have reached EU thresholds may no longer do so.
- UK turnover may not be used in calculating whether a transaction reaches the European Commission’s thresholds after the transition period. 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.
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.