Buying goods abroad

If you bought something while you were abroad and you have a problem with it now, there are several things you can do. Remember, if you buy something from a website that is based outside of Ireland, this is not the same as buying items in person abroad. We have information on shopping online to help you too.

Most countries have their own system of consumer protection, but if your purchase was in an EU country you will be entitled to the same basic set of consumer rights under EU law. You can also look for a refund if the business described the product incorrectly – for example, if they sold you some gold jewellery which turns out to be worth far less than the business claimed.

If you have already returned home, it is very unlikely that you will be able to return the goods in person. You should contact the European Consumer Centre Ireland (ECC Ireland), which will explain your rights and suggest alternative remedies.

Remember, if you buy goods abroad (or online from another country outside the EU), you may have to pay import charges such as customs or excise duties, and Value Added Tax (VAT) on the goods.

You don’t have to pay additional VAT on items bought from other EU countries, but excise duty is due on alcohol, tobacco and perfume products if you import them from another country in the EU. You can get more information from Revenue.

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