Buying from a non-EU website

If you buy something from a business that is based outside the EU, the Consumer Rights Directive does not apply. So before you buy, make sure to check the geographical address of business whose website you’re shopping on. A business’s web address might end in ‘.ie’, but this does not necessarily mean they are based in Ireland. If you are buying from a website outside the EU, you should find out as much as you can about the website before you buy, as you will not be protected by the same laws as you would be when buying from an EU-based business.

We have more information on what to check for before you buy. If something goes wrong with a purchase you make from a website outside the EU, the website’s own returns and refunds policy will apply. So make sure that you have read and understood the site’s returns policy before you buy something.

Additional charges

If you buy something from outside the EU you will pay Value Added Tax (VAT) if the value of the items plus shipping is €22 or more. VAT must be paid on imported items at the same rate that applies in Ireland for similar goods. The Revenue website provides further information on VAT. You legally have to pay import charges such as customs or excise duties on items you buy from outside the EU which are valued at €150 or more.

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