The impact of Brexit is now being felt by Irish consumers up and down the country. As a result of the UK leaving the EU, there are changes to consumer rights that everyone needs to be aware of when buying from online retailers in the UK.
In particular Irish consumers should be aware of the following changes when it comes to purchasing goods from a UK retailer online:
- The sale of goods from the UK to Ireland are now treated as imports to Ireland, this means additional import charges and VAT may apply when buying from UK websites
- EU consumer protection legislation may no longer apply, instead Irish consumer rights will be set down in UK law.
- It may be more difficult to resolve a dispute with a UK business
As a general guide, packages valued more than €22 are subject to import taxes and charges. The consumer will have to pay import taxes/customs duties and also VAT charged at the Irish rate of 21%. In some cases, the duty and tax for EU deliveries will be covered by the UK company, but this is completely up to the individual retailer. So, check the small print!
Speaking about the impact of Brexit on Irish consumers, Ciara O’Gorman, North and East Cork’s Citizens Information Manager said: “From 1st January, 2021, you should be especially careful when buying from a UK seller. It is very important to carefully check the terms and conditions on the seller’s website and familiarise yourself with their proceedings.
“If you have any concerns relating to buying online from a UK retailer please contact your local Citizens Information Centre, we remain open and are here to answer any questions you may have.”
For anyone needing information, advice or have an advocacy issue, they can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Cork on 0761 07 7970 (North Cork) / 0761 07 8040 (East Cork), they will be happy to assist and make an appointment if necessary. The offices are open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.