Irish consumers are being urged to “act with caution” when shopping for goods in the UK due to changes in consumer rights as a result of the UK leaving the European Union.
Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune, who is a member of the European Parliament Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Affairs, said things are “ very different now" for Irish shoppers when it comes to buying from the UK.
“Consumers need to be mindful that additional charges such as custom duties or Vat may now apply to goods purchased from the UK.
“When a consumer shops online from a business in the EU, they have strong consumer rights under EU consumer protection legislation,” Ms Clune said.
“I would urge shoppers to find out where the business they are buying from is located. It is not enough that the website has a .ie domain name or that prices are in euro as the business could still be located in the UK.
"It is important if in doubt to check the T&Cs on the website for their physical location.”
Separately, Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTA) has urged UK businesses to ensure any goods sent to the Republic of Ireland are accompanied by the correct declarations paperwork or face potential delays on arrival at Irish ports.
The call comes as several loads bound for Dublin have been prevented from entering the country due to missing or incorrectly completed paperwork in the past week.
The association's general manager Aidan Flynn cautioned British businesses that failure to comply with new procedures will put the Irish supply chain at risk.
“We are all facing new trading arrangements for the first time in 40 years and that situation poses issues for all of us,” he said.
“However, to ensure that goods continue to flow smoothly to and from the Republic, everyone in the supply chain must work together and allocate clear roles and responsibilities.
"That way, all the necessary declarations can be completed, and correct paperwork provided to accompany loads. Without it, delays and frustrations will quickly mount up.”
FTA Ireland, the trade association for the Irish freight, passenger, and logistics industries, said the failure to follow new processes could have a significant impact on trading conditions and the supply chain as a whole.
“It is up to shippers and hauliers to work together to complete all customs, safety and security declarations, and pre-boarding notifications in advance of moving to ports," Mr Flynn added.
"Irish Customs has made a helpline available to those moving goods to and from ROI to check that the processes have been followed correctly. We are urging business to take advantage of the service and prevent costly delays which put the supply chain at risk.”
The Irish Customs Helpline, on 00 353 (0)1 738 33685, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is available to deal with enquiries on customs clearance, import and export and transit controls, customs controls on items shipped using An Post, movement of goods which have a declaration reference number, and other general customs queries.