Ireland flag Ireland: Buying and Selling

International convention and customs procedures of Ireland

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls For Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
Party to the International Coffee Agreement
International Economic Cooperation
Ireland is a member of the following international economic organisations: IMF, European Union, ICC, European Economic Area, WTO, Organization of American States (OAS) (observer), OECD, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Ireland click here. International organisation membership of Ireland is also outlined here.
Non Tariff Barriers
Ireland’s international trade policies are formulated and developed in the context of the evolving EU Common Commercial Policy. Agricultural products are protected within the Common Agricultural Policy and textile products from China, Belarus, North Korea, Montenegro, Kosovo and Uzbekistan are subject to specific formalities and import licenses or control procedures (export document, monitoring document).
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Operations carried out within the EEA are duty-free.
The Common Customs Tariff of the European Union applies to goods originating outside Europe. Generally the duty is relatively low, ranging from 5.0% to 14% on industrial goods. However, many products have reduced duties or no duties at all by virtue of trade agreements (according to Eurostat, around 70% of the imports that enter the EU do so at zero tariff).
Agricultural products imported from outside the EU are subject to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), with custom duties on these items being supplemented with a system of variable levies or other charges.

For more information, consult the Taxation and Customs Guide published by the European Commission.

Customs Classification
The Combined Nomenclature of the European Union integrates the HS nomenclature and supplements it with its own subheadings with an eight-digit code number and its own Legal Notes created for Community purposes. In order to get exhaustive regulations and custom tariffs rates regarding their products, exporters shall refer to the TARIC code and its database, which includes all applicable customs duties and all customs trade policy measures for all goods.
Import Procedures
For goods imported from outside the European Union (EU), a customs declaration must be completed by the importer or his agent. This customs declaration must be made electronically using Revenue’s Automated Entry Processing (AEP) system. Some goods are prohibited and some are subject to conditions or may require a licence.

To release goods at import any charges must be paid (customs duty, value-added tax, excise duty). This can be done by the approved deferred payment account or Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT). The following documents must be available if requested by Revenue at the time of clearing goods:

  • invoice
  • certificate of origin
  • import licence and suchlike.

More information is available on the Guide to Customs Import Procedures of the Revenue Commissioners.

As part of the 'SAFE' standards advocated by the World Customs Organisation (WCO), the EU has established a new system of import controls, the 'Import Control System' (ICS), which aims to secure the flow of goods at the time of their entry into the EU customs territory. This control system, which is part of the eCustoms Initiative, has been in effect since 1 January 2011. Since then, operators are required to provide an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) to customs officials in the country of entry, prior to the introduction of goods into the EU customs territory.

For more information, please visit the website of the Revenue Commissioners.

Importing Samples
Importation of food: Food Legislation.
Samples of goods that are of negligible value are admitted free of import duties
For the import, export and re-export of commercial samples an ATA (Temporary Admission) book can be used. It must be written on the product that it is a free sample and that it may not be sold. The use of the ATA carnet is limited to importations of professional equipment, goods for display or use at an exhibition, fairs or meetings, and commercial samples. Valuable samples may be temporarily imported under deposit or bond for periods of up to 12 months.
For further details, consult the dedicated page on the portal of the Revenue Commissioners.

To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls.

For Further Information
Irish Tax and Customs
Department of Foreign Affairs
Department of Finance

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Latest Update: April 2024

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