Trade and Market Intelligence
Ireland is a member of the WTO, the European Union and the OECD and signatory of the Kyoto Protocol, the Washington Convention, the Basel Convention, the Montreal Protocol and the International Agreement on Coffee.
Import regulations are those applied by the European Union which means that agricultural products are strictly controlled and textiles from China, North Korea, Montenegro, Kosovo, Belarus and Uzbekistan must have specific licenses and are systematically controlled. The customs tariffs are also those of the EU and comply with the International Harmonized System of product classification.
For imports not originating from the European Union a declaration is required. It is possible to automate this process using a computer for regular and approved importers; this is called the Direct Trader Input System. An Entry Summary Declaration is also necessary following the establishment of the SAFE standards and the Import Control System.
Retail in Ireland is currently undergoing restructuring with the rise of the urban suburbs and commercial success. Discount shops are thus becoming increasingly prevalent, as well as self-service systems. Maritime transport is very important in Ireland, the two major ports being Dublin and Castletownbere, while 90% of surface goods transport occurs by road. However, the country does not have adequate motorways and rail freight transport is poorly developed. On the industrial side, the main area is food processing, followed by engineering, IT, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
Employment Legislation in Ireland
In Ireland, the legal duration of the working week is 39 hours a week and the retirement age is 65. Employment contracts are generally permanent. The minimum wage is €8.65 and social contributions paid by the employer are 12% with the employee contributing 4.5%.
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is a collective group of all unions in the country and covers approximately 750 000 employees. 33% of employees in the private sector are union members, compared to 95% in the public sector.
Intellectual Property Regime in Ireland
|Type of rights||Legislation||Validity of protection||Agreements signed|
|Patents||1977 Patent legislation||20 years or 10 years for a short-term patent||– Patent Cooperation Treaty
– Strasbourg Agreement Concerning International Patent Classification
|Brands||1994 Trademark Legislation||10 years,renewable||– Nice Agreement on the International Classification of Goods and Services
-The Madrid Agreement concerning the International Registration of Marks
|Designs||Patent model||5 years, renewable|
|Reproduction rights||Legislation related to copyright of 2000||70 years after the author’s death||– Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
– Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers
– WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
– WIPO Copyright Treaty
|Industrial designs||Draft law on industrial designs of 2000||5 years, renewable for up to 15 years|
Ireland Political Data
Irish executive power is held by the President (Michael D.Higgins) and Prime Minister (Enda Kenny). Legislative power is bicameral comprising the House of Representatives, appointed by general election, and the Senate. Ireland’s political scene is made up of two major parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Less influential parties include Labour, Progressive Democrats, the Greens, and Sinn Féin.