Guarantees and returns – Ireland
Affected by Brexit?
How long is the legal guarantee for new and second-hand goods?
Ireland has not introduced any particular provision regarding the duration of the legal guarantee. Instead, a 6 year limitation period applies, during which consumers can exercise their rights, both for new and second-hand goods.
If the product is defective, who is responsible for putting things right?
The seller, even for purchases made through an internet platform. However, the platform may have agreed to act as an intermediary so check the terms and conditions.
By when must the consumer notify the seller of a defect?
The consumer must act within a reasonable period of noticing the defect but there is no specific deadline other than the legal period of 6 years.
Who has to prove the presence/absence of a defect and how long do they have to do this?
If a fault occurs within first 6 months after purchase, it is assumed that it was there at the time of sale. The seller must therefore prove the product conformed to the contract when the consumer received it. After the initial 6 months, the consumer has to prove that the product was defective upon delivery.
Is there a third party testing body that can help to provide proof?
The consumer can ask a repair shop for an expert opinion, but they do not have to give one and their opinion might not be accepted by the seller. In the event of a court procedure, the judge may accept the opinion of the consumer's expert or ask for an independent expert opinion.
What remedies is the consumer entitled to free of charge? Is there a deadline for implementing the solution?
There is a "hierarchy of remedies". According to national law, rejection of the product and a refund is the first option, followed by repair or replacement. Under EU law, priority is given to replacement or repair followed by refund or reduction of the purchase price. There is no deadline for implementing a solution.
Is the repaired/replaced product covered by a new guarantee?
No, the legal guarantee is extended by the amount of time necessary for the repair or replacement of the product.
Can the consumer take action against the importer or any intermediary in the supply chain up to and including the producer?
Yes, but only if the intermediary offers their own commercial warranty.
If no amicable solution can be found, what is the deadline for taking the case to court?
The prescription period is 6 years from the delivery of the goods, unless there is a suspension of the statutory limitation period.
Are any other legal guarantees laid down in national law coexisting with the legal conformity guarantee?
Yes, there is a rule concerning breach of guarantee.
Who is responsible for application of the warranty?
The party offering the warranty, be it the seller, the producer or a third party guarantor. Always refer to the documentation provided.
On average, how long is a commercial warranty?
1 to 5 years, but in most cases 2 years as with the legal guarantee. More expensive goods usually have a longer warranty which often applies to specific parts of the product.
Is it free of charge?
Not necessarily. The trader can fix the conditions, so it can be free of charge or offered against payment.
Does it have to be confirmed in writing?
The seller has to provide the commercial warranty in a written document or in a durable and accessible format.
What information is required?
Content of the warranty, all essential elements such as duration, price and geographical coverage, details of the company offering it and a reminder of the legal guarantee.