From: OVERSEAS BUSINESS REPORTS (IRELAND)
University of Missouri-St. Louis
Match 22 DB Rec# - 29,617 Dataset-MARKET
Source : USDOC, International Trade Administration
Source key :IT
Program key :IT MARKET
Program :Market Research Reports
Update sched. :Monthly
ID number :IT MARKET 111108057
Title :IRELAND - OVERSEAS BUSINESS REPORT - OBR910700
Data type :TEXT
End year :1992
Date of record:09/17/1992
Keywords 1 :
| EUROPEAN COMMUNITY
| EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY
| ORGANIZATION FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION & DEVELOPMENT
| ORGANIZATION FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMET
| WEST EUROPE
| WESTERN EUROPE
| WESTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES
IRELAND - OVERSEAS BUSINESS REPORT - OBR910700
Date: July 1991
Source: International Trade Administration, U.S. Dept. of Commerce
Number of pages: 49
Subject: The report discusses the economic and commercial climate in
Ireland, with emphasis on information useful for potential U.S. sellers and
investors. It consists of the following sections:
OVERVIEW AND TRADE OUTLOOK
BEST U.S. EXPORT PROSPECTS
DISTRIBUTION AND SALES CHANNELS
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE EXPORT SERVICES
Export Programs -- Pitfalls to Avoid When Exporting
OVERVIEW OF TAXES
GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
C O N T E N T S
OVERVIEW AND TRADE OUTLOOK
General and Economic Background -- European Community -- EC Single
BEST U.S. EXPORT PROSPECTS
Introduction -- Consumer Household Products -- International Financial
Services -- Franchising -- Food Processing Machinery -- Medical Instruments,
Equipment, and Supplies -- Industrial Process Controls -- Heavy Construction
Machinery -- Building Materials and Supplies -- Safety and Security Equipment
DISTRIBUTION AND SALES CHANNELS
Marketing Areas -- Distribution Methods -- Appointing an Agent or
Distributor -- EC Legislation on Agents -- Wholesale and Retail Channels --
Consumer Profile -- Transportation -- Utilities -- Advertising -- Trade Fairs
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE EXPORT SERVICES
Export Programs -- Pitfalls to Avoid When Exporting
Availability of Credit -- Consumer Financing -- Banking -- Export
Membership in the EC -- Import Duties -- Quotations and Payment Terms --
Goods in Transit -- Free Trade Zones -- Warehousing -- Inwards and Outwards
Processing -- Samples and Advertising Materials -- Carnets -- Advance
Rulings from Irish Customs -- Value-Added Tax -- Excise Taxes -- Shipping
Documents -- Marking and Labeling -- Import Licensing -- Technical Standards
-- European Community Standards -- Assistance on Standards -- Weights and
Measures -- U.S. Export Controls -- Registration of Patents, Trademarks, and
Designs -- European Patent Convention -- Copyrights
Investment Climate -- Investment Incentives -- U.S. Investment in Ireland
-- Legislation Governing Investment -- Foreign Exchange Regulations -- Entry
and Repatriation of Capital -- Foreign Ownership of Property -- Types of
OVERVIEW OF TAXES
Individual Taxation -- Foreign Executives -- Corporate Taxes -- Capital
Industrial Relations -- Workers Advisory Councils -- Work Hours -- Equal
Opportunity -- Termination of Employment -- Work Permits
GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
Business Courtesy -- Commercial Language -- Passports and Visas -- Other
Information --Business Hours -- European Dates and Numbers -- Currency --
Hotel Accommodations -- Holidays
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
U.S. Government -- Other Organizations -- Tax and Accounting -- Irish
Embassy and Agencies -- State-Sponsored Organizations -- Trade and
Professional Organizations -- U.S. Publications and References -- Other
Overseas Business Report: US$14.00 a year (US1$3.50 additional for foreign
mailing); single copy price varies. Order from any of the Department of
Commerce district offices or from Superintendent of Documents, U.S.
Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. Single copies also
available from the Publications Sales Branch, H-1617M, U.S. Department of
Commerce, Washington, DC 20230.
OVERVIEW AND TRADE OUTLOOK
General and Economic Background
The Republic of Ireland has been a free state since 1922 after winning
independence from the United Kingdom. It is a democracy with a constitution
adopted in 1937 that was strongly influenced by the Constitution of the
United States and by the British legal and political structure. The Irish
legal system is based on its constitution, domestic legislation and common
law. Increasingly, the commercial law is being modified to conform to the
directives of the European Community, of which Ireland is a member.
There is an elected parliament (Dail) with 166 members and an upper house
(Seanad) of 60 members. Members of the Dail are elected directly by the
people for a maximum term of 5 years. Members of the Seanad are elected from
panels of candidates for a 5-year term. The President of Ireland is the Head
of State and is directly elected by popular vote for a term of 7 years. The
President's role is primarily ceremonial although the President must sign
all legislation into law. Political power is held mainly by the Prime
Minister (Taoiseach) and the Parliament. The political system is considered
stable with no wide policy changes between various administrations.
There are five political parties in Ireland: Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, and the
Progressive Democrats are generally considered right-of-center maintaining
conservative policies while the Labor Party and Workers Party are considered
Ireland has a population of 3.5 million, of which over 1 million live in the
Greater Dublin area. The birth rate is one of the highest in Europe and half
of the population is under 28 years of age. With an excellent education but
limited prospects for employment, many graduating students seek employment
elsewhere and emigrate permanently. Irish life, springing from a small
proprietor and agricultural society, is characterized by a general absence
of rigid class structure and is egalitarian in outlook.
The country is 300 miles long and 170 miles wide or slightly larger than
West Virginia. The terrain is mostly rolling plains in the interior of the
country surrounded by hills and low mountains, especially along the west
Ireland benefits from a temperate maritime climate with mild winters and
cool summers. In addition to a well-trained and educated work force, the
country has some natural resources of gas, lead, zinc, and peat.
The Irish economy is small, open, and highly dependent upon international
trade. The value of merchandise trade (imports and exports) is a
significantly higher proportion of gross national product (GNP) for Ireland than for most other nations. In Ireland, merchandise trade is equivalent to
over 105 percent of the GNP figure while in the United Kingdom it is
equivalent to 42 percent; Germany, 43 percent; the United States, 15
percent; and in Japan 16 percent. The ratio of Irish trade to GNP is twice
the European average and about six times that of the United States. Two out
of every three jobs in the Irish manufacturing sector are directly related
The Irish constitution guarantees the right to own private property with the
economy based on private enterprise and the market system. However, with a
small economy, the government presence is more significant because of the
state-controlled activities in communications, utilities, and
transportation. The rapid growth of trade and industrial development is
encouraged by government, which provides extensive incentives and direct
grants. The entry of Ireland into the European Community (EC) in 1973 was a
significant event to promote the industrialization of the country. Foreign
firms, particularly Americans, found that setting up a manufacturing base in
Ireland, behind the EC "tariff wall" to avoid customs charges, provided a
duty-free access to the Western European markets and also a skilled work
force. The 12 countries of the European Community (abbreviated EC and also
known as the Common Market) and the 6 European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
countries form the largest and most affluent market in the world. These 18
countries have a combined population of 350 million persons.
To take advantage of this market and the generous investment incentives,
some 900 foreign firms have established production facilities in Ireland.
Over 340 of these firms are American, with a concentration in electronics,
computers, health and medical products, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals.
Since the Irish market itself is relatively small, the foreign subsidiaries
located there manufacture to serve the European market. Manufactured goods
accounted for 65 percent of the total Irish exports in 1989 compared with a
2 percent level in 1950.
The country has few natural resources and must import a major portion of the
raw materials and intermediate goods needed for manufacturing. American
suppliers have good sales prospects in such a market. There is a high
propensity to import associated with any increase in the level of Irish
exports of manufactured goods. This dependence on imports and the policy of
rapid industrial development make Ireland an attractive market for American
The country is now making adjustments to align with the EC's directives
developed under the Single Internal Market Program. To prepare for an
enlarged pan-European market and the resulting increase in competition,
Irish firms are seeking commercial contacts with established and reliable
U.S. trading partners to introduce new products, technology, and production
techniques into the European marketplace. The combination of American
capital and product technology, and the Irish location in European markets
will work to the advantage of both partners. In addition, with an
Irish-based distribution center, there is ease of European connections, a
pool of well-educated and English-speaking workers. Within this hospitable
business climate, U.S. firms will find excellent commercial opportunities by
working with the Irish business community.
As a member of the European Community, Ireland must ensure that its
legislation complies with that of the European Community under the Treaty of
Rome. There are four main institutions of the EC that carry-out the drafting
and administration of the legislative process -- the EC Commission, the
European Parliament, Council of Ministers, and the European Court of Justice.
The Commission makes proposals for EC directives, and the Council of
Ministers decides whether to accept or reject the proposed legislation. The
EC Commission is located in Brussels and is composed of 17 commissioners,
each of whom is appointed jointly by the EC member governments. Each
commissioner is responsible for several directorates-generals which function
as the civil service.
Once developed and approved by the Commission, a proposed EC directive is
passed to the European Parliament in Strasbourg for approval. The Parliament
is composed of 518 members directly elected by voters in the member
countries. Parliament conducts two consecutive readings on proposals and can
approve, fail to disapprove, reject, or recommend changes to a proposed
The Council of Ministers is the main legislative and decision-making body in
the EC. The 12-member council is composed of foreign ministers or cabinet
officials from member states' governments and represent their national
governments. The Council of Ministers has power to veto or agree on proposed
legislation. On certain proposed directives, the Council voting is based on
a weighted vote system. The presidency of the Council is rotated at 6-month
intervals so that each member country will have some authority and
Once a proposed directive becomes approved, each member state must
incorporate the directive into its own national legislation within a
specific timeframe unless the country obtains a derogation because of
special circumstances. The final arbiter over disputes of EC law is the
European Court of Justice. The European Court is composed of judges
appointed for 6-year terms by agreement of the member states.
EC Single Internal Market
The European Community has embarked on an ambitious program to develop a
more united and barrier-free internal market for trade among the 12 member
countries by the end of 1992. As an EC member, Ireland is fully
participating in this program. The 1992 program will create an internal
market of 320 million consumers with freedom of movement for goods,
services, labor, and capital as well as greater competition and lower prices
for the consumer.
The EC Single Internal Market program involves the adoption of some 279
directives that will establish new EC-wide requirements for a broad range of
business activities and result in the harmonization of standards for
thousands of products. This program is expected to create greater economic
growth, improve production and marketing efficiencies, increase
competitiveness, and lower costs to the consumer. It will also create new EC
product standards and regulations that will have to be adhered to by all
suppliers to the EC market.
The 1992 Internal Market program presents a challenge and an opportunity for
American firms doing business in the EC. American industry must be informed
and respond to changes and new competition in the commercial environment.
American firms seeking to sell products in Ireland, or to establish a
business operation there, should review both the Irish and EC regulations.
In many cases, the national product standards are being replaced with
unified EC-wide standards. These unified standards will make it easier for
U.S. suppliers to produce for export to the EC since one product will be
accepted for sale in all 12 countries. Steps are also being taken to
harmonize national procedures for product testing and certification and to
establish a common EC trademark and copyright laws. For more details,
contact: Single Internal Market Information Service, International Trade
Administration, Room H-3036, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and
Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20230, (202) 377-5823.
BEST U.S. EXPORT PROSPECTS
Over the years, the United States has maintained a trade surplus with
Ireland. The product sectors with the best sales prospects for American
exporters have been identified and outlined in this section. They provide an
illustrative sampling of the dynamics and size of the market. It should be
recognized that commercial opportunities are not limited to these sectors
Consumer Household Products
The Irish consumer household products market, estimated to be worth $590
million in 1990, is growing at 5 percent annually. This growth is likely to
continue as consumer spending is forecast to increase by 4 percent. Imports
supply 28 percent of the market and are principally electrical appliances.
The real average annual growth in imports for the next 2 years is forecast
at 6 to 8 percent. American products account for 5 percent of all imports.
Export opportunities exist in a wide variety of areas, including domestic
electrical appliances, hand tools, wooden products, lawn mowers, glassware,
cookware, plastic housewares, and ceramics.
Distributors, large buyer groups, and retail outlets are the principal
distribution channels. There is a shift in sales away from the traditional
outlets, such as the hardware and grocery outlets, toward supermarkets and
the do-it-yourself stores.
International Financial Services
The Dublin International Financial Services Center has been established to
capitalize on the growing markets for financial services. American firms
have the opportunity to establish an EC financial base in the Community
prior to 1992 at a much lower operating cost than in the other major
financial centers. There are several other incentives to a Dublin location,
including a maximum tax of 10 percent until the year 2000 for all non-Irish
currency transactions, a large work force, and an efficient
telecommunications network for instant settlements. American companies
likely to be attracted to this center are banking, legal, securities,
accounting, insurance, stock brokering, leasing, computer software,
factoring, information technology, credit and charge cards, as well as
treasury operations of multinational companies. Many firms view the opening
up of the European Community market as an opportunity to consolidate
operations in one location.
As a growth industry in Ireland, franchising is expected to expand 25
percent annually over the next few years. While the Irish market is limited
in terms of the population, it still is an attractive site from a
franchising viewpoint because of the healthy state of the Irish economy and
because the country can serve as a staging point for expansion into the
entire European market. According to industry sources, Ireland should be
considered in the context of the European Community as a market that can
reach an audience of 320 million consumers by the U.S. franchisor. The
principal markets served by franchising systems in Ireland are fast food,
home improvement, home cleaning and repair, business and professional
services, health and beauty, convenience retailing, transport, print, and
leisure. Opportunities exist for these and other franchising sales.
Food Processing Machinery
The food processing industry is Ireland's largest indigenous industry and
has been targeted by Ireland's Industrial Development Authority (IDA) for
development. The IDA estimates that $1,125 million will be invested in food
processing (buildings and plants) by 1992. Rapid growth is foreseen as many
of the larger co-ops and food firms re-orient to a pan-European market.
Attention is on a greater value-added product and larger production runs.
Food processing companies are expected to invest at least $90 million
annually to meet new market demands and competition.
For American firms, export opportunities exist in a wide range of areas. The
meat processing, food processing, and fishery sectors are targeted for rapid
Medical Instruments, Equipment, and Supplies
The market for medical instruments, equipment, and supplies remained stable
in 1990 and is estimated at $105 million. With the increase in government
health expenditures for a growing population, sales are forecast to expand
by 5 percent per year in real terms. Consumables, the major market segment,
has been increasing while the capital equipment segment has declined.
Imports, which supply almost all the market demand, increased by 9 percent
annually over the past 2 years and actually exceeded domestic demand, as
Ireland is used as a distribution center for EC markets. Over 1991-1993,
imports are forecast to grow by 5 percent annually with the U.S. suppliers
in a dominant market position. The major Irish distributors are always
interested in contacts from suppliers with new and advanced treatment
techniques. Excellent opportunities exist for quality products that improve
health care or lower delivery cost.
Industrial Process Controls
Ireland's manufacturing industry has been a strong growth sector in recent
years, creating 35,000 new jobs between 1987 and 1989. Foreign investment
has played a large part in this growth, with more than 80,000 workers
employed in the 900 foreign companies. The government-sponsored Industrial
Development Authority is continually seeking further industrial expansion
and job creation. Fourteen of the top 15 international pharmaceutical
companies are located in Ireland as well as numerous food processing plants,
manufacturing operations, and breweries. The established plants are seeking
to modernize plant operations to meet new market demands and reduce product
costs and represent an interested and ready market for American-engineered
and -built equipment.
Heavy Construction Machinery
The construction industry has emerged from a prolonged period of decline
with construction activity increasing by some 9 percent in 1990. Further
growth of 10 percent annually is forecast. A critical element in the revival
of this industry is funding from the EC Structural Funds, which assists in
upgrading existing facilities and providing new infrastructure. Between 1989
and 1993, the Irish Government will spend some $2 billion on improving the
transport infrastructure alone. Heavy-duty construction equipment imports
are estimated to have increased by 33 percent to $103 million in 1989. The
principal import categories of excavating machinery and special purpose
vehicles had a 3-year growth rate of 50 and 30 percent, respectively. Export
opportunities also exist for bulldozers, excavators, and trucks.
Building Materials and Supplies
After a period of decline in the 1980s, the volume of construction output
grew by 6 percent in 1989. There is a positive forecast for construction
activity for the next 5 years as the economy strengthens and profit margins
improve. This optimism reflects the expected recovery on private investment
and higher level of public investment to be spent over the next several
years. The building materials sector in Ireland is relatively open to U.S.
exports compared to other markets and should provide good sales
Safety and Security Equipment
The Irish safety and security equipment market, estimated to be worth $76
million, is comprised of three distinct segments: security equipment ($42
million), protective apparel ($27 million), and fire safety equipment ($7
million). Imports, which have a strong presence in the market, rose some 16
percent to $62 million in 1990. Safety doors and windows and burglar alarm
systems represent the principal sales opportunities. Protective footwear
imports have experienced a 17 percent annual growth since 1986 while locks,
alarm systems, protective clothing, and safety doors and windows have also
displayed good growth. Distribution of security and alarm systems is usually
through installers and distributors, while protective apparel tends to be
sold directly to the industrial users.
The Foreign Commercial Service in Dublin has prepared a series of marketing
briefs for a selected number of industry sectors. These sector analyses
focus on the best sales prospects for American exporters. American firms
interested in exporting can obtain this information from: Desk Officer for
Ireland, Room 3043, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230.
DISTRIBUTION AND SALES CHANNELS
The primary market in Ireland consists of Dublin (population of 925,000),
Cork (185,000), and Limerick (80,000). These three cities, together with
their environs, account for about half of Ireland's population, including
the most affluent customers. Separated from 60 to 160 miles apart, these
cities form a triangle encompassing most of Ireland's commercial and
economic activity as well as its most fertile agricultural areas (see map).
Dublin, as the capital, serves as the primary channel through which goods
and services flow into Ireland. With one-third of the country's population
located in the Greater Dublin area, Dublin serves as the political and
commercial center of Ireland. Most of the large purchasing
organizations--wholesalers, retail buying cooperatives, and department
stores--have their headquarters there. The Port of Dublin handles more
tonnage than any other port and contributes to the city's preeminence. For
American exporters, Dublin is the logical starting place for any program
aimed at sales to the Irish market.
Cork, the second largest city in Ireland, is a major port and serves as the
regional center in southern Ireland. It has easy access by truck or rail to
all regions in Ireland and ready links with European ports.
The third most important business and commercial center is Limerick. The
city, with its port facilities, is located by the Shannon River, some 60
miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Perhaps even more important, the city is only
15 miles from the Shannon Airport, a principal stop for transatlantic air
traffic and Ireland's free trade center. Situated near sea, air, rail, and
highway links, Limerick is a natural distribution center for Ireland's
western provinces as well as a location to serve the European markets.
The introduction of products into the Irish market is uncomplicated and may
be achieved by several methods. Product representation throughout Ireland is
facilitated by the compact market and may be achieved with any of the
following distribution methods to cover the entire area, depending on the
expected sales volume and marketing techniques:
o Establishing a sales office in Dublin to serve Ireland and provide a
distribution base for Western Europe.
o Selling through an agent or distributor whose activity may cover
specified areas, the entire country, or include European sales.
o Selling through established wholesalers or dealers.
o Selling directly to department stores, chains, retailer cooperatives,
consumer cooperatives, or other purchasing organizations.
Distribution methods differ with the product and with individual situations,
and they must be tailored to fit the particular market conditions in each
instance. U.S. companies can use their experience in successful distribution
techniques in the United States as a good guide for approaching the Irish
market. Generally, consumer goods are best sold through a distributor
carrying stocks for immediate delivery and sale, whereas capital goods and
industrial equipment are most effectively handled through a commission
agent. In the case of certain raw materials with low mark-ups and for
capital goods and supplies for which there are limited numbers of potential
users or buyers, direct selling probably will be most effective.
The U.S. exporter would be ill-advised, after having appointed a
representative firm, to provide only product literature and samples and then
expect to have good sales results. Regular communications and visits to the
representative, particularly when newly appointed, by seasoned sales
personnel or company technicians can provide information on market
developments and assist in the solution of any problems. Regular submission
of sales reports can be a vital link to analyzing sales results and
identifying potential problems before a serious one occurs. The Irish can
purchase from international sources and expect well-designed, high-quality
products, with efficient after-sales service. Thus, an effective servicing
system also should be incorporated into distribution plans.
Appointing an Agent or Distributor
Since Ireland represents a compact market, foreign firms customarily have
one exclusive representative for the entire country, but it is common for
the representative to appoint subagents to cover certain sectors of the
market if sales volume and profit margin warrant. Also, a sales
representative located in Ireland is in an ideal position to market a
product throughout all of Western Europe. Frequently, American firms will
also rely on the Irish distributor to handle the details of labeling and
packaging for European preferences regarding the product.
The careful selection of a dynamic representative is important for
successful sales over the long term. The selection of a good sales
representative is also essential because the EC legislation is restrictive
regarding the termination of agents and distributors. The European Community
Council Directive EEC 86-653 sets forth conditions on termination of a
commercial agent and provides for appropriate compensation. Also, Irish
legislation protects the interests of distributors as well. Before entering
into any agreement with a partner, the American principal should first
review the provisions of Irish law with a qualified attorney. The
legislation regarding unilateral termination of distribution agreements is
designed to provide the local distributor with some degree of protection and
monetary compensation when an agreement is terminated by the grantor, for
reasons other than cause. The legislation will apply regardless of any
clause in the agreement itself, and the parties may not deviate from the
legislation as long as the distribution agreement is in force.
Three kinds of agreements are covered by Irish legislation:
o Exclusive distributorships, where the distributor has the sole right to
sell specified goods within a defined area.
o Quasi-exclusive distributorships, where the distributor sells almost all
the specified products within a defined area.
o Informal distributor arrangements under which the grantor imposes heavy
obligations on the distributor and which would cause damage to the
distributorship if the grantor terminated the agreement.
In the absence of mutual agreement, or the failure to meet contract
obligations, a distribution agreement of indefinite term cannot be
terminated by the grantor without reasonable notice or fair compensation. In
general, grantors should consider protecting themselves by entering into
agreements for definite periods rather than an indefinite period. Also,
specific minimum performance clauses should be considered, such as percent
of distributor's sales, minimum annual sales, number of business contacts to
be made, etc., and proposing that foreign law and a foreign forum have
EC Legislation on Agents
Under EC legislation, a commercial agent is a self-employed intermediary who
has continuing authority to negotiate the sale or the purchase of goods on
behalf of another person, or to negotiate and conclude such transactions on
behalf of the principal.
Each party is entitled to a written document setting out the terms of their
contract. The minimum termination notice is 1 month for the first year of
service, 2 months for the second year, and 3 months for the third year and
subsequent years. Agents must be compensated if they brought the principal
new customers or increased the volume of existing business.
The amount of indemnity may not exceed a figure equivalent to an agent's
annual remuneration over the preceding 5 years or the average of the period
in question. The indemnity is not payable if the principal has terminated
the contract because of default by the agent or if the contract is
terminated on grounds of age, infirmity, or illness of the agent.
The local district offices of the International Trade Administration of the
U.S. Department Commerce offer an Agent/Distributor Service (ADS) to help
U.S. firms find agents or distributors in Ireland and other countries.
Manufacturers seeking an Irish agent to service the domestic and European
market should visit Ireland to make an appraisal of the relative merits of
prospective agents. Besides acquainting the U.S. exporter directly with
local market conditions and special sales characteristics, a visit also
provides an opportunity to discuss policy and sales campaigns with the
agent, review responsibility for customs fees, taxes, labeling, business
procedures, and payments. These responsibilities should always be clearly
defined before undertaking a long-term relationship.
A continued close working contact between the American firm and the agent or
distributor is very desirable and should be developed early in the
relationship. Certain products and equipment require servicing to maintain
their useful life. The U.S. exporter should determine if this is needed and
develop a distribution network to include such servicing by qualified
personnel. To build trust, loyalty, and marketing skills, U.S. producers
frequently bring their agents or distributors to the United States for
training and marketing assistance.
Wholesale and Retail Channels
According to the latest census, there are some 34,000 retail and 2,500
wholesale outlets in the Irish Republic. The distribution system, especially
at the retail level, still consists of small outlets by American standards.
Nevertheless, the Irish distribution system is moving toward larger, more
economically viable units to meet changing market needs. The increased tempo
of commercial and industrial activity, as well as suburban development, is
bringing about changes in the distribution system. Wholesalers supply a
variety of services to associated small retailers, including sales
promotion, advertising, and retail training. In some cases, they combine as
a group to purchase from manufacturers and then distribute the goods to
Retail outlets in Ireland range from the large department stores to the
small shop owned and operated by an individual. Although most retail outlets
are small, such enterprises are decreasing in number as efficiencies of
scale and purchasing power become the major competitive factors bearing on
profit margins. A trend toward larger outlets has been under way, with the
formation of chains, expansion of department stores, establishment of
medium-size department stores, and the development of chain stores under
Discount firms, especially those handling consumer electronics and domestic
appliances, are still increasing, and the number of self-service stores is
rising steadily. Self-service is not confined to small merchandising units
as department stores and gas stations also have incorporated this sales
technique in their operations.
There is increased acceptance of the retail franchising concept by the Irish
business community and consumers. This form of marketing now represents some
7 percent of retail sales and is rapidly growing. Franchising has been on
the increase due to changes in consumer buying patterns, the spread of
suburban living, greater affluence, and an increase in the number of working
women. There are few regulations concerning franchising and none that limit
market access to U.S. firms. The European Community has issued regulation
EEC 4087/88 regarding franchising which provides a unified code for the 12
member states. Its main thrust concerns price fixing, transfer pricing,
noncompetition clauses, and exclusive dealing. It also exempts certain
franchise agreements from the EC antitrust regulations. The Irish Franchise
Association, 13 Frankfield Terrace, Summerhill South, Cork, was established
in 1985 to promote proper business standards in this sector.
Mail-order sales account for a very small part of total Irish retail sales.
Certain firms have used this technique successfully in combination with
their usual retail outlet operation. Promotion is carried out by catalog or
by newspaper advertisements with no personal contact. Hobby centers,
do-it-yourself, auto supply centers, and discount stores also are enjoying
When seeking sales in Ireland, American firms should remember that the
average Irish consumer is young; about one-half the population is under 28
years of age (see Table 1). The birth rate is the highest in Europe, and the
Irish youth tend to remain at home longer than their U.S. counterparts. The
past few years have witnessed a significant rise in the standard of living,
and despite high unemployment, Ireland's young consumers still have high
expectations for the future.
POPULATION BY AGE GROUP
Age Male Female Total Percent
0-14 525.6 499.1 1,024.7 29.4
15-24 314.0 303.5 617.5 17.4
25-34 251.3 249.9 501.2 14.2
35-44 214.4 207.4 421.8 12.0
45-54 158.0 151.4 309.4 8.7
55-64 137.7 144.5 282.2 8.0
65 + 168.7 215.6 384.3 10.9
1,769.7 1,771.4 3,541.1 100.0
The Irish have friendly ties with Americans and are aware of U.S. styles,
cultural activities, and events. Many have visited or lived in the United
States or have close relatives in America. The average consumer has an
international outlook and a world of consumer products from which to choose.
AVERAGE WEEKLY HOUSEHOLD EXPENDITURES
Commodity Expenditure Percent
Food $ 78.76 25.2
Transport 42.42 13.6
Housing 27.52 8.8
Drink/tobacco 24.93 8.0
Clothing/footwear 21.06 6.7
Fuel/light 19.60 6.3
Durables 12.25 3.9
Nondurables 6.50 2.1
Miscellaneous 10.85 3.5
Services/other 68.42 21.9
TOTAL $312.31 100.0
Quality, pricing, and proper marketing are all sensitive elements in the
decision-making process. Private consumption is increasing by 3 to 4 percent
annually. The average gross weekly household income in 1987 was $347 with an
weekly expenditure of $312. The analysis of weekly expenditures follows:
OWNERSHIP OF CONSUMER DURABLES
Percent of Adults in Homes With:
Two or more televisions 14
Video cassette recorder 27
One automobile 58
Two automobiles 13
Washing machine 86
Satellite TV service 31
There are direct air connections between the United States and the Republic
of Ireland. Ireland has international airports located at Shannon, Dublin,
and Cork. Aer Lingus, Ireland's government-owned airline, operates domestic
air services as well as cross-channel flights to and from the continent of
Europe. It also operates transatlantic services between Ireland and the
United States. Numerous American carriers provide service to Ireland with
direct flights from the United States.
The state-owned railroad system, Coras Iompair Eireann (the Transport
Company of Ireland or CIE), operates rail and bus service throughout the
country, including some urban and tourist bus service. CIE also operates
several hotels and has a road freight service. Road haulage is an important
form of freight movement although the roads are not up to European
standards. CIE may be contacted by writing to Heuston Station, Dublin 8.
In addition to CIE, there are private licensed haulers providing road
freight service. Of these, only about 125 are authorized to operate
throughout the whole of Ireland. Information on licensed trucking firms may
be obtained from: Irish Road Haulage Assn., SCD House, Ballymount Road,
The principal Irish ports are Dublin, Waterford, and Cork. These ports
maintain dock and storage space, container terminals, roll-on/roll-off, and
bulk handling equipment. They feature good inland transportation connections
by rail and road. The ports have frequent sailings to the United Kingdom,
France, and other points. Direct ocean shipment to the United States is
infrequent with most goods transshipped at Liverpool or other British ports.
Belfast, Northern Ireland, also is a large port serving the Republic.
The Electricity Supply Board (ESB), a statutory corporation established in
1927 to develop the Shannon hydroelectric system, operates 28 generating
stations. The energy sources used are coal, 41 percent; gas, 27 percent;
peat, 17 percent; oil, 8 percent; and hydro, 7 percent. ESB also sells and
repairs appliances and provides an international consultancy service.
Bord Gais Eireann (Irish Gas Board), organized in 1976 as a state-sponsored
body, develops and distributes natural gas. It oversees the development of
offshore gas fields, pipelines, and service to industrial and household
A full range of advertising media is available in Ireland. Two of the three
national radio stations and the two television stations broadcasting in
Ireland are the monopoly of Radio-Telefis Eireann (RTE), a state-owned
corporation. There are also a large number of private radio stations
operating. The Irish cable television system is available in urban areas
with about one-third of the population having cable service; another third
having multi-channel service, which includes British TV transmissions; and
the remaining third receiving only RTE television programming.
Radio-Telefis Eireann has a code of standards established by the Advertising
Standards Authority of Ireland with which all advertisers must comply.
Advertising film must be approved before showing. Detailed advertising rates
can be obtained from Radio-Telefis Eireann, Advertising Sales Division,
Donnybrook, Dublin 4.
Ireland has approximately 60 newspapers and 150 periodicals or trade
magazines. The Dublin dailies are the only newspapers having national
distribution. There are three daily morning and two daily evening papers
published in Dublin. The Irish Independent (morning) has the largest
circulation, followed by the Evening Press and Evening Herald. The Irish
Times (morning) has the smallest circulation in Dublin, but reaches the
important business and finance market.
The principal advertising media are the press, 40 percent; television, 36
percent; radio, 15 percent; and outdoor, 9 percent. Cinema is primarily a
support medium with a strong reach among the 15 to 24 year olds.
There are numerous advertising agencies with a wide range of services. The
large ones provide a full range of advertising services and are members of
the Institute of Advertising Practitioners, which is closely associated with
the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA).
Advertising agencies utilize every medium available to advertisers: direct
mailings, press, radio, television, point-of-sale advertising, posters, and
public transportation placards. Other promotional techniques, such as
coupons, samples, premiums, and prizes, are also used. Laws covering gaming
and lotteries as well as restrictive trade practices are strictly enforced
by the government. Firms advertising and selling goods should obtain local
advice regarding provisions of the laws and consumer acceptance of the
promotional or marketing approach.
The names of Irish advertising agencies, market research organizations, and
management and public relations counseling firms may be found in such
publications as the "International Directory of Market Research Houses and
Services," American Marketing Association, 420 Lexington Avenue, New York,
NY 10017, (212) 687-3280 and the "Directory of Marketing Research Agencies
and Management Consultants in the United States and the World," Bradford,
P.O. Box 276, Fairfax, VA 22030, (703) 560-7484.
Firms engaged in market research in Ireland are all headquartered in Dublin.
These firms provide the usual range of services, including store audits,
consumer surveys, product field testing, attitude and motivation research.
In general, if the advertising technique works well for your particular
product line in the United States and elsewhere in Europe, the Irish market
should also be receptive to your theme. There are differences, however, and
local opinion should be obtained first for a specific strategy that calls
for a major commitment of resources.
Exhibitions are a cost-effective method to enter a foreign market and meet a
wide range of buyers interested in a particular industry sector. Sales
professionals find that trade fairs attract extensive buyer attendance and
frequently can be used to gauge acceptance and pricing of new products and
observe the competition. In the course of a few days, a new market entrant
will be able to generate more qualified and motivated prospects than by
using any other sales approach. New products are frequently introduced at
trade shows so that competitive products can be identified and evaluated as
they emerge in the marketplace providing important marketing information.
Fairs are particularly useful for introducing a new product to the market or
for finding an agent, distributor, or representative.
Due to the proximity of Ireland to major trade shows in European cities, the
Irish trade fairs tend to attract a more local trade and consumer buying
audience. The most important of the Irish trade fairs is the Spring Show &
Industries Fair. It covers farm machinery, consumer goods, and almost any
product one might wish to display. This event attracts wide attendance and
traditionally commences on the first Tuesday in May at the Royal Dublin
Society Grounds in Dublin. In addition, a number of specialized trade fairs
are confined to specific product categories. The most significant are listed
o Holiday and Leisure Fair. Annual event in January or February. Irish Trade
and Technical Exhibitions, Ltd., Belgrave House, 15 Belgrave Road,
Rathmines, Dublin 6.
o ENQUIP (Engineering/Industrial Equipment). Annual event in February. Royal
Dublin Society, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.
o COMPUTEX (International Computer Exhibition). Annual event in February.
SDL Exhibitions Ltd., 68 Fitzwilliam Sq., Dublin 2.
o Spring Show and Industries Fair. Annual event in May. Royal Dublin
Society, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.
o INTRON (Irish Electronics Instrumentation Automation Exhibition). Annual
September event. SDL Exhibitions Ltd., 68 Fitzwilliam Sq., Dublin 2.
U.S.DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE EXPORT SERVICES
The U.S. Commerce Department assists firms seeking to export products and
services. The first step in the exporting process is to contact a local
Department of Commerce U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) district
office. District offices are located in major cities throughout the United
States and serve as the first point of contact for export assistance. Each
district office maintains commercial reference materials, including market
information and trade leads from overseas. The U.S. & Foreign Commercial
Service also has offices located at U.S. Embassies and other posts
throughout the world which provide assistance and information to traveling
The following is a list of Commerce assistance available for the interested
exporter. Contact your local US&FCS district office for additional
information on these programs.
o Foreign Economic Trends (FET)--a report providing general economic and
commercial background information on Ireland and identifies some of the best
o Comparison Shopping Service (CSS)--a survey of the overseas market that is
custom-tailored for a product or service. Nine basic questions are
researched and answered about the probability for success and the best
marketing approach for the product identified.
o Agent/Distributor Service (ADS)--provides a list of potential agents,
distributors, or representatives qualified and interested in dealing with
o Gold Key--a visit to Ireland programmed by the US&FCS to assist you in
reaching your commercial goals.
o World Traders Data Report (WTDR)--provides evaluation and background data
on foreign firms.
o Single Company Promotion (SCP)--a promotional program tailored for your
product overseas provided by the US&FCS in Ireland. Activities can include
press receptions, mailings, catering, speakers, and printing.
o Trade Opportunity Program (TOP)--trade leads and investment opportunities
are provided by U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world for U.S.
o Commercial News U.S.A. (CNUSA)--promotes new U.S. products and services. A
monthly illustrated publication of goods and services that is distributed to
110,000 foreign importers worldwide.
o Trade or Catalog Shows and Missions--provide contact with overseas buyers
through participation in trade events and commercial programs.
Pitfalls to Avoid When Exporting
In exporting there is no substitute for experience. The following provides a
list of 10 of the most common pitfalls or mistakes that should serve as a
warning to new exporters to exercise special caution.
o Not obtaining qualified export counseling.
o Not developing a marketing plan.
o A lack of commitment by the management to pursue exporting over the long
o Insufficient care when selecting overseas agents or distributors.
o Not focusing on a core market and expanding in an orderly manner.
o Neglecting export clients when domestic sales increase.
o Not modifying products to meet cultural preferences or product standards
of other countries.
o Failure to print labels and sales literature in the local language.
o Not using an export management company or broker if exporting is beyond
the resources of the firm.
o Failure to consider licensing or joint-venture arrangements.
Availability of Credit
The Irish Government regulates the terms of consumer credit and financing as
one of the monetary tools used to manage the economy. Normal credit terms at
the trade and consumer levels is 30 days, occasionally extending to 60 days.
At the retail level, most outlets, except grocery stores, offer their
customers credit, usually 30 days.
All the normal methods of payment are available for export sales to Ireland
through a well-developed banking sector. Competition, to a large degree, has
required the use of liberal financing, as opposed to requiring payment on a
letter of credit or cash basis. Letters of credit can be used initially for
new accounts, with more liberal terms granted if justified by volume and
customer reliability. Knowledge of industry practice and the customer is
generally the prime consideration in deciding whether to use sight drafts,
time drafts, or open accounts. Usual terms of sale are payment within 30 to
90 days after delivery, varying with the commodity and the credit standing
of the purchaser.
Large American banks can advise on using letters of credit as well as on
short-term credit financing. Credit financing may include overdraft
facilities, term loans, discounting, factoring, and Eurocurrency loans.
In addition to the WTDR service provided by Commerce, background information
on Irish and other foreign firms can be obtained from any of the following
o Foreign Credit Interchange Bureau, National Association of Credit
Management, 475 Park Avenue, South, New York, NY 10003.
o Dun and Bradstreet, Inc., 99 Church Street, New York, NY 10007.
o Gradon America, 71 West 23rd Street, Suite 1629, New York, NY 10010.
o Major banks--contact the international section of a large city bank.
o The American Bureau of Collections, Inc., 1100 Main Street, Buffalo, NY
14209-2356 (a collection bureau with an overseas network).
An important element in retailing is the use of installment credit. Most
banks offer credit cards that allow bearers to cash checks at any branch of
a participating bank. Credit cards of most major organizations are accepted
by retailers and businesses. The larger stores in Ireland accept major
credit cards and checks drawn on local banks.
The Central Bank of Ireland was established under the Central Bank Act of
1942. The Central Bank is charged with the responsibility of managing the
country's banking/monetary system and exchange rates, and controlling
credit. In addition, it acts as adviser and banker to the government.
There are two major banking groups in Ireland, the Bank of Ireland Group and
the Allied Irish Banks. Other prominent banks include the National Irish
Bank, the Northern Bank, and the Ulster Bank, as well as Bank of America,
Chase Bank, and Citibank. In addition, there are numerous firms in Ireland
operating as consumer finance companies, which are referred to as hire
purchase companies or finance houses.
Export Financing Programs
Several programs exist to help firms export within the internationally
accepted fair trading practices. The following export financing programs may
be of interest to a U.S. exporter to Ireland:
o Small Business Administration (SBA) provides financing for the
establishment, operation, or expansion of a small business, including firms
engaged in exporting. Its Export Revolving Line of Credit Guarantee Program
provides pre-export financing for sales and for foreign market development.
The SBA also has a program in cooperation with the Export-Import Bank
(Eximbank) to participate in loans to small firms.
o Export-Import Bank facilitates U.S. exports through credit support in the
form of direct loans, commercial guarantees, and insurance.
o Foreign Credit Insurance Association (FCIA) is a private sector
association of insurance companies. The FCIA acts in conjunction with, and
as an agent for Eximbank, to cover export sale repayment losses due to
political or commercial causes.
o Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) assists U.S. private
capital investments and skills in the economic and social progress of
developing countries. Programs include political risk insurance, special
insurance coverage for natural resource projects, leasing, and contractor's
o International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), under the
World Bank Group, promotes development of member countries mainly by
extending conventional loans for specific high-priority projects.
Membership in the EC
Ireland has been a member of the European Community (EC) since January 1,
1973. The other EC members are Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece,
Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
Other countries are considering applying for membership.
The EC forms a customs union having free trade among the member states, but
levies a common tariff on imports coming from non-EC countries such as the
United States. The EC also has a common agricultural policy, joint
transportation policy, and free movement of goods and capital within the
member states. Other aspects of commercial activity are being harmonized.
Under agreements reached between the 12 EC members and the 6 members of the
European Free Trade Association (EFTA)--consisting of Austria, Finland,
Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland--duty-free trade for industrial
products has been achieved among the 18 EC and EFTA countries. Taxes, such
as the value-added tax (VAT) and excise taxes, are levied in the country of
final destination. Currently, VAT rates differ among the various countries.
See the "Value-Added Tax" section for the Irish rates.
In addition to the EFTA countries, Ireland and the other EC nations extend
preferential tariff treatment to certain other countries and territories
with historical ties to the EC and to less developed countries in Africa,
the Caribbean, and the Pacific regions. The granting of reduced tariffs to
developing countries is under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).
Ireland applies the EC tariffs (customs duties), which are based on the
international Harmonized System (HS) of product classification. Duty rates
on manufactured goods from the United States generally range from 5 to 8
percent and are usually based on the c.i.f. value of the goods at the port
of entry. The c.i.f. value is the price of the goods (usually the sales
price) plus packing costs, insurance, and freight charges to the port of
entry. Most raw materials enter duty free or at low rates while agricultural
products face higher rates and special levies. For information on EC duty
rates levied on agricultural products, contact the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, (202) 447-2144. For information on EC duty rates of
manufactured and industrial products, contact the U.S. Department of
Commerce, International Trade Administration's Office of European Community
Affairs, (202) 377-2905.
The Harmonized System is a system designed to classify goods in
international trade for customs purposes and for developing trade
statistics. It is arranged into 99 chapters (see Table 4). The sections are
established according to categories such as agriculture, chemicals, chief
material of the product, or type of manufacturing industry. The sections and
chapters start with agricultural and primary products in the initial
chapters, followed by products that are more processed and technically more
The HS classification number consists of a minimum of six digits, which are
common to all countries using the Harmonized System. Additional digits can
be used to meet each nation's individual statistical requirements and give
greater detail as needed.
If a Harmonized System number is requested by the Irish importer, this
information may be obtained from an ITA district office or from the Office
of European Community Affairs, (202) 377-2905.
SUMMARY OF THE HARMONIZED SYSTEM
Chapter Products Covered
1-15 Live animals, animal or vegetable products
16-24 Prepared food, beverages, spirits, tobacco
25-40 Minerals, chemicals, plastic and rubber articles
41-49 Hides, skins, leather goods, wood and pulp, paper
50-63 Textiles and textile articles
64-67 Footwear, headgear, umbrellas
68-70 Stone, plaster, cement articles
71 Precious/semiprecious stones, metals and articles, imitation
72-83 Base metals and articles
84-85 Machinery and mechanical appliances, electrical equipment, sound
86-89 Vehicles, aircraft, and vessels
90-92 Optical, photographic, cinematographic, measuring, checking,
medical, clocks and watches, musical instruments
93 Arms and ammunition
94-96 Miscellaneous manufactured articles
97 Works of art
98-99 Reserved for country use
Quotations and Payment Terms
Sales quotations are usually given on a c.i.f. basis. This is the sales
price plus costs, insurance, and freight to point of importation. The c.i.f.
quote is generally preferred by importers since they are usually familiar
with the customs charges and taxes on the product that are levied at the
time of importation but may not be acquainted with U.S. trucking and ocean
or air charges. Large firms and department stores, however, sometimes buy on
f.o.b. terms when they prefer to arrange for shipping and insuring the goods
themselves. Quotations and invoicing are usually in terms of the currency of
the country of origin.
American quotations, usually stated in dollars, are completely acceptable in
Ireland. The usual practice of American firms selling to a new customer is
to require cash against documents on the first sale or two. Thereafter,
after establishing credit, the Irish importer will expect to pay by 30-,
60-, or 90-day letter of credit. In all cases, the American exporter will
have to decide the balance between making the sale with liberal terms versus
less sales potential but with less financial risk. American firms may often
find it necessary to offer their best payment terms in order to land the
sale in the competitive Irish market.
Frequently, the buyer requests a quote or shipment of goods under INCOTERMS
(1990 revision). This is a set of international rules defining the important
commercial terms and practices. By referencing INCOTERMS, both buyer and
seller will have a uniform understanding of their responsibilities in an
agreement. Copies of a 90 page "Guide to INCOTERMS" are obtainable from ICC
Publishing, 156 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010, (212) 206-1150. Exporters
can also obtain information in the "Exporters' Encyclopaedia."
Merchandise may be examined by the importer before customs clearance for the
purpose of making an inventory. Goods cannot clear customs without shipping
documents and payment of any customs duty, applicable value added taxes, and
any excise taxes. These formalities must be undertaken by the importer at
the time of clearing customs. Import licenses, if required, should be
presented by the importer within the valid period for which they were issued.
Goods in Transit
Goods may clear customs with an EC transit procedure that provides for the
issuance of a single transit document under which the goods may be easily
shipped across frontiers of the EC member states. These transit documents
are completed by the importer. The transit document provides the basis for a
single, comprehensive procedure covering the goods within the Community.
Since this is an EC procedure, the European importer, customshouse broker,
freight forwarder, or shipper must prepare these documents at entry.
Free Trade Zones
The Shannon Free Trade Zone, located at the Shannon International Airport,
is the world's oldest free zone and was established in 1947. This facility
is attractive as an international distribution and warehouse center serving
Western Europe because it provides the unique combination of a custom-free
industrial zone and direct access to air and surface transport to the United
Kingdom and other European markets. Raw materials and partly or completely
manufactured products may be imported into the free zone in any quantity and
held there without payment of duties or taxes. Processing, sorting, grading,
or repacking of the goods may take place within the zone, and buildings may
be leased or built. As sales require, the goods held in the free zone may
then be withdrawn from inventory and reexported to other countries or
imported into Ireland for consumption after payment of appropriate duties,
value-added taxes, and excise taxes. If the goods are reexported to another
country, duties and taxes will be payable in that country.
The advantage of the free zone to American firms is having a European base
of supply to assure customers prompt delivery and service, being able to
maintain inventory at low cost, and being able to qualify for the reduced 10
percent corporate tax rate in Ireland.
Adequate warehousing facilities are available in major Irish cities. Bonded
warehouses are operated in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, and Galway.
The Dublin Port and Docks Board maintains the largest warehousing
organization in the country. In addition to storage facilities, the board
provides services needed by distributors such as packing, sorting, bottling,
and transport service. Imported goods liable to a duty may be stored in a
bonded warehouse in the port area or other locations without payment of
duties or taxes. The goods may remain there until needed, at which time they
are cleared for Irish consumption by payment of duties and taxes, or sent to
the country of destination. Certain types of processing are allowed in the
bonded warehouses under official supervision.
Inwards and Outwards Processing
Inwards processing is the temporary importation of raw materials or products
for additional manufacture or processing. Merchandise imported for
additional processing and eventual reexport out of the EC is eligible for
customs-free treatment. The reexported goods may be partly or totally
processed. The import duty and taxes are levied only on those goods that are
not reexported and are finally sold in the EC.
To qualify for inwards processing, the Irish (or EC) firm must satisfy
customs that it is necessary to use imported goods instead of EC goods;
state an intention to export products manufactured from the imported goods
(or equivalent goods available in the EC); and assure that, upon
reexportation, the conditions set forth in the authorization are satisfied,
the exported products are accounted for, and the entered goods are
identifiable and relate to specific importations.
In outwards processing, an Irish firm may export goods for further
manufacture or processing from the EC customs area and then reimport the
final product. Duties and taxes are levied on the increased value added by
the expatriate manufacturing or processing when the goods are returned to
Ireland, not to the total value of the product. Only firms located in
Ireland or another EC country are eligible to take advantage of this option
and should first gain approval by the Irish Customs authorities.
Samples and Advertising Materials
Ireland participates in the International Convention to Facilitate the
Importation of Commercial Samples and Advertising Materials. Samples of
negligible value imported to promote sales are accorded duty-free and
tax-free treatment. Prior authorization is not required. To determine
whether the samples are of negligible value, their value is compared with
that of a commercial shipment of the same product. Granting of duty-free
status may require that the samples be rendered useless for future sale by
marking, perforating, cutting, or other means.
Imported samples of commercial value may be granted a temporary entry and
exemption from customs charges. Security is required in the amount of duty
and tax chargeable increased by 10 percent. Samples may remain in the
country for up to 1 year. They are not permitted to be sold, put to their
normal use (except for demonstration purposes), or utilized in any manner
for remuneration. Goods imported as samples may be imported only in
quantities constituting a sample according to normal commercial usage.
As a result of various customs conventions, simplified procedures are
available to U.S. business and professional people for the temporary
importation of commercial samples and professional equipment for display or
demonstration. A carnet is a customs document that facilitates customs
clearance for temporary imports. With the carnet, goods may be imported
without the payment of duty, tax, or additional security. It also may save
time since formalities are all arranged before leaving for the international
business trip. A carnet is usually valid for 1 year from the date of
issuance. The cost ranges from $120 to $250. A bond or cash deposit of 40
percent of the value of the goods covered by the carnet is also required.
This will be forfeited in the event the products are not reexported and
duties and taxes are not paid.
Carnets are issued in the United States by the U.S. Council for
International Business at the following locations: 1212 Avenue of the
Americas, New York, NY 10036, (212) 354-4480; 3345 Wilshire Boulevard, Los
Angeles, CA 90010, (213) 386-0767; and 1930 Thoreau Drive, #101, Schaumburg,
Advance Rulings from Irish Customs
Prior to signing a long-term contract or sending a shipment of considerable
value, it may be prudent for a U.S. exporter to first obtain an official
ruling on the customs classification, duty rate, and taxes. Such requests
should be sent to: The Revenue Commissioners, Division IV, Castle House,
South Great George's Street, Dublin 2. The request should describe the
product, the material it is made from, and other details needed by customs
authorities to classify the product correctly. While customs will not
provide a binding decision, the advance ruling usually will be accepted if
the goods are found to correspond exactly to the sample or description
The value-added tax, most frequently called by its acronym VAT, is charged
on the sale of goods and services within the country. Unlike the customs
duty, which is the same for all EC member countries, the VAT is established
by the tax authorities of each country and differs from country to country.
At each stage of the manufacturing and distribution chain, the seller adds
the appropriate amount of VAT (tax on the amount of value that the seller
added to the product, plus the amount of VAT passed on to the seller by the
supplier) to the sales price. The tax is always quoted separately on the
invoice. The firm periodically subtracts the VAT paid on its purchases of
goods and services from the VAT collected on sales and remits the balance to
the government. This process repeats itself at each stage until the product
is sold to the final consumer, who bears the full burden of the tax. In
Ireland, the standard VAT rate is 21 percent.
IRISH VALUE-ADDED TAX
Tax Rate -- Item Taxed
Exempted Rate -- Banking, insurance, rental property, hospital and medical
0% Rate -- All exported goods and services, books, food, beverages (with
specific exceptions), children's clothing and footwear.
2.5% Rate -- Livestock and farm produce.
10% Rate -- Hotel accommodations, building construction, tour guides,
newspapers, cinema, and short-term automobile leasing.
12.5% Rate -- Fuel for heating, light, power, telecommunications, personal
services, repairs and maintenance services, adult clothing and footwear.
21% Rate STANDARD RATE -- All goods and services not subject to above rates.
Note: A taxable person is entitled to claim credit for costs incurred for
obtaining zero rated supplies while a person providing exempt goods or
services is not entitled to claim a credit for costs.
For imports into Ireland, the VAT is levied at the same rate as for domestic
products or transactions. The base on which the VAT is charged on imports is
the c.i.f. value at the port of entry, plus any duty, excise taxes, levies,
or other charges (excluding the VAT) collected by customs at the time of
importation. This total represents the value of the import when it clears
customs. The importer is liable for payment of customs duties, VAT, and any
other charges at the time of clearing the goods through customs. Exports
from Ireland are exempt from VAT since they are not consumed in the country
and will be subject to any tax in the country of destination. Temporary
imports that will be reexported are not subject to the VAT. The importer may
have to post a temporary bond for the amount of customs duty and taxes as
security which will be canceled when the goods are taken out of the country.
The EC is in the process of seeking to harmonize or reduce the range of VAT
rates among the 12 EC member nations. The EC Council has adopted guidelines
for converging the VAT rates over an extended transitional period. Some
initiatives developed include establishing a minimum VAT rate for most
products at 15 percent, lifting border tax controls in 1993, and defining
which products will be allowed an exempted or zero rate. Each country will
still retain the enforcement authority that currently exists.
Excise taxes are levied on a small number of products such as gasoline and
diesel fuel, spirits, beer, wine, bottled water, cider, tobacco, motor
vehicles, televisions, video recorders, compact discs and records, and
matches. The excise tax rates vary, depending on the products. For imports,
the excise tax is paid by the importer and is in addition to any customs
duty or VAT. The EC plans to harmonize excise taxes and create the single
Shipments to Ireland require one copy each of the bill of lading (or air
waybill) and the commercial invoice for customs clearance. There are no
consular requirements, but certificates of origin may be required as set out
U.S. Customs also requires two copies of the U.S. Shipper's Export
Declaration (U.S. Department of Commerce Form 7525V) for goods valued at
$1,500 or more. A declaration form must be completed for all shipments by
regular mail or parcel post valued at $500 or more. The form must include
the harmonized commodity number of the exported product as well as the
weight stated in metric units. When sending goods through the mail, the
exporter should inquire at the post office as to the proper documentation
needed for mail shipments. For additional information or assistance on
export documentation, readers should consult publications such as the
"Exporter's Encyclopaedia," published by Dun's Marketing Services or contact
a local U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration
Although no special format is prescribed for the commercial invoice, it is
advisable to include the following: date and place of shipment; name (firm's
name) and address of the seller and buyer; method of shipment; number, kind
and markings of the packages and their numerical order; description of the
goods using the usual commercial description according to kind, quality,
grade, and the weight (gross and net, in metric units), along with any
factors increasing or decreasing the value; agreed price of goods; unit
cost; total cost f.o.b. factory plus shipping; insurance charges; delivery
and payment terms; and the signature of a responsible official of the
shipper's firm. Bills of lading should bear the name of the party to be
notified. The consignee needs the original bill of lading to take possession
of the goods.
Certificates of origin are required for a small number of goods of U.S.
origin, including port and Madeira wines, seafood for industrial processing,
and certain textile products. The need for a certificate of origin should be
ascertained directly from the importer or from the appropriate customs
authority. Letter-of-credit terms may stipulate that a certificate of origin
be provided. Customs authorities accept certificates of origin issued by
authorized local U.S. chambers of commerce or boards of trade.
Marketing and Labeling
With only minor exceptions, there are no general requirements for marking
imported goods with the country of origin. Requirements for specific
products should be obtained from the importer. The import, export, or
transit of non-Irish goods having markings which would lead one to believe
that the goods are of Irish manufacture or origin is prohibited. The
Merchandise Marks Act of 1887, as amended by the Consumer Information Act of
1978, prohibits false or misleading trade marks and product descriptions and
other deceptive indications. Goods may not be imported with marks suggestive
of Irish origin unless they bear an indication of their true origin.
There are no regulations for the marking of shipping packages. Good shipping
practice dictates that packages should bear the consignee's mark and be
numbered unless the shipment is such that the content of the packages can be
readily identified without numbers.
Hallmarking of gold and silver articles is required before they can be
offered for sale. Only small tolerances are allowable for manufacturing
errors. The hallmarking is done by the Goldsmiths of Dublin, Assay House,
Dublin Castle, Dublin 2.
Imports of certain commodities, including numerous foodstuffs, are subject
to special regulations regarding the manner in which they must be labeled to
show manufacturer, composition, content (in metric units), and country of
origin. In view of the complexity of these regulations and changing
requirements, information should be requested from the importer prior to
shipment. When the services of an importer are not available, information
can be obtained directly from the appropriate Irish authority listed at the
end of this publication. For agricultural and food products, the U.S.
exporter should contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture for market
information and exporting assistance.
Only a small number of goods of U.S. origin require import licenses, mostly
agricultural and food items. Other items subject to import licensing
requirements include coal and lignite fuel, a few products from the chemical
and related industries, specified iron and steel products, various textiles
and textile products, natural and synthetic precious and semiprecious stones
and dust, zinc (plate, sheet, strip and foil), and controlled items such as
arms and munitions. Licenses are generally rapidly granted for goods of U.S.
Licenses are not transferable. They may be used to cover several shipments
within the total quantity authorized. In general, the goods involved are
indicated on the license by the Harmonized System classification number and
the corresponding wording of the tariff position. Small tolerances, up to 1
percent for most goods and up to 5 percent in certain instances, are
permitted in excess of the total specified on the license.
The metric system is the key measurement system in international trade and
the United States is the only major nation where it is not in full use. The
1988 Trade Act states that the metric system is the preferred system for
weights and measures. American firms can be at a serious disadvantage in
world markets since overseas buyers are reluctant to accept nonstandard
(nonmetric) products since replacement parts and tools are less available
and serious safety risks could result by mixing metric and nonmetric parts.
As a member of the EC, Ireland applies the product standards and
certification approval process developed by the Community. Ireland is
required by the 1958 Treaty of Rome to incorporate in its national laws the
With the development of a single product standard, U.S. exporters may find
that it is easier to comply with one EC-wide standard rather than having to
meet several individual national standards when exporting to Europe.
European Community Standards
As part of the 1992 program, key product areas will be regulated at the
Community level for conformance to mandatory requirements to protect the
health and safety of consumers, as well as the environment. To indicate this
conformance to the mandatory requirements, a CE mark must be placed on all
regulated products by the manufacturer or a representative before they can
be sold on the EC market. The applicable product testing and certification
requirements for individual product categories are specified in the various
EC directives. The CE mark relates only to the mandatory health, safety, and
environmental legal requirements established by the EC; it does not indicate
conformity to European product standards. Thus, national marks of conformity
with product standards remain compatible with the CE mark and both may be
applied to the product. It should be noted, however, that the CE mark does
replace all national safety marks for the regulated products.
The EC Commission has released "The Global Approach to Certification and
Testing," a document that recommended harmonized testing and certification
procedures within the Community. These proposals included establishing a
"modular" system for demonstrating product compliance. Under this system,
methods of demonstrating product conformity range from having the
manufacturer self-certify the product to having a private testing company
type-approve the product and to provide market surveillance, depending on
the probability and type of product risk. As the standards and certification
requirements evolve, it is expected that qualified U.S. testing laboratories
will be able to fully certify that products conform to EC requirements.
Assistance on Standards
U.S. firms exporting to Ireland are confronted with both Irish and EC
product standards. Further, these regulations occasionally change to meet
new technology and more stringent demands. Exporters can stay fully informed
on the latest EC technical standards activities by contacting the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). A part of the U.S. Department
of Commerce, NIST offers industry an in-depth reference system on EC
standards information gathered from the two European standards bodies tasked
to write the EC 1992 norms--the European Committee for Standards (CEN) and
the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC).
NIST also can provide updated information from the EC which will elaborate
on directives and provide assistance in identifying EC and member state
standards and regulations. For more information, contact NIST at (301)
Also, the Single Internal Market Service, International Trade
Administration, Room 3036, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC
20230, publishes regular updates on the status of the EC 1992 directives. To
obtain copies of directives, amendments, and published updates, or to obtain
a complete list of directives that could affect product sales to Ireland or
another EC country, call (202) 377-5276. Copies are available at a nominal
Other valuable sources of information with regard to foreign standards
include the American National Standards Institute, 1430 Broadway, New York,
NY 10018, (212) 354-3300, the Department of Commerce's National Technical
Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161, (703) 557-4733, as well as
various trade associations that follow international activities for their
The European Electrical Standards Committee (CENELEC), a private
organization, administers an agreement on harmonized standards and testing
for electronic components. CENELEC sets technical specifications for
components and provides that a certification of quality issued by an
authorized institution in any member country will be recognized in the other
participating nations with no additional testing required.
Electrical current in Ireland is provided at an alternating current of 50
cycles, 1 and 3 phase. The voltage is 220/380 with 2 and 4 wires, Service
interruptions are rare and the frequency of the current is stable. The
electrical plug is the British type with three flat prongs. Adapters are
available to change from one type plug to another.
Weights and Measures
Both imperial units and the International System of Units (SI) are in use.
There has been a substantial shift to the metric system. Under the
Merchandise Marks Order of 1973, certain types of packaged goods must be
marked with the quantity in either rounded metric units or with
metric/imperial units. The Packaged Goods (Quantity Control) Regulations of
1981 require metric marking for standard size, closed prepackages which are
within the limits of 5g/ml to 55 kg/L. Imperial units may be stated in
addition to, but not instead of, the metric indication.
The Packaged Goods Regulations require the Irish importer of packaged goods
to ensure that the statement of quantity is in the prescribed metric units.
The nominal quantity must be shown in kilograms, grams, liters, centiliters
or milliliters either using the name of the unit of measurement or its
internationally accepted symbol. The quantity expressed in imperial units
may be used in conjunction with the quantity expressed in metric units.
However, the imperial units shall not be more prominent than the metric
units in size, color, or position. In practice, this means that the quantity
expressed in metric units should be given first with the figures at least as
large as the imperial units if used.
Specified foodstuffs for retail sale and certain other consumer products may
be offered for sale in Ireland only when packaged in an approved size. The
U.S. exporter would be well advised to first check with the Irish importer
to ensure that the package size complies with all requirements prior to
shipment. Authorized packaging sizes for designated products are stated
Grams Kilograms Ounces Pounds
62.5 1 2 1
125 1.5 4 1.5
250 2 8 2
375 3 12 3
500 4 - 4
750 - - 5, 6, 7
Militers Liters Pints Pints
62.5 1 1/8 1
125 1.5 1/4 1/3
250 2 1/3 2
500 2.5 1/2 4
3, 4, 5 8
Detailed information on metric and packaging requirements and usage in
Ireland may be obtained from: Metrication Section, Department of Industry
and Commerce, Dublin 2.
A few Irish measurements continue to be used such as the Irish plantation
acre equal to 7,840 square yards and the Irish mile equal to 6,720 feet. The
traveler should become acquainted with another common unit of measure in the
Irish pubs--the pint.
U.S. Export Controls
For the purpose of national security, foreign policy, or short supply
considerations, the United States controls the export of goods and
technology with two broad categories of export licenses--general and
validated. The vast majority of U.S. exports are shipped abroad under
general licenses with no formal application required. To determine what kind
of export license is required, exporters should consult the Export
Administration's regulations for complete details or obtain assistance from
the local U.S. Department of Commerce district office.
As an overview, the first step in the export licensing process is to
determine whether a product requires a general or validated license.
Determine what is being exported, the destination of the product, its
end-use, and the organization that will be using the product. Check the
schedule of "Country Groups" listed in the Export Administration regulations
to determine the destination category; check the "Commodity Control List" to
determine if the product requires a validated license for shipment to that
particular country; and determine if any special restrictions are in effect.
If the product is not on the control list, then it can be exported under a
general license. The U.S. exporter simply completes the U.S. Shippers Export
Declaration, Form 7525-V, providing details of the shipment; includes a
commercial invoice; and exports the goods. If the product is on the control
list, a validated license is needed. An application must be made and an
export license granted. As a general rule, an exporter will need a validated
license (1) if the products are controlled or in short supply regardless of
the country of destination; (2) for any commodity to a destination with
foreign policy concerns; or (3) for unpublished technical data to certain
destinations. Certain special licenses are also issued to cover large
projects or repeated sales through a foreign distributor.
For assistance in determining what type of license is needed and to initiate
the processing of an application, contact your local Department of Commerce
district office or the Bureau of Export Administration, Office of Export
Assistance, Room H-1099D, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230,
Registration of Patents, Trademarks, and Designs
Ireland has legislation for the protection of patents, trademarks, and
industrial designs. It is a member of the Paris Union, which adheres to the
International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
Applications for patents, registration of trademarks, and for design
protection should be filed with the Irish Patent Office, Ministry for
Industry and Commerce, 45 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Inventions may be
patented for a 16-year period. Trademark registrations are valid for 7 years
and are renewable for 14-year periods.
European Patent Convention
Ireland is a signatory to the European Patent Convention, which provides for
a centralized European-wide patent protection system. The European Patents
Act of 1977 provides increased legal protection, a patents court, and
guidelines for compensation of an inventor who may be an employee.
The European Patent Convention has simplified the process for obtaining
patent protection in the EC member states. Under the European Convention, an
applicant for a patent is granted a preexamined 15-year, nonrenewable
European patent that has the effect of a national patent in all 16 countries
that are signatories of the convention, based on a single application to the
European Patent Office. This procedure should expedite the granting of
patents. However, infringement proceedings remain within the jurisdiction of
the national courts, which could result in some divergent interpretations.
For information, write to the European Patent Office, Motorama-Haus,
Rosenheimer Strasse 30, Munich, Germany.
Both Ireland and the United States are signatories of the Universal
Copyright Convention, which provides for mutual copyright protection. In
Ireland, protection is provided by the Copyright Act of 1963. Ireland is a
member of the Berne Convention, which forms the International Union for the
Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
The Irish Government is actively promoting American and other foreign
investment. Economic policies are designed to foster a climate conducive to
business and economic development and to attract foreign investment that
will expand employment opportunities. The primary concern is employment
creation in the high technology and skilled industries and to attract firms
that will expand Irish exports. With a small, open economy based on
international trade, Irish manufacturing and production is aimed at
supplying the Western European and other markets. Ireland's membership in
the European Community, with duty-free entry to the markets of EC and EFTA
countries, has prompted many foreign firms to establish production
facilities in Ireland. The attraction of Ireland as a European base of
operations can be deduced from the fact that one-third of all manufacturing
employment is accounted for by foreign subsidiaries in Ireland.
The U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service in Dublin has prepared an "Investment
Climate Statement" for American firms seeking to invest in the Republic of
Ireland. The report covers all topics of interest to potential investors and
reviews barriers, repatriation of funds, and ease of establishment of
operations. Prospective investors should contact the Ireland Desk Officer
for a copy of this report--(202) 377-5401.
Ireland is seeking ways to use a well-trained labor force with high
productivity to meet competition from its larger industrialized neighbors
and third-world producers. Attracting foreign capital and modern production
techniques is considered an effective means of stimulating the expansion of
industry and the creation of competitive new enterprises. Business
operations may be assisted by a variety of loans or grants depending on the
job creation potential, degree of local sourcing, and the export impact of
the investment. The investments most sought after are in research and
development, high technology operations, European-wide services such as
banking and insurance, and manufacturing with a high value-added process.
The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) has been established as the key
agency to promote industrial development in Ireland. It is an autonomous
state agency which provides a one-stop source of information and advice on
all aspects of setting up a new business. The IDA can provide U.S. firms
with investment assistance--from identifying available sites and utility
costs to obtaining the necessary local permits and sources of supply. As a
result, the administrative burden for the U.S. investor is reduced to a
minimum and the usual lead time and costs to establish an operational
facility is very short. Investors interested in taking advantage of
government incentives should provide a specific proposal and can obtain
information from the IDA, which has several offices in the United States.
The IDA also represents and works with two other regional organizations
established by the government to promote investment in Ireland. The IDA has
responsibility for facilitating foreign investment in all regions of the
country while the Shannon Free Airport Development Company has authority for
domestic development in the greater Shannon area, and Udaras Na Gaeltachia
has responsibility for investment and development in the areas where Irish
is the predominant language in the western areas of the country. Each
administering agency performs a screening and approving function for
projects which will require investment assistance for their region.
Interested investors should contact these agencies through an IDA office.
Several factors make Ireland an attractive site for investment: it has a
stable political and social environment, a high standard of living, and a
well-trained and productive labor force. Also, English is spoken and its
people are friendly to Americans; it has financial stability and a
well-developed banking/financial community; it is close to affluent European
markets; and the government is supportive of business. With the development
of the Single Internal Market Program for 1992 and the changing competitive
situation, Ireland takes on increased importance as a member of the European
The investor in Ireland will appreciate the friendly life-style and
environmental quality. The Irish have displayed an open welcome to Americans
--as tourists, relatives, or business executives The business and legal
environment is generally familiar to American visitors. There is efficient
and rapid access to the United Kingdom and the continent for goods and
There are no restrictions on foreign ownership of firms nor any threat of
nationalization. American investors are provided national treatment in all
respects, including grants and assistance. The government is stable and has
a long-standing policy of attracting business. Irish Customs is efficient
and shipments are cleared with a minimum of delay.
Investment incentives range from nonfinancial aspects to specific and
detailed tax breaks. These incentives are provided on a case-by-case basis
and should be discussed with the Irish IDA office.
Financial incentives include a reduced tax rate of 10 percent on
manufacturing and certain service industries, tax-free grants to assist in
employee training, accelerated depreciation, low-cost facilities (industrial
estates) that are immediately available for rent or sale, and export-risk
guarantee programs. Funds may be easily repatriated and foreign executives
receive favorable tax treatment.
U.S. Investment in Ireland
U.S. direct investment in Ireland at the end of 1989 was $6.24 billion and
accounted for nearly half of all foreign investment. Most U.S. investments
are in the chemical, metalworking, and engineering industries and in other
technologically advanced and export-oriented sectors. There are
approximately 340 U.S. companies in Ireland which are primarily
manufacturing for export to the European market.
Legislation Governing Investment
The establishment of a business enterprise in Ireland does not require
specific government authorization; a foreign investor has the same rights
and obligations as an Irish firm. For certain business sectors, however, the
government is empowered to screen applications for new investments.
As in the United States, Irish municipal authorities have established
various codes and regulations for the location and construction of
industrial enterprises. Compliance with local zoning and construction
regulations is mandatory. Ireland requires all firms to maintain complete
business accounts and records, with simplified procedures permitted for
small firms. Accounting books must be on the double entry principle. Annual
accounts must be presented at the annual general meeting which must be held
within 6 months of the end of the firm's fiscal year. The European Community
has promulgated a number of business directives which have been implemented
by Ireland in its national law. One directive applies to limited liability
companies and specifies accounting procedures, audits, and annual report
Foreign Exchange Regulations
Capital and profits of American firms may be repatriated from Ireland with
little restriction on currency exchange for business activities.
Responsibility for exchange control is held by the Central Bank with much of
this activity delegated to the commercial banks authorized for this purpose.
The currency is the Irish pound (Ir|) and is frequently call the punt.
Ireland participates with Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy,
Luxembourg, and the Netherlands in the European Monetary System (EMS). The
EMS provides for stable exchange rates among the participants in order to
promote a steady flow of trade and reduce speculation in exchange rates.
Under the EMS agreement, Ireland maintains a spot exchange rate between the
Irish pound and currencies of the other participants within a stated trading
range (plus or minus 2.25 percent for most currencies) expressed in European
Currency Units (ECUs). Rates for currencies not participating in the EMS,
such as the U.S. dollar or British pound, are established on the market.
(Check the financial pages of the daily newspaper for foreign exchange
rates.) The forward exchange market is regulated to permit coverage of
import and export of goods and services. Forward exchange is permitted for a
minimum of 21 days to a maximum of 12 months.
Nonresident accounts are designated external accounts, so that amounts in
excess of Ir| 250,000 require approval by the Central Bank of Ireland,
except for imports of goods or services into Ireland. Prior permission is
required to pay for any imports which are to be delivered more that 9 months
from order date. Exchange control forms must be used for import payments
exceeding Ir| 50,000.
When exporting from Ireland, the Irish firm must obtain payment within 6
months of shipment if the value exceeds Ir| 250. When payment is received in
foreign currency, it must be offered to an authorized bank for conversion
into Irish pounds. Exchange control approval is required for all transfers
of capital to nonresidents.
Entry and Repatriation of Capital
The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) does screen and approve all foreign
investment. Remittance of dividends and profits and the repatriation of
capital must also have prior Central Bank approval but approval is mainly a
formality. Royalty agreements between resident and nonresident companies
must be approved by the Central Bank. These approvals are routinely granted
and serve more as a monitoring function than as a method of capital control.
Foreign Ownership of Property
Irish laws are very liberal toward trade and industry. There are no general
prohibitions against the acquisition of majority holdings by foreign
interests in Irish companies or against foreign ownership of either business
entities or real property. Moreover, there are no nationality requirements
for directors or shareholders in Irish commercial entities.
Types of Business Organizations
Firms interested in starting a business in Ireland should make detailed
inquiries on the current law and commercial requirements. The business form
most widely employed, and of greatest interest to American executives, is
the private limited company. Other forms of business organization will be
recognized by an American firm seeking to establish in Ireland.
Public Limited Company--This is the main form of incorporation for firms
issuing stocks or bonds, having stockholders, and directors that manage the
company. The company is incorporated under a Memorandum of Association
(Articles of Incorporation), providing the name, share capital, and
commercial objectives. The bylaws state the relationship between the company
and the shareholders. Minimum share capital is IR| 30,000, of which at least
25 percent must be paid up. Shares must have a par value, usually IR| 1.00
or less, and there must be seven or more stockholders. Shares may be issued
in several classes such as common or preferred.
The company must have a minimum of two directors that manage the daily
affairs of the firm and who are usually selected by the shareholders. Annual
meetings are required with 21 days advance notice provided. Disclosure of
financial statements and meeting statutory requirements for reporting are
Private Limited Company--The requirements for formation and reporting of
private limited companies are generally the same as for the public limited
companies. This form is the most popular type of commercial organization in
Ireland and is popular for the establishment of an Irish subsidiary of a
foreign parent. There must be 2 to 50 shareholders, no debentures or shares
being issued to the general public, and no minimum level of share capital.
Partnership--In Ireland, the partnership form tends to be used for
professional practice, such as attorneys and accountants. Partnerships are
normally formed by a Partnership Deed setting out the agreement and
conditions of the partnership. A less common form is the limited
partnership, which allows one or more general partners who manage the daily
affairs of the business and one or more limited partners who provide a fixed
capital investment with financial liability limited to the capital
Joint Venture--There are no direct statutory regulations regulating joint
ventures as such. The joint venture agreement should be carefully
constructed to define the terms, rights, and responsibilities of each party.
Foreign Branch--All foreign incorporated companies establishing a branch in
Ireland fall under the Companies Acts of 1963 and 1986. These regulations
require the filing of documents with the Registrar of Companies. If the
foreign branch is the equivalent of a public limited company if incorporated
in Ireland, it must also file annual reports. A branch is not considered a
separate entity from the parent company. It carries the legal status of the
foreign parent and has disclosure and registration requirements.
Sole Proprietor--This is an unincorporated business organization owned by
one person who receives the profits and incurs the liabilities personally.
If the business name differs from the owner's name, this information must be
registered. Foreign investors may establish a sole proprietorship in Ireland.
OVERVIEW OF TAXES
The information in this section is designed to give general information and
assistance regarding taxes. American firms should obtain professional
assistance prior to making a commitment that could have any tax impact.
Irish tax revenues are derived primarily from income taxes on individuals
and firms, the value-added tax, customs and excise duties, stamp taxes, and
capital gains taxes.
While Irish residents are liable to tax on all of their income, nonresidents
are taxed only on that part of their income earned in Ireland. Individuals
that reside in Ireland and work for a foreign company without becoming
residents are subject to taxation on a remittance basis only. To avoid a
problem of double taxation, Ireland has concluded a number of treaties with
other countries, including the United States.
The income taxes are usually paid by payroll deductions called "Pay As You
Earn" (PAYE). The PAYE is similar to the payroll withholding system applied
in the United States. Individuals and firms must also contribute to the Pay
Related Social Insurance (PRSI). The PSRI is similar to U.S. Social Security
payments and covers health and medical care, social assistance, training,
and unemployment benefits. There are several classes and payment rates that
apply. In general, for workers in the industrial, commercial, and service
sectors, a rate of 12.4 percent is paid by the employer and 7.75 percent
paid by the employee on the first IR|15,000 of wages. Other rates apply for
different classes and income levels.
Individual income tax is chargeable on a sliding scale taking into account
several factors such as a personal allowance, PAYE payments, PRSI allowance,
marital status, number of dependents, and other exemptions or entitlements.
Taxable income is the total income after making various deductions.
INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX RATES
Single/Widowed Married Couple Rate
Ir| 1-6,700 Ir| 1-13,400 29%
6,701-9,800 13,401-19,600 48%
9,801-and up 19,601-and up 52%
An individual who lives or visits Ireland and maintains a domicile
(permanent home) there is subject to Irish income tax on worldwide income.
Any individual who lives or visits Ireland, but does not have a permanent
home there, will be taxed on the income obtained in Ireland and the United
Kingdom as well as other income remitted to Ireland. Individuals who
neither live or visit Ireland nor maintain a permanent home there for any
tax year are liable only for Irish taxes on income earned in Ireland.
The tax on corporate profits is levied on the worldwide profits of resident
companies (those managed and owned) in Ireland. For nonresident companies,
such as an American branch or subsidiary in Ireland, the corporate tax is
levied on the profits arising from the Irish operations. An American firm
in the Republic is taxed at the same rate as Irish firms. Investors have
the advantage of liberal depreciation allowances, a low tax rate for
manufacturing operations, and certain preferences for specific commercial
activities within an enterprise zone, such as the Dublin Financial Centre.
Firms must also pay value-added taxes (VAT), which are described in the
"Trade Regulations" section.
The profits or losses for the purpose of corporate taxation are based on the
revenue of the firm adjusted by allowable expenses. The tax is levied on the
adjusted profits based on an accounting period of 12 months. Some allowable
business expenses will be familiar to American accountants and include
wages, raw materials, rents, repairs to buildings and machinery, bad debts,
travel, and advertising. Other taxes are deductible such as VAT, PAYE, and
capital gains. Numerous allowances are provided for depreciation of certain
capital assets. The specific rates must be arranged with the revenue
service. Depreciation allowances are permitted on equipment and machinery,
buildings, expenditures on patents and scientific research, and for the
training of employees. As a general rule, the standard percentage allowances
on assets are 4 percent for industrial buildings and from 10 to 25 percent
for other permitted assets.
BUSINESS TAX RATES
Manufacturing activities 10%
Other corporations 40%
Owner/partner/noncorporation* 48% or 52%
*Taxed at the individual rate
In addition to the incentive for manufacturing of a reduced tax of 10
percent, other tax programs also are available to encourage business
development and job creation. Individuals investing in certain manufacturing
and tourist-related activities can obtain tax relief under the Relief for
Investment in Corporate Trades. Other tax benefits are available for
investment in basic research and development (R&D) companies that qualify
under the specific rules established to encourage R&D activity. Another tax
program provides for tax incentives for expenditures that encourage urban
renewal and development. Designated areas in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Tralee,
and other cities have been established for such tax incentives. One example
of a favorable tax incentive area is the International Financial Services
Centre in Dublin, which has a 10 percent corporate tax rate as well as
capital allowances on plant and machinery. For this specific project,
qualifying firms must carry on banking, insurance, or other international
financial services in the designated area.
Capital Gains Tax
The sale or transfer of an asset imposes a potential tax liability. The
basic capital gains tax is 30 percent to an upper range of 35 to 60 percent,
depending on length of ownership and type of asset. There are numerous
exemptions from the tax including a "roll-over" of business assets. A
replacement of the assets must be made in a period 12 months prior to 36
months after the disposal to defer the capital gains tax. If less than the
entire proceeds from a sale is used to acquire a new asset, then the tax is
applied on a pro rata basis.
Pay levels and other conditions of employment are agreed on through
collective bargaining between employers and employees. Some areas, such as
working hours, safety, and holidays, are defined by law. While there are
minimum pay rates for some specified occupations, there is no national
The constitution guarantees the right of citizens to form associations and
unions and the right to strike. Although legislation does not permit closed
shops, most Irish industries are unionized. American subsidiaries are not
normally unionized since the firms offer more attractive working conditions,
a growing employment career path, and competitive wages. Multiple union
representation is common on the shop floor but with few jurisdictional
Since its establishment in 1959, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU)
has been the coordinating body for trade union activity and includes unions
in Northern Ireland as well as in the Republic. About 45 percent of the
labor force is unionized. There are over 80 trade unions affiliated with the
ICTU for a combined membership of 663,000. Although ICTU member unions
account for more than 90 percent of all membership, there are some
unaffiliated unions. In the area of collective bargaining, ICTU's role is
limited to announcing pay guidelines with negotiations carried out by the
individual unions and management. The ICTU also works to promote labor's
positions on economic and social issues. The ICTU seeks job creation as the
prime government policy objective, to reduce the tax burden on salaried
workers, and gain greater social welfare assistance.
Business interests are represented primarily by the Federated Union of
Employers (FUE). The FUE represents the viewpoint of employers to government
and works on industrial relations, safety, training, as well as labor
negotiations. Over 3,000 firms and organizations are represented by FUE.
Worker Advisory Councils
The appointment of workers on the corporate board or establishment of joint
employer/worker councils, as found in some other European countries, is not
common in Ireland and would be a matter of negotiation between management
and the union. Such councils are found only in a few large firms and are
considered in terms of a forum or means of communication. Irish legislation
provides for worker participation on the boards of several semipublic
enterprises, but this legislation is not applicable to private firms.
Factories usually begin work between 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.; business
offices start between 8:45 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. The length of the workweek is
from 37 to 40 hours with overtime for Sundays and holidays. Under the terms
of the Holidays (Employees) Act of 1973, all full-time employees must be
given 3 weeks paid vacations plus the statutory public holidays. Most firms
now provide 21 days of annual vacation to full-time permanent workers.
Ireland complies with EC directives on employment by adopting the directives
into national legislation. Equal pay legislation requires that a female be
paid the same rate as a male for doing similar work and that employers do
not discriminate based on sex or marital status.
Termination of Employment
Legislation regulates the terms of dismissal of employees. The Minimum
Notice and Terms of Employment Act, 1973, requires a minimum notice of 1
week after 13 weeks of service and up to 8 weeks after 15 years of service.
The act does not abridge the right to terminate an employment contract
without notice because of misconduct or inefficiency.
Work permits are not required for EC nationals, but are required for
nationals of other nations including the United States. Persons going to
Ireland to take up employment are urged to have a position established and a
work permit already issued. The firm interested in employing a worker from a
non-EC country must make the application to the Department of Labor, Davitt
House, Mespil Road, Dublin 4, which will determine if suitable qualified
applicants for the position are available locally.
GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
There is a solid sales potential for U.S. goods and services in Ireland.
This is a highly competitive market, and the U.S. exporter must keep certain
factors in mind to achieve maximum success. The "golden keys" of customary
business courtesy, especially replying promptly to requests for price
quotations and to orders, are a prerequisite for exporting success. In
general, European business executives are more conservative than their
American counterparts; therefore, it is best to refrain from using first
names until a firm relationship has been formed. Friendship and mutual trust
are highly valued, and once an American has earned this trust a productive
working relationship can usually be counted upon.
Irish buyers appreciate quality and service and are willing to pay extra if
they are convinced of a product's overall superiority. Care must be taken to
assure that delivery dates will be closely maintained and that after-sales
service will be promptly honored. Irish buyers, and Europeans in general,
are concerned that after placing an order with an American supplier, the
delivery date will not be honored. While there are numerous factors that may
interfere with prompt shipment, the U.S. exporter must allow for additional
shipping time and keep in close contact with the buyer. Meeting delivery
schedules is of prime importance. It is much better to quote a later
delivery date that can be guaranteed than an earlier one that is not
completely certain. Since Irish wholesalers and retailers generally do a
lower volume of business than their American counterparts, the U.S. exporter
should be prepared to sell smaller lots than is the custom in the United
U.S. exporters should maintain close liaison with distributors and customers
to exchange information and ideas. In most instances, mail, fax, or
telephone communication is sufficient, but the understanding developed
through periodic personal visits is the best way to keep distributors
apprised of new developments and to resolve problems quickly. Prompt
acknowledgement of correspondence by air mail or fax is recommended.
Further, U.S. exporters should seriously consider warehousing in Ireland for
speedy supply and service of customers. A vigorous and sustained promotion
is often needed to launch products because of buying habits. Products must
be adapted to both technical requirements and to consumer preferences. It is
not sufficient to merely label a product in conformity to national
requirements for the development of the full market potential. Consumers
must also be attracted to the product by the label and packaging as well as
ease of use.
There are two official languages in Ireland--Irish and English. While
English is used predominantly, the Irish language (Gaelic) is also used in
the western part of the country. Language barriers pose no problems. While
English is normally used in business contracts and correspondence, some
expressions and terms may have different meanings from those in the United
States. To assure complete understanding, it is well to define unfamiliar
terms. Reference to INCOTERMS, the international set of rules for commercial
terms, helps to reduce possible misunderstandings. See "Quotations and
Payment Terms" section.
Passport and Visas
Every U.S. traveler must have a valid passport. No visa is required of U.S.
citizens visiting Ireland for less than 3 months, but one is required for
longer periods. An American citizen entering Ireland for permanent residence
must register with the police (Aliens Office) as soon as possible after
entering the country. U.S. citizens planning to work in the country must
first obtain a work permit from the Ministry of Labor. The permit is to be
presented to immigration upon arrival. Such permits must be obtained by the
employer and are usually granted only for specialized work. Management and
skilled workers have no difficulty in obtaining the required work permits,
which are renewable every 12 months.
With the ease of telephone communications, international calls are
frequently the best method of arranging appointments and maintaining solid
commercial relations. The time zone for Ireland is Greenwich Mean Time or 5
hours ahead of the U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST + 5 hours). Fax machines
have increased the speed and ease of international communications and should
be used to maintain strong business ties.
Medical services are excellent at major hospitals and compare with those in
the United States. Common medical needs are readily obtained, and special
supplies are normally available on short notice. An international
certificate of vaccination is not required for travelers from the United
States. Drinking water is excellent, most pharmaceuticals are available, and
sanitation at American standards.
Rental automobiles are available at numerous locations. An international or
state driving license is acceptable. Traffic moves on the left-hand side of
the road and it may take the American visitor some time to adjust to.
Tipping is as appropriate in Ireland as it is in the United States.
Generally, for cabdrivers and waiters, 15 percent is the norm. Porters and
bellhops receive 50 pence per piece of luggage.
The electric current in Ireland is alternating current, 50 cycle, 220 volts.
American appliances, such as electric shavers or hair dryers, do not work
and will be damaged if used without a converter.
Because of the moderating influence of the Gulf Stream,
medium-to-heavyweight clothes may be worn most of the year. Wool jackets and
hats are ideal. Rainwear and sturdy walking shoes should also be included in
the wardrobe since there is occasional light rain ("liquid sunshine").
A 40-hour, 5-day workweek is general for offices and factories. For offices,
the customary hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with lunch from 1:00 p.m. to
2:00 p.m. Factories usually start work at 8:00 a.m.; banking hours are from
10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. with banks having
various evening hours posted. Most retail stores are open from 9:00 a.m. to
5:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, although some have later hours to permit
evening shopping. Because of vacations in July and August, many Irish
business executives may not be available except by appointment.
Conservative business attire is recommended at all times. Business
appointments are also required and visitors are expected to be punctual.
European Dates and Numbers
In Ireland, as in the rest of Europe, dates are usually written in the
sequence of day, month, and year. As an example, the date March 17, 1991 is
usually found in written correspondence as 17 March 1991 or 17.3.1991. For
currency or other numerical quantities, use commas to markoff the thousands
position and a decimal point (period) to denote the decimal amounts--the
same practice as followed in the United States; for example, IR|
The basic Irish monetary unit is the Irish pound (Ir|) also known as the
punt. The pound comes in paper currency of |1, |5, |10, |20, |50, and |100
notes. The pound is subdivided into units of 100 pence. Coins are issued in
1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 pence and 1 pound units. The Irish pound has broken
its historical tie with the British pound and these currencies do not trade
at par. See "Foreign Exchange Regulations" section.
The value of the punt changes with respect to the U.S. dollar. Check the
financial section of the daily newspaper for the current exchange rate. The
average exchange rates for recent years are: 1985, $1.06; 1986, $1.34; 1987,
$1.49; 1988, $1.53; 1989, $1.42; and 1990, $1.66.
U.S. credit cards are usually accepted with proper identification such as a
passport. Travelers checks are usually accepted but visitors should inquire
on the policy of the bank, hotel, or store before seeking to cash a personal
In view of the large number of visitors going to Ireland, business travelers
are advised to make their hotel reservations well in advance, especially
during the summer months in order to assure the needed accommodations. There
is a wide range of accommodations from world class hotels to the more
individualized and economical bed and breakfast (B&B) guesthouses.
The following are the official statutory holidays when most commercial
offices are closed. Certain other days are celebrated as holidays within
local jurisdictions. American holidays are observed by the U.S. Embassy and
should be considered when telephoning or visiting the U.S. & Foreign
Commercial Service staff there.
New Year's Day January 1
Saint Patrick's Day March 17
Easter Monday Variable
June Holiday First Monday in June
August Holiday First Monday in August
October Holiday Last Monday in October
Christmas Day December 25
Saint Stephen's Day December 26
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
Boyce Fitzpatrick--Ireland Desk Officer
U.S. Department of Commerce
14th Street and Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20230
Tel (202) 377-5401
Office of European Community Affairs
(Duty rates and 1992 information)
U.S. Department of Commerce
Washington, DC 20230
Tel (202) 377-2905 and 377-5279
U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration District Offices
(Offices located in major cities, consult telephone listings)
Bureau of Export Administration
(Export licensing information)
U.S. Department of Commerce
Washington, DC 20230
Tel (202) 377-4811
Standards Information Service
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Building W1, A629
Gaithersburg, MD 20859
Tel (301) 975-4040
Seafood Inspection and Marketing
National Marine Fisheries Service/NOAA
1335 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Tel (301) 427-2379
U.S. Small Business Administration
Office of International Trade
1441 L Street, NW, Room 501-A
Washington, DC 20416
Tel (202) 653-7794
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Foreign Agricultural Service
Washington, DC 20228
(Duties/quotas on agricultural goods: Tel (202) 447-2423)
(Food regulations and labeling: Tel (202) 447-2144)
(Trade issues and markets: Tel (202) 447-2144)
Senior Commercial Officer
American Embassy Dublin
42 Elgin Road
Dublin, 4 Ireland
mail may also be addressed:
American Embassy Dublin
c/o U.S. Department of Commerce
Washington, DC 20230
U.S Census Bureau
(Publishes a wide variety of trade statistics. Check local municipal or
university library for details.)
Suitland, MD 20233
(Shipper's Export Declarations:
Tel: (301) 763-5310)
(Trade data: Tel (301) 763-5140)
U.S. Department of State
Ireland Desk Officer
Northern European Division
Washington, DC 20232
Tel (202) 647-6071
U.S. Department of Treasury
Western European Office
15th Street and Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20230
Tel (202) 566-2009
U.S. Department of Labor
(Labor reports and statistics)
Bureau of Labor Statistics
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20232
Tel (202) 523-1221
American National Standards Institute
New York, NY 10018
Tel (212) 354-3300
U.S. International Chamber of Commerce
156 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
Tel (212) 206-1150
Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the United States
New York, NY 10006-2503
Tel (212) 248-0008
U.S. Chambers of Commerce
(For certificates of origin, contact your local office)
European Community Information Service
2100 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Tel (202) 862-9500
Export-Import Bank of the United States
811 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20571
Tel (202) 566-8990
Foreign Credit Insurance Association
40 Rector Street
New York, NY 10006
Tel (212) 306-5000
U.S. Council for International Business
(Carnets to clear customs with samples)
1212 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036-1689
Tel (212) 354-4480
Tax and Accounting
1666 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Tel (202) 862-3100
Deloitte and Touche
10 Westport Road
Wilton, CT 06897
Tel (203) 761-3000
Moret Ernst and Young
787 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10019
Tel (212) 773-6488
KPMG Peat Marwick
767 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10153
Tel (212) 909-5000
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
Tel (212) 489-8900
Irish Embassy and Agencies
Embassy of Ireland
2234 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel (202) 462-3939
Irish Consulates are located at:
580 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10036
535 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
681 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Industrial Development Authority (IDA)
140 East 45th Street
New York, NY 10017
Tel (212) 972-1000
Fax (212) 687-8739
2 Centre Plaza
Boston, MA 02108
Tel (617) 367-8225
Fax (617) 367-4745
75 East Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601-3708
Tel (312) 236-0222
Fax (312) 236-3407
1821 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Tel (213) 829-0081
Fax (213) 829-1586
Irish Export Board
(Contacts with trading partners, joint ventures, licensing, distribution)
320 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Tel (212) 371-3600
Ministry of Agriculture and Food
Central Statistics Office
St. Stephen's Green House
Department of Communications
Department of Defence
Department of Education
Department of Energy
Department of the Environment
Department of Foreign Affairs
80 St. Stephen's Green
Government Information Services
Upper Merrion Street
Department of Health
Department of Industry and Commerce
Commerce Division, Trade Regulation
South Frederick Street
45 Merrion Square
Fair Trade Commission
50 Upper Mount Street
Department of Labour
Mespil Road, Dublin 4
Office of Public Works
51 St. Stephen's Green
Stationery Office and Central Purchasing
Office of the Revenue Commissioners
Department of Tourism and Transport
Irish Gas Board
P.O. Box 51
Inchera, Little Island
Coras Iompair Eireann
Electricity Supply Board
Lower Fitzwilliam Street
Hospitals Joint Services Board
General Post Office
Radio Telefis Eireann
Headquarters, Radio and Television
St. Stephen's Green
Trade and Professional Organizations
Association of Advertisers in Ireland
44 Lower Leeson Street
Association of Irish Grocery &
8 Northumberland Avenue
Chambers of Commerce of Ireland
7 Clare Street
Confederation of Irish Industry (CII)
The Confederation is the national organization representing industry in
areas of trade, taxation, and regulations. The following are some of the
members of the Confederation:
Apparel Industries Federation
Building Materials Federation
Engineering Industry Association
Federation of Electronic and Informatic Industries
Food, Drink and Tobacco Federation
Irish Textiles Federation
Plastics Industries Association
Consumer Electronics Distributors Association
The Construction Industry Federation
Federation Union of Employers Baggot Bridge House
84-86 Lower Baggot Street
Federation of Irish Chemical Industries
13 Fitzwilliam Square
Goldsmiths of Dublin
Assay House, Dublin Castle
Irish Banks' Information Service
American States Chamber of Commerce in Ireland
20 College Green
U.S. Publications and References
Following references may be ordered either from the Superintendent of
Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, Tel:
(202) 783-3238 or from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Publications and
Sales Branch, Room 1617M, Washington, DC 20230, Tel (202) 377-5494.
(Biweekly magazine of international trade.)
"Foreign Economic Trends--Ireland"
(Economic conditions with commercial implications.)
"Foreign Labor Trends--Ireland"
(Annual information on labor trends.)
U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Washington, DC 20402
U.S. Census Bureau
(Publishes a wide range of U.S. trade statistics by product and country.
Information available at university or municipal library.)
"A Basic Guide to Exporting"
(A primer on exporting and sources of information.)
"Exporters Guide to Federal Resources for Small Business"
(Describes federal government programs to promote exports and lists contact
points for assistance.)
"Key Officers of Foreign Service Posts: Guide for Business Representatives"
(Lists names and addresses of key American officers overseas.)
"American Chamber of Commerce Directory"
(Annual directory of member firms.)
American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland
20 College Green
"Capital Formation and Investment Incentives Around the World"
Matthew Bender & Co.
235 East 45th Street
New York, NY 10017
Tel (212) 661-5050
(Provides detailed worldwide information on all aspects of exporting and
Dun's Marketing Services
3 Sylvan Way
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Tel (201) 605-6000
"Dun's Marketing Lists"
(Contact lists of foreign firms.)
Dun's Marketing Services
3 Sylvan Way
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Tel (201) 605-6000
"Political Risk Forecasts"
(Risk factors related to finance, investment, and business outlook.)
Frost and Sullivan, Inc.
106 Fulton Street
New York, NY 10038
Tel (202) 233-1080
"Port Import/Export Reporting Service"
(Detailed reports on imports and exports--products, consignee, country of
origin/destination, quantities, weights, and more.)
Journal of Commerce
110 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005
Tel (212) 208-0363
"International Trade Reporter: Shipping Manual"
Bureau of National Affairs
1231 25th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Tel (202) 452-4200
"Investing, Licensing & Trading Conditions Abroad"
Business International Corporation
215 Park Avenue, South
New York, NY 10017
Tel (212) 460-0600
Vol. I -- Names and addresses of firms by industry
Vol. II -- Summary of information on companies.
44 Upper Mount Street
4 Saint Kevin's Terrace
"International Financial Statistics"
(Monthly financial statistics.)
International Monetary Fund
700 19th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20431
Tel (202) 623-7430
"OECD Economic Survey-Ireland"
(Annual analysis of economic trends and prospects.)
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
1750 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20006
Tel (202) 724-6323
"U.S. Firms, Subsidiaries, and Affiliates in Foreign Countries"
World Trade Academy Press
Suite 509, 50 East 42 Street
New York, NY 10017
Tel (212) 697-4999
"Statistical Abstract, Ireland"
(Provides detailed statistics compiled by the Irish Central Statistics
Office, Ir| 25. Other publications also available.)
Government Publications Sale Office
Sun Alliance House
This file extracted from Dept. of Commerce National Trade Data Bank (NTDB)
CD-ROM SuDoc No. C 1.88:993/12. Processed 12/01/1994 by software developed
by RCM (UM-St. Louis Libraries) / OBR_0021