Exporting guide to Ireland

Overview

Ireland is an important trading partner for the UK. Trade and foreign investment is encouraged and growth is strong. Ireland's similarities to the UK make it an ideal market for first-time exporters.

Trade statistics

£45.1 billion total UK exports to Ireland for the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022)

3rd largest UK export market

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022)

7.0% of total UK exports for the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022)

Strong, growing economy

There are a number of sectors in Ireland that are expected to grow considerably, offering opportunities for UK companies. These include the construction, life sciences (pharmaceuticals and medical devices), agritech and energy sector (off-shore wind and renewables).

First-time exporters

Ireland is a good place for UK businesses to try exporting for the first time, as business practices, laws, systems of finance and broader culture are similar to the UK. However, a set of competitive and strong product and service USPs are important to succeed in a competitive market environment.

Good perception of UK goods and services

There is a long history of strong trade between the UK and Ireland. Irish consumers and businesses are very familiar with UK goods and services and see them as high quality. UK companies receive positive support from local partners.

Top five UK goods exported to Ireland, in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

Goods Value (£billion)
Gas 2.3
Organic chemicals 2.2
Refined oil 1.7
Medicinal & pharmaceutical products 1.4
Other manufactures (consumer) 0.8

Source: ONS Trade in goods: country-by-commodity exports
Last updated: July 2022
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Ireland.

Top five UK services exported to Ireland, in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

Service Value (£billion)
Other Business Services 13.8
Financial 3.3
Transportation 1.2
Telecommunications, computer and information services 1.0
Travel 0.5

Source: ONS UK trade in services: service type by partner country, non-seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Ireland.

Ireland: at a glance

Economic growth

13.5%

Actual figure (IMF, 2021)
The UK is 7.4% (IMF, 2021, projected figure)

GDP per capita

$99,013

Actual figure (IMF, 2021)
The UK is $47,203 (IMF, 2021, projected figure)

Currency

Euro

Business languages

English

Time zone

GMT +0

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Opportunities for exporters

The UK and Ireland have a long history of trade. Ireland is a world leader in a number of advanced sectors, with a large pool of Irish and multinational companies. Irish consumers are well informed and affluent, with a positive perception of UK goods and services.

Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

See current trade barriers

See resolved trade barriers

Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

See current duties and customs procedures

Doing business in Ireland

If you're planning to export to Ireland, make sure you're aware of the market's unique taxes, laws and challenges. Contact our trade advisers for more information.

Preparing to export

Tax and customs

The Office of the Revenue Commissioners is responsible for tax and customs matters in Ireland.

VAT

Most goods or services supplied in Ireland are subject to VAT. Various rates apply, including:

  • 23% standard rate
  • 13.5% on a number of labour intensive services
  • 9% on tourism goods and services
  • 4.8% on livestock
  • 0% on services supplied in the public interest such as food, medicine, children’s clothes, childcare and education

Regulations

Products and packaging should meet EU standards.

Local standards and technical regulations may apply. You should seek legal advice or guidance from the appropriate regulatory agency in Ireland.

Services regulations

Information on rules for selling services and business travel to Ireland is available on gov.uk

Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) rights are territorial. Rights granted in the UK do not provide protection elsewhere. You should consider getting IP protection abroad if you want to trade overseas or sell to overseas customers via the internet.

The Intellectual Property Office’s International IP Service provides practical information to help you protect, manage and enforce your IP abroad. Further support can be accessed through the service’s network of IP attachés. Based in key UK export markets, they provide guidance to British businesses on local IP matters.

Trade barriers

Check for any reported barriers to trading with Ireland.

Report any trade barriers that are affecting your business so we can help fix them.

Operating in Ireland

Doing business in Ireland

Business operations are very similar to the UK. However, there are certain challenges you should be aware of. These include high business costs and strong competition from Irish and European suppliers.

Payment terms

Direct debit mandates, Bankers’ Automated Clearing Services (BACS), Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and cheques are all widely used in Ireland.

Standard payment terms are usually 30 days. However, average payment days currently stand at 55 days.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.