Although the vast majority of exports from Ireland take place without licensing or export controls, restrictions apply to certain goods which may be shipped only under licence from the relevant authority. In addition, exports that may be shipped to one country without a licence, such as dual-use goods, may require a licence to be shipped to another. The EU Common Agricultural Policy prohibits the export of certain agricultural products to countries outside the EU without a valid licence. Licenses may also be required for the export of hazardous waste, archaeological objects and works of art. Finally, trade with certain countries is forbidden or restricted in accordance with UN, EU or OSCE sanctions.

Stiff penalties are prescribed in Irish law for failure to comply with the terms of EU and national legislation on controlled goods, as follows:

• a fine not exceeding €12,500 or three times the value of the goods, whichever is the greater, and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, may be imposed for a breach of the Control of Exports Act 1983. This penalty may be applied in circumstances where false or misleading information was provided for the purpose of obtaining an export licence;
• a fine not exceeding €1,900 and/or imprisonment not exceeding 12 months may be imposed for a breach of the European Communities (Control of Exports of Dual-Use Goods) Regulations 2000 (S.I. No. 317 of 2000). Similar penalties are prescribed for failure to comply with the terms of UN/EU sanctions.
• a fine not exceeding €125 or three times the value of the goods may be imposed under the Customs Act 1956 if dual-use or military goods are exported without a licence.
• a person who contravenes Article 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 467/2001 as amended by Commission Regulation 1354/2001 (Prohibition of the Export of Certain Goods and Services to Afghanistan and Strengthening of the Flight Ban) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €1,900 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.
• a person who contravenes Regulation 2 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1146/2001 (Introducing Certain Restrictive Measures in respect of Liberia) is guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €1,900 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or both.

More information on export licensing can be found in Irish Exporters: Essential Facts. Email maura.smyth@roundhall.ie for more information or a FREE 14 days online trial.

Irish Exporters: Essential Facts

is published by Round Hall Professional Publishing and written and edited by the Irish Exporters Association