Legal framework and regulation

Key legislation

The following tables contains some key legislation to consider before you begin trading into the Republic. Please note that the table is not an exhaustive list and that it is limited to the legislation that applies in the Republic unless otherwise stated.

The reader should also note that while there are key differences between the legal structures in the Republic and Northern Ireland, there are also many similarities, particularly where EU-derived legislation is in place. It is suggested that the reader consult the UK passport, which can be found at, to better understand the overall picture. Northern Ireland is part of the UK and as such falls under the UK legislative process, although there are some local differences due to devolved government.


This section of the eCommerce Worldwide Ireland Passport is provided for general information only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. eCommerce Worldwide doesn’t owe any duty of care to any reader of this section of the passport document. You should consult a suitably-qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter.

Rules around data protection in the Republic are based around the various directives and regulations of the European Union and are related to trade, commerce and consumers within the EU 28. Businesses that wish to trade into Ireland, or any other of the EU 28 must abide by these rules. To assist with this activity, there are a number of Memorandums of Understanding (MOU’s) that have been shared between the ODPC and various international governments, including:

  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. US

In the case of the US, a program called ‘Safe Harbor’ enabled businesses in the EU and US transfer consumer data on the basis of accepted norms of how this data is processed and protected. However, in 2015 this view was challenged in an Irish court and upheld by the European Courts of Justice. As a result, Safe Harbor has been called into question and is currently being replaced by Privacy Shield. There are some doubts as to whether this answers the concerns of the ECJ and business should seek legal advice to better understand their roles and responsibilities in this environment.





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