Guide

Exporting to the Republic of Ireland

Business and consumer culture in the Republic of Ireland

The business and consumer cultures of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (RoI) are similar. RoI is mainly English-speaking and shares many cultural values with Northern Ireland.

However, there are some distinguishing features of RoI's business and consumer culture:

  • membership of the EU has allowed RoI consumers to compare prices with those in other participating states. This has heightened consumer awareness of the prices paid for goods and services.
  • many public holidays in RoI differ from Northern Ireland.
  • There are new markets for previously unknown consumer goods in RoI. For example, a wide variety of ethnic foodstuffs are now in demand.
  • The Irish language is highly visible throughout RoI. It is used in the names of key state agencies, and road signs in selected areas.

In addition there may be legal issues to consider. For example:

  • If you set up a base in RoI, you will need to comply with employment law. For example, you will need to consider wages, the maximum number of hours to be worked and holidays.
  • Importers to RoI must adhere to laws on the safety of products for sale. Specific safety rules apply to food products.

The Gaeltacht regions

There are advantages in establishing a base in Irish-speaking or Gaeltacht regions. These are located mainly in the west and northwest. Incentives are offered to businesses that invest there. These include grants for equipment, building and training.

Grant-aided businesses are encouraged to promote the use of the Irish language.