Jack Quann
Jack Quann

18.54 19 Nov 2019


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President Michael D Higgins has signed legislation, which gives consumers extra protection when buying or using gift vouchers, into law.

The Office of the President says the Consumer Protection (Gift Vouchers) Bill 2018 has accordingly become law.

It will see gift vouchers have an expiry date of at least five years from the date of contract.

Where a gift voucher contract does not include an expiry, a term of five years would automatically be applied.

While users of gift vouchers will not be required to spend the full value of the voucher in a single transaction.

The cancellation of gift vouchers, or the imposition of charges if a recipient's name is registered incorrectly, is also banned.

And a gift voucher will not contain a term that places a limit on the number of gift vouchers a person is allowed to redeem in a single transaction.

Speaking back in December 2018, Business Minister Heather Humphreys said: "By having a set five-year expiry date on all gift vouchers, we will provide certainty to everyone involved.

"This has been a real bugbear for people for many years and, of course, it's particularly relevant now in the run up to Christmas when many of us will buy gift vouchers for family and friends."

The minister had also sought to deal with the issue of fees for the replacement of gift vouchers and for 'inactive balances', commonly known as maintenance fees.

But a number of legal issues on foot of advice from the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of Parliamentary Council were presented.

The minister said rather than delay the bill, she decided to progress it without this provision.


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Business Minister Heather Humphreys Consumer Protection Expiry Dates Five Years Gift Voucher Legislation Gift Vouchers Michael D Higgins New Legislation Single Transaction

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