Gift vouchers must be valid for at least five years under new law
A new law requiring a minimum expiry date of five years for gift vouchers has come into effect from today.
The Consumer Protection (Gift Vouchers) Act 2019 is the first piece of legislation in any European country designed to protect consumers on gift vouchers.
There was previously no specific statutory regulation in Ireland of the expiry date or other terms of gift voucher contracts.
As well as the minimum expiry date, the law also bans any terms requiring the full value of a voucher to be spent in one transaction, preventing consumers using more than one gift voucher in a transaction, or requiring the name of the recipient to be provided by the purchaser.
Business Minister Heather Humphreys said: “I am very pleased to be able to bring the five-year expiry date and a number of other important protections for consumers into effect from Monday.
“I am particularly pleased to do so at the start of the Christmas period when many of us will buy or receive gift vouchers.
“Consumers should not find themselves unable to use gift vouchers given to them by family members or friends because of unreasonably short expiry periods imposed by gift voucher issuers.
“Many gift vouchers until now have had expiry periods of just one or two years and in some cases it has been as little as six months. As of Monday anyone who receives a gift voucher will have the certainty that it will be valid for at least five years.”