SHOPPERS intending to buy from British websites have been told to think twice about the impact that Brexit is going to have on consumer rights.
comes a warning as there has been an increase in the numbers saying they will buy from UK websites.
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) said many people were unaware that when Britain leaves the European Union, their rights will be affected.
The watchdog said consumers who buy from UK websites are protected by European consumer protection law.
This will not happen automatically from 1 January next, says the CCPC.
When asked about their rights when shopping online, two in five consumers were not aware that there was a difference when buying from an EU versus a non-EU country, research conducted by the State consumer body found.
CCPC said there had been an 18pc increase in the number of people planning to buy more from Irish businesses.
But more than half of consumers still buy from UK businesses.
They buy mainly clothes, shoes and electronics.
Goods purchased from an EU website can be returned for up to 14 days after receipt. Shoppers don’t even have to give a reason for returning something.
This consumer right is expected to remain in place for purchases made from UK websites for this month.
But consumer rights are uncertain from the start of the new year.
Without any formal agreement between the EU and the UK, if UK business does not honor consumer rights, your ability to reach a decision could be difficult, says the CCPC.
And there is unlikely to be a dispute resolution process in the UK as it will no longer be an EU member state.
Director of communications with CCPC Gráinne Griffin said that from January 1, Brexit will mean changes in buying online or returning goods from UK businesses.
“This is especially important for those who may be considering buying high value goods from UK businesses and want to feel confident that this can easily follow in the new year in case of any post-problems sell. ”
Consumers have been advised to check where the website they are buying from.
If the business is based outside the EU, consumers could consider finding another EU store, to ensure they have stronger rights should an issue arise in the future, says Ms Griffin .
Consumers should check the cancellation and return policy if buying from businesses outside the EU.
Many consumers do not, and can often lose out as a result.
Users were advised if they can change the item if they change their mind.
Buying goods from outside the EU, including the UK, means that your purchase may be subject to import taxes or additional charges.
If the cost of the goods you buy, including transport, insurance and handling charges, exceeds € 22 you will have to pay VAT (value added tax).
If your goods alone cost more than € 150 you will have to pay customs tax and VAT.
Shoppers should pay by debit or credit card, says CCPC.
This means that if a business charges a person twice or fails to make the purchase, they can use a reverse charge facility.
This allows the bank to return the money to the card.