Public Consultation on gift voucher fees and expiry dates

On 12 June 2018, the Government approved the drafting of the Unfair Contract Terms (Gift Vouchers) Bill 2018. The Bill proposes, first, that gift vouchers must be valid for a minimum term of five years and, secondly, that the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation will have power to set fees for the issue and replacement of gift vouchers and for ‘inactive balances’ on gift vouchers (commonly referred to as dormancy or maintenance fees).

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation invites submissions to a public consultation on gift voucher fees. The main purpose of the consultation is to obtain information and views on gift voucher fees in order to assist the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation in deciding on the level of fees, if any, that should apply. Views are also welcome on the proposed expiry date provision and in particular on any difficulties which it might present for businesses issuing certain types of gift voucher.

The consultation comprises two documents (see links below): a Note which provides background information on gift vouchers and gift voucher fees and a Consultation Paper. Part 1 of the Consultation Paper seeks the inputs of consumers on gift voucher fees. Part 2 seeks the inputs of businesses and includes separate sections for businesses which do, and do not, currently apply gift voucher fees. The Department would encourage interested parties to provide information and submit responses on the questions set out in the documents. While the questions in the Consultation Paper are aimed at consumer users and business issuers of gift vouchers, responses would also be welcome from other parties with a function or interest in the matters at issue.

Responses

Responses to the consultation should be sent by close of business on Friday 31 August 2018 by e-mail to conspol@dbei.gov.ie or by post to Competition and Consumer Policy Section, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Earlsfort Centre, Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2. Responses to the consultation will be made available on the website of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Any material contained in responses which respondents do not wish to be made public in this way should be clearly identified as confidential in the submission.

Freedom of Information

Respondents should be aware that responses may be disclosed by the Department following a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2014. Any information that is regarded as commercially sensitive should be clearly identified and the reason for its sensitivity stated. In the event of a request under the Freedom of Information Act, the Department will consult with respondents about information identified as commercially sensitive before deciding on such a request.

General Data Protection Regulation

Respondents should note that the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) entered into force in Ireland on 25th May 2018 and it is intended to give individuals more control over their personal data.

The key principles under the Regulation are as follows:

  • Lawfulness, fairness and transparency;

  • Purpose Limitation;

  • Data minimisation;

  • Accuracy;

  • Storage Limitation;

  • Integrity and confidentiality, and

  • Accountability.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation is subject to the provisions of the Regulation in relation to personal data collected by it from 25 May 2018.

Any personal information, which you volunteer to this Department, will be treated with the highest standards of security and confidentiality, strictly in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018. 

Published by Commerce, Consumer and Competition

Topics: Competition and Consumer Policy, Consumer and Competition, Your Consumer Rights

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