Trade Policy and Regulations in Ireland
Foreign Trade in Figures
Ireland is a very open economy and therefore very dependent on international situations. During the period 2007-2009, trade represented 156.5% of the GDP.
After the international economic crisis, the structural trade surplus strongly increased due to the fall of imports combined recently with some resistance in exports.
The main imports are machinery and equipment, oil and petroleum products, textiles and clothing. The main exports are computers, chemical and pharmaceutical products, live animals and animal products.
Ireland's main trade partners are the European Union and the United States.
|Foreign Trade Indicators||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009|
|Imports of Goods (million USD)||68,565||73,118||83,823||83,965||62,507|
|Exports of Goods (million USD)||109,657||108,726||121,544||125,724||114,587|
|Imports of Services (million USD)||71,386||78,460||94,871||109,290||103,449|
|Exports of Services (million USD)||59,402||68,659||93,239||101,580||96,745|
|Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||8||6||8||-3||-10|
|Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||5||4||-||-||-|
|Trade Balance (million USD)||35,096||31,888||27,126||34,713||44,960|
|Current Account (million USD)||-7,150||-9,095||-13,850||-15,297||-6,488|
|Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)||152||150||152||156||162|
|Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||70||70||71||74||74|
|Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||82||80||80||83||89|
Source: WTO - World Trade Organization ; World Bank
Main Partner Countries
(% of Exports)
|Other partnersClose extended list||33.9%|
(% of Imports)
|Other partnersClose extended list||35.8%|
- Main International Economic Cooperation
- Member of
World Trade Organisation
As a member of the European Union Ireland is signatory of Preferential Trade Agreements, Current Trade Agreements, Lome Convention and Generalized System of Preferences for Developing Countries (GSP).
- Assessment of Commercial Policy
Ireland and the WTO
Barriers to exchanges
- Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
Ireland applies EU tariffs (customs duties) that are based on the international Harmonized System of product classification. For further information visit the website of
Irish Tax and Customs and the website of
Customs Union of the EU.
- Useful Resources
Irish Tax and Customs
- National Organization of Intellectual Property
Copyright Association of Ireland
Irish Patents Office
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Although the European Union is a customs union with a Community Customs Code and a harmonized tariff system for product classification, customs administration is a Member State activity.
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