New law to change Christmas gift vouchers expiry dates

Leinster Express Reporter

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Christmas voucher

Minimum lifespan of five years for gift vouchers 

A new Bill will provide for a five-year minimum expiry date for gift vouchers given at Christmas and other times of the year.

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys has secured Cabinet approval to publish the Consumer Protection (Gift Vouchers) Bill 2018. The Bill provides for a five-year minimum expiry date for gift vouchers.

There is a great variation on expiry dates which can range from as little as 6 months to 12 months to 24 months. This often leads to confusion among consumers.

The Bill also includes two additional provisions raised by consumers during the recent public consultation on gift vouchers. 

The first relates to cases where traders require a gift voucher to be spent in full in a single transaction. The second relates to cases where traders require the name of the intended recipient of a gift voucher to be provided, and either cancel the voucher if that name is not correct or apply a charge for the correction of the name. 

The changes may not apply until the proposals are passed into law and so gift vouchers given this Christmas are likely to continue to fall under what is allowed at present.