The 1980 Act defines an importer as the "person by whom or on whose behalf the package is entered for customs purposes on importation".
An importer in this sense means anyone who imports products into Ireland from outside the European Economic Area. A person is not treated as an importer when the goods have come from another EEA Member State and bear the e-mark.
What are the importer's duties?
An importer is responsible for the quantity contained in the packages and for ensuring that they are correctly marked. In addition importers have a duty to either:
- carry out checking procedures to confirm the quantity, make a record of the checks, and keep the record for a year
- obtain suitable documents relating to the packages in order to provide an adequate guarantee of quantity.
There is no obligation on the importer to test any packages where suitable documents are obtained. However, the packages are subject to the inspector's reference tests and if they fail, an importer would find it difficult to establish a legal defence unless they could show that they took steps to verify the information.