Gift vouchers could be valid for five years under new laws

Gift vouchers will have to have a minimum expiry date of at least five years under proposed new laws approved by the Cabinet.

The draft legislation will also ban a requirement for gift vouchers to be spent in a single transaction. 

Cancellation of gift vouchers, or the imposition of charges, where the recipient’s name is registered incorrectly will also be outlawed if the new rules are passed by the Oireachtas.

However, the draft laws do not address the practice by some retailers of imposing fees on inactive or dormant vouchers, or when lost or stolen vouchers are being replaced.

This is because the Government’s legal advice is that the issue requires further examination before it can be addressed.

It hopes to be in a position to introduce an amendment on the fees issue as the main legislation is progressing through the Oireachtas though.