Ireland is introducing an inward investment screening mechanism for third country investment.
‘Investment screening’ refers to a procedure allowing the State to assess, investigate, authorise, condition, or prohibit foreign direct investments based on a range of security and public order criteria.
The Screening of Third Country Transactions Act 2023 enables the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment to respond to threats to Ireland’s security and public order posed by particular types of foreign investment, and to prevent or mitigate such threats.
The screening mechanism is expected to commence operation during the second quarter of 2024. To assist investors to understand the obligations and responsibilities arising as a result, the department has published draft guidance for stakeholders which provides detailed information on:
- the objective of the screening mechanism
- the types of transactions that fall within the scope of the mechanism and which require mandatory notification
- the notification and screening process
- rights of appeal
- the penalties for non-compliance with the requirements of the Act
The Act, the guidance and the notification form (to be completed by parties to a transaction falling within the scope of the mechanism) are available for download below and potential investors are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the content. The guidance will be finalised prior to commencement. Further guidance on rights of appeal and the related appeals processes will issue in advance of commencement.
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For further information, please contact the Inward Investment Screening Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EU FDI Screening Regulation
The Screening of Third Country Transactions Act 2023 was developed on foot of the adoption of the EU FDI Screening Regulation which came into force in October 2020. The Regulation was a response to the growing concerns amongst Member States about the acquisition of strategic or sensitive European companies or technology by foreign-owned firms from third countries.
The Regulation provides a framework for screening third country investment and creates a cooperation mechanism through which Member States and the European Commission can exchange information and raise specific concerns about specific investments on security or public order grounds.
The department is responsible for implementing this Regulation and acts as Ireland’s National Contact Point for cooperation with the European Commission and with other EU Member States on all inward investment screening matters.
In October 2023, the European Commission published the third annual report on the application of the FDI Screening Regulation, summarising trends and figures on FDI into the EU, legislative developments in Member States, and screening activities by Member States currently operating a screening mechanism.
Revision of the FDI Screening Regulation
On 24 January 2024, the European Commission adopted a range of initiatives to strengthen the EU’s economic security at a time of growing geopolitical tensions and profound technological shifts. One of these initiatives aims at further strengthening the protection of EU security and public order by proposing improved screening of foreign investment into the EU. Details of the legislative proposal can be found on the European Commission's FDI Screening page.
Privacy is important to us, and we are fully committed to processing and keeping any personal information we receive safely. Our privacy notice is intended to provide information about the personal data we may collect and about how that data may be used and shared in the context of the processing activities undertaken by the Inward Investment Screening Unit. This notice also sets out the privacy rights connected with the collection of such data. Should you wish to familiarise yourself on how and why we may collect this personal data you can view our privacy notice. For further information on the department's policies in relation to data protection, see Data Protection.