Home Knowledge Update: Screening of Third Country Transactions Bill

Update: Screening of Third Country Transactions Bill

It is anticipated that the Screening of Third Countries Transactions Bill 2022 (Bill) will be enacted shortly, but at the time of writing, it is not clear when it will be commenced.

Once commenced, the Bill will provide for the screening of transactions completed after the commencement date, as well as providing a “look-back” review mechanism for transactions entered into prior to commencement.

The Bill underwent Committee Stage in January 2023 before the Dail Select Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, where a number of amendments were proposed and passed. These amendments included revisions to the definitions of “transaction” and “control”, and also clarified when the 90-day screening period shall commence.

When enacted, the Bill will impose a mandatory notification requirement for transactions which may pose a risk to the security of the State. The notification will be made to the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Minister), and must be made not less than ten days before the transaction is completed. The Minister must review the transaction as soon as practicable following receipt of the notification and is required to make a screening decision on or before the later of:

  • 90 days from the date on which the screening notice was issued; or
  • up to 135 days from the date on which the screening notice was issued, where the Minister has informed the relevant parties in writing within 90 days from the issuing of the screening notice that the deadline for making the decision is being extended.

We will keep you apprised on further developments in relation to the Bill. If you wish to explore any aspect further, please reach out to Cormac Little SC of our Competition Team or your usual William Fry Contact.


Contributed by Julie Murray