The Channel Islands are situated in the Bay of St. Malo off the Northwest coast of France and comprise of the Bailiwick of Guernsey (Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm) and the Bailiwick of Jersey. They are self-governing Crown dependency with their own legislative assemblies, systems of local administration and laws and their own courts. Matters concerning defence and international relations, including relations with the European Union are the responsibility of the British Government.
When in 1973 the UK joined the EC, special arrangements were made for the Channel Islands. Protocol 3 to the UK Act of Accession applies EC Customs rules to the Channel Islands, and Article 3 of the Community Customs Code (EC Regulation 2913/92, as amended) includes the Channel Islands as part of the EC's Customs territory. This clearly portrays what was set out in Protocol 3 and states that for Customs purposes the Channel Islands are within the Customs territory of the EC.
The Islands are excluded from the provisions of the EC Treaty, apart from those ensuring the proper functioning of free trade with the EC Article 25(c) of the UK Act of Accession.
These provisions allow for the free movement of goods between the Islands and the EC without any Customs charges being levied.
As the Islands are not part of the European Union VAT is not applicable on goods in the Islands, however goods sent from the Islands to an EC country are subject on arrival in that country to any applicable VAT charges.
The Community Customs Code and the Implementing Regulation EC Regulation 2454/93 , are the basis for standard Customs procedures throughout the Customs territory of the Community.