When goods are imported into the Bailiwick of Guernsey directly from a country other than the UK, Jersey or Isle of Man, or if the goods are classified as being 'in transit' through one of these countries and have not attained Customs clearance in that jurisdiction, a full Customs Declaration must be submitted for the goods being imported;
- via the Guernsey Electronic Manifest System (GEMS) for unaccompanied goods,
- or via the Passenger payment Portal at any Customs Red point for accompanied goods.
Customs Red points are located at the harbour, airport and Customs offices at Detection Branch Headquarters and at the Customs and Excise office at the New Jetty.
All unaccompanied goods that are being imported directly from outside the Customs Territory will require all individual items in a consignment to be declared and a unique Commodity Code for each specific item provided and proof of where the goods originated, known as "Rules of Origin". This Customs Declaration can be made within a specific period either before or after the goods arrive into the Bailiwick. Currently, the standard option for most freight agents will be to complete the declaration after the item is manifested on a consignee's behalf. Where freight agents do not provide this service agents can provide a specific Consignment Line Code (CLC) that is generated by GEMS for the consignee or another agent to complete the declaration requirement.
If an importer desired to do so they could create a declaration up to 7 days prior to the goods arrival. Once corresponding consignment has been manifested within GEMS, the consignment and declaration are matched. However, this is dependent on all Customs conditions being successfully met; such as potentially providing licences, invoices, proof of origin or either any duties being paid or 'deferred' by those business with a financial account with Guernsey Customs.
All accompanied goods, imported directly from outside the Customs Territory will also require a declaration, this can be pre declared within GEMS up to 7 days as above, or on arrival via the Passenger Payment Portal at the Customs Red point. See Import Duty & Allowances
Excise goods; alcohol, tobacco and some fuels are liable to excise duty from any country. See Excise Duty Allowances.
All goods are liable to be detained until any Customs requirement, evidence or payment is settled.
Guernsey's Electronic Manifest System (GEMS)
GEMS is used by all freight agents to manifest their shipments both in and out of the Bailiwick, including between Guernsey and Alderney. If any individual consignments on GEMS require further action, an online declaration can be made through this software, including the ability to pay any duties that may potentially be liable. Eg. Excise duty on alcohol, tobacco, or fuel; or import duty from goods that arrive from outside the Customs Territory.
It can be complicated to submit Import and Export Customs declarations, so you may want to use a company which specialises in this area. Most people use Customs agents to deal with Customs for them. Customs agents are not endorsed by the Customs and Excise.
Agents can help find the information needed to complete and submit Customs Declarations. Normally, a Customs agent will need to be established in the Bailiwick in order to undertake Customs functions. A list of Guernsey based business that may be able to make Customs Declarations on the importers behalf can be found in the downloads section.