The States of Guernsey continues to work closely with the UK Government, alongside Jersey and the Isle of Man, to ensure that trade continues to flow between the islands and our trading partners in the UK and EU post-Brexit. On this page you'll find information and documents relating to our work in this crucial area, including guidance for traders following the UK's exit from the EU on 31 January 2020.
Brexit from a business perspective
Ensuring there was as little disruption to trade as possible was a strategic focus for the States of Guernsey throughout our work to prepare for Brexit and the future partnership. Our priorities in this area have included working with the UK Government to secure an extension of its WTO membership to the islands, ensuring the continued tariff-free movement of goods between the Bailiwick, the UK, Jersey and the Isle of Man by agreeing the formation of a new joint customs union which took effect at the end of the transition period (31 December 2020) and putting in place the necessary legislation to ensure the continual free-flow of data.
- Detailed information on customs information and procedures can be found on the Guernsey Border Agency's webpage.
World Trade Organization
- Historic position - Bailiwick trade in goods and services
- Since the early 1970s, Guernsey has enjoyed the free and frictionless flow of goods between the UK and the EU. In accordance with the UK's Treaty of Accession, Protocol 3, Guernsey was able to trade in agricultural and industrial goods within the EU. Protocol 3 also placed the Bailiwick, Jersey and the Isle of Man in the EU Customs Union, allowing the free movement of goods. During the transition period, the trade in goods will continue as if Protocol 3 still applied.
- The trade in services originating from Guernsey fell outside the scope of Protocol 3. Guernsey is a significant exporter of services both within the EU and globally in certain industry sectors. The island works closely with the EU and where necessary adheres to, or applies, equivalent controls to facilitate trade with EU Member States. There is no change in regard to the trade in services during the transition period.
- Current position - trading after the transition period (from 31 December 2020 onwards)
- When the transition period ended (31 December 2020), the previous customs arrangements ceased. Guernsey had already considered its own future customs arrangements for the future in relation to both goods and services. The States of Guernsey decided in February 2019 to request that the UK extend the territorial scope of its World Trade Organization (WTO) membership to include the Bailiwick of Guernsey. In October 2019, the extension of the UK's WTO membership to the Bailiwick was secured. The extension of the UK's WTO membership to include the Bailiwick took place when the UK became an independently represented member of the WTO (when the transition period ended on 31 December 2020).
- Extension of the UK's WTO membership will play an important role in the future of the Bailiwick's trading relationships with other jurisdictions and was a key part of the States of Guernsey's planning and risk mitigation strategy. Extension the UK's membership provides Bailiwick companies with access to global rules on the trade in goods, services and IP with other WTO members, including EU Member States and the majority of countries worldwide. It helps to provide certainty for businesses.
- For more information, you can read the Policy & Resources Committee's policy letter ' Extending the United Kingdom's membership of the World Trade Organization' here: WTO extension policy letter and the media release about the extension of the UK's WTO membership to include the Bailiwick.
- For further information in relation to the UK's current WTO Commitments in relation to Goods, Services and IP please click on the following link
Movement of agricultural, fisheries, horticultural, food and feed product post-Brexit
- Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure (for veterinary and agriculture matters) call (01481) 221161.
- Committee for Health & Social Care (for food, feed, environmental health/hygiene matters) via email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (01481) 221161.
- Committee for Economic Development (for fisheries and horticulture matters) by calling (01481) 221161.
- Committee for Economic Development (for trade matters) by calling (01481) 222801
Movement of data
- The States of Guernsey approved a new data protection law in November 2017, which had been drafted to align the Bailiwick's legislation with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation. You can read The Data Protection (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2017, and an explanatory note about it, here: The Data Protection (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2017
- Exchanging data with the EU and UK
- The Bailiwick of Guernsey is neither part of the United Kingdom or the European Union. For the purposes of personal data protection, the Bailiwick is a third country to the EU. Guernsey has a well-established personal data protection regime, which has been recognised as "adequate" by the European Commission since 21 November 2003. Brexit does not alter this position.
- On 17 December 2020 the States of Deliberation agreed, after considering a Policy Letter entitled 'Data Protection: United Kingdom Adequacy and Data Sharing', to approve the Ordinance entitled "The Data Protection (Authorised Jurisdiction) (Bailiwick of Guernsey) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020". Approval of the draft Ordinance ensured that the status quo regarding the continued free-flow of personal data between the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the UK was maintained until the end of 2021 in the event that the UK did not receive a data protection adequacy decision by 31st December 2020.
- For more information on data protection, click here.