Isle of Man: The British Crown Dependencies - Ready For Take Off!

Last Updated: 15 July 2014
Article by Appleby  

The British Crown Dependencies are self-governing possessions of the British Crown and distinct from the UK Overseas Territories. There are three Crown Dependencies, the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey in the English Channel and the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea.

All are independently governed jurisdictions, with their own currencies, and none forms part of the UK, the Commonwealth of Nations or the European Union (EU). Although not a Member State of the EU, uniquely the Isle of Man forms a common area with the UK for Value Added Tax and customs purposes. The Crown Dependencies, together with Great Britain are known collectively as the British Isles.

Corporate aircraft have traditionally been registered in the home state of the owner. Alternatively, before May 2007, there were also three offshore aircraft registers in the Caribbean region, Aruba, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. There are now over 190 private aircraft registered in the Cayman Islands, and more than 300 registered in Bermuda in both the public and private categories, many of which are owned by multinational companies or high net worth individuals.

Operating a business jet makes practical business sense for a successful international corporation. Two-day airline ordeals can be turned into an efficient one-day in and out journey, enabling business travellers to go direct to international markets quicker and more frequently. Business jet travellers regularly benefit from time-saving, schedule flexibility, efficiency and security.

The world's largest register of business aircraft is the USA, currently there are nearly 12,000 business jets on their register and whilst the majority are owned by US Corporations and US Nationals, a large percentage are owned by non-nationals through US Trusts. The number of aircraft foreign owned through trusts technically makes the US the largest global offshore register.

The Isle of Man Registry

In May 2007, the Isle of Man established an aircraft registry purely for private/corporate aircraft. As the Island could never be a contracting state to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) it needed the UK as the contracting state to accept international responsibility for the register. The Isle of Man was the ninth aircraft register for which the UK accepts responsibility, the others being the Overseas Territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos and of course the UK's own register administered by the CAA. The UK's register has the nationality prefix 'G' followed by four characters, to provide a unique aircraft registration mark.

The UK had also been allocated a number of registration prefixes for potential future use by its Territories when ICAO was formed in 1944. Among these was the prefix 'M' which, at the beginning of the aviation industry, had originally been chosen by Spain, presumably with deference to its capital city Madrid. In 1931, Spain changed its civil aircraft register prefix to 'EC' for España Civil and 'M' remained in the UK allocation until it eventually became the perfect prefix for the Isle of Man.

The start of the Isle of Man register in 2007 could not have been better timed, with the economy still rapidly expanding, orders for some business jet models were sold out for up to five years ahead. Pre-owned jets were trading at a premium and changing hands above their value because buyers were willing to pay more to take delivery sooner, rather than endure years waiting for their new aircraft. Unlike other aircraft registers the Isle of Man was dedicated only to the registration of high quality private/corporate business jets and twin-turbine engine helicopters and does not register aircraft for commercial air transport. From day one it recognised that for successful global businesses, corporate aircraft are essential business tools and to

operate efficiently they need the support of a service driven, pragmatic regulator which sets high safety standards.

Uniquely for a Crown Dependency, the Isle of Man offers a distinct advantage for aircraft owning structures with its business-oriented customs division allowing for the speedy processing of VAT registration applications. Its small but efficient airport is a popular entry point for the importation of aircraft into the EU.

Registry in the Channel Islands

Hoping to emulate the success of the Isle of Man, in 2013 the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey considered establishing a joint Channel Islands aircraft register. However, it was decided that a joint register could not meet the separate operational and commercial interests of both Islands and it was agreed that each jurisdiction would move ahead with separate plans for two new aircraft registers. In December 2013, Guernsey launched its new aircraft registry, choosing '2' as its nationality prefix followed by four characters.

In the third quarter of 2014, the third Crown Dependency Jersey plans to launch its new aircraft registry. Jersey is the largest of the British Channel Islands and is located 85 miles from the South coast of England and 14 miles from France. The financial services and legal sectors account for around two-fifths of the total economic activity. Jersey will soon announce its registration prefix and aims to establish a professional, well-resourced and efficient register to complement its well-regulated financial services sector.

Advantages to Registering

There are many advantages to registering an aircraft offshore. Firstly high regulatory standards, privacy, the identity of the aircraft owner can remain undisclosed, the flexibility to validate different nationalities of pilot's licences, the ability to transfer your personal registration marks to a new aircraft, a politically neutral registration mark when flying in sensitive parts of the world, a secure mortgage register for financial institutions, favourable company tax and high international service standards as all offshore jurisdictions are regularly dealing with global organisations in different time zones. All three Crown Dependencies accept (or will accept) the same qualifying owners as the UK including Commonwealth and EEA citizens and companies. The Isle of Man is also adding Switzerland as a qualifying country.

The Future Looks Bright for Business Aviation

Following the credit crunch of 2008, the business jet market took a huge battering, with some manufacturers reporting order numbers dropping by two-thirds between 2008 and 2010. Chief Executives with jets on order quickly cancelled for fear of shareholder revolt, and the market for small and mid-size entry-level jets has still not recovered. Despite larger high quality intercontinental jets continuing to be sold, 2013 saw the first rise of 0.9% in business jet deliveries since 2008. Honeywell's annual Business Aviation Outlook forecast, in late 2013, estimates up to 9,250 deliveries of new business jets valued at over $250 billion through 2023, which indicates a reassuring busy decade lies ahead for business aviation.

Offshore aircraft registers will soon have doubled in number during the last seven years and the three independent Crown Dependency registers, geographically convenient to Europe, within the same time-zone and familiar with servicing global clients, will probably attract a large number of traditionally 'home' registered corporate jets 'offshore' in the future.

This article first appeared in the Legal Week Offshore Feature in April 2014.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Department of Economic Development
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Department of Economic Development
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions