The Channel Islands are a group of Islands situated 20km off the North Coast of France within one hour's flying time of both London and Paris. They comprise four principal islands of which Jersey and Guernsey are the most important. Jersey is approximately 115 sq kms and has a resident population in excess of 85,000.

The islands are possessions of the English Crown. Both the direct link with the Crown and the constitutional position have been reinforced by charters and the islands enjoy legislative autonomy in all matters, although the UK has accepted responsibility for foreign affairs and defence.

The government of the island is in the hands of The States of Jersey. The island is not represented directly in the UK parliament and the UK parliament will not legislate on matters of a purely local concern, including taxation.

When the UK joined the European Union in 1972, attached to the Treaty of Accession were a number of Protocols, one of which dealt with the Channel Islands. Jersey is not a member of the EU and its rules only apply to the extent required to apply the Common External Tariff. The other provisions of the Treaty of Rome including compliance with the various Directives do not apply. Jersey has successfully positioned itself as a major finance centre, "Offshore Europe".

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.

For further information please contact:

Veronica Tonge
Ernst & Young Trust Company (Jersey) Limited
PO Box 621
Le Gallais Chambers
54 Bath Street
St Helier
Channel Islands

Tel No: 01534 501000
Fax No: 01534 23265
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URL:     Click Contact Link