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Jurisdictions


Synopsis

Guernsey is the second largest of the Channel Islands with Jersey being the largest. Guernsey lies in the English Channel off the north west coast of France. It covers 24 square miles Map and has a population of approximately 58,000 with the principal centre of business activity being St. Peters Port.

The Channel Islands have a unique constitutional arrangement with the UK. The Islands are possessions of the English Crown as distinct from colonial and overseas dependencies of the United Kingdom and accordingly the locally elected legislative assemblies have the exclusive right to legislate on matters of domestic concern to the Islands (including taxation) whilst the United Kingdom Home Office is responsible for the external affairs of the Islands.

The Islands are associated members of the European Community and as such are only subject to European law in so far as they specifically contract in to the European Community. Thus they have elected to become part of the common tariff and agricultural levy system but are not subject to European law in most other areas.

The official language is English although French is still spoken and the legal system is based upon a mixture of English and French law.

Guernsey has signed double taxation agreements which provide for the exchange of information with the United Kingdom, so UK residents should carefully consider whether Guernsey is the correct place in which to set up an offshore structure.