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Is Jersey a Good EU Neighbour?

Is Jersey a Good EU Neighbour?

The long-standing commitment to being a well-regulated international finance centre.

Published:
September 25, 2020

The Government of Jersey has a long-standing commitment to Jersey being a well-regulated international finance centre, which complies with international standards in transparency. In continuing this work, Jersey has often undertaken measures to ensure equivalence with its EU neighbours, even where none exists in the relevant legislation. Such an approach can confuse clients as to the applicability of EU legislation to Jersey. This article aims to provide some clarity as to the position of Jersey concerning the EU.

Recent years has seen the Government of Jersey give commitments to the EU concerning tax transparency legislation with the introduction of economic substance legislation and mandatory disclosure rules. In doing so, the objective has been to ensure that Jersey remains a good neighbour and not included on transparency "black" or "grey" lists. However, it should be noted that EU legislation does not apply to non-member states, and the directives do not include a third country regime or equivalence.

The territorial scope of EU law extends solely to EU member states, so what is Jersey's position? As Jersey is not a part of the EU, European legislation (including tax transparency or money laundering directives) cannot have a direct effect in Jersey. Jersey is autonomous, with its own government, legislation and courts.

However, having a policy of being a good neighbour to the EU means monitoring developments in EU law and adopting equivalent provisions into Jersey law where appropriate. This has and does include commitments to monitor the implementation of the 5th Money Laundering Directive, and where applicable, adopting broadly equivalent provisions for the disclosure and sharing of company beneficial ownership details. It is also why Jersey has introduced the tax transparency legislation it has.

 

So why has the Government of Jersey taken this position?

As a leading international financial centre, Jersey is committed to adhering to international standards in the fight against financial crime. Evaluations by international bodies including MONEYVAL, the Council of Europe's AML/CFT monitoring body, against global standards set by FATF have seen Jersey assessed as being overwhelmingly compliant. Jersey has also recently been assessed as 'a third country' by the EU and found to have an appropriately stringent AML/CFT regime. Those assessed as not, were included on a list of countries with weaker AML/CFT regimes. Jersey's non-inclusion on that list is a testament to the work undertaken in Jersey over the years.

In recent years, Jersey has adopted similar measures and legislation to the EU, this is pursuant to the commitment made to meet with international standards and being a good neighbour. It should not be forgotten that even within the confines of the EU, many member states are far from compliant with the requirements of the 4th and 5th money laundering directives.

Our clients (old and new), can rest assured that by choosing Fiduchi, they are working with a partner headquartered in a leading IFC that meets the highest standards and will continue to do so.

Author
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Paul Coundley
Director - Operations
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The content in this article is provided for general information only and is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. See the full disclaimer here.