United Kingdom–Crown Dependencies Customs Union

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United Kingdom–Crown Dependencies Customs Union
British Crown Dependencies.svg
The British Islands on a map:
  United Kingdom
  Crown Dependencies
TypeCustoms union
Members United Kingdom

Crown Dependencies
 Isle of Man

• Total
243,263[a] km2 (93,924 sq mi) (Unranked)
• Estimate
GDP (PPP)estimate
• Total
£2,288,612 trillion ($3,185,015 trillion)[b]
Pound sterling[c] (de facto currency union)

The United Kingdom–Crown Dependencies Customs Union (UK-CD Customs Union[4]) or customs arrangements with the Crown Dependencies[5] is a customs union that covers the British Islands. It eliminates all tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade between those islands, and creates a common external tariff with other countries.[4]

Although each of the dependencies signed an individual agreement with the UK, these agreements include provision for the inclusion of the other dependencies creating a single customs area between the members.[5]

On 1 January 2021, the United Kingdom extended its membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to the Channel Islands.[6][7][8]


Prior to the UK's exit from the EU, trade between the UK and Crown Dependencies was governed by protocol 3 of the UK's EU accession treaty.[9]

On 26 November 2018, the UK signed customs agreements with each of the Crown Dependencies to allow free trade to continue to flow across between all the parties by creating a single UK–Crown Dependencies Customs Union.[10]

On 29 December 2020, the UK–Crown Dependencies Customs Agreements took effect and officially created a customs union between the UK and Crown Dependencies.[11]


The customs agreements:

These agreements also state that they may be terminated at any time by mutual agreement.[13]

Common Transit Convention[edit]

On 29 December 2020, the United Kingdom became an independent member of Common Transit Convention, this has been extended to the crown dependencies through the UK–Crown Dependencies customs union and is used as the basis for common transit between members.[14]

Customs Alignment[edit]

Paragraph 10, 11 & 12 specifies that members of the customs union will align with the UK in areas of customs laws, rules & procedures.[15]

Joint UK-CD Customs Committee[edit]

The customs agreements created a joint customs committee (UK-CD Customs Committee).[10] This committee will meet at least once a year and will act as a forum for:

  • Exchanging views on common interests regarding the agreements
  • Reviewing the operation of the agreements
  • Seeking appropriate way and methods to avoid problems occurring in regard to areas covered in the agreements
  • Mediation should problems occur regarding areas covered in the agreements.[11]

Customs agreements[edit]

Customs agreements, entered into force on 29 December 2020
Agreement Legislation ratifying the agreements Citation
UK Crown Dependency
Jersey Arrangement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the government of Jersey concerning the establishment and operation of the United Kingdom–Crown Dependencies Customs Union The Crown Dependencies Customs Union (Jersey) (EU Exit) Order 2019 EU Legislation (Customs Union, Import and Export Control) (Jersey) Regulations 2018 [16]
Guernsey Arrangement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the government of Guernsey concerning the establishment and operation of the United Kingdom–Crown Dependencies Customs Union The Crown Dependencies Customs Union (Guernsey) (EU Exit) Order 2019 The Customs Excise (Import)(Customs Declaration) Regulations 2020
Isle of Man Arrangement between the governments of the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man further amending the agreement between those governments on customs and excise and associated matters dated 15th October 1979 The Crown Dependencies Customs Union (Isle of Man) (EU Exit) Order 2019 Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018 (Application) Order 2019

Overseas Territories[edit]

On the 1st January 2021, the UK Government passed a series of regulations to ensure to ensure the UK customs and excise systems continue to function as necessary, this included the Customs (Tariff-free Access for Goods from British Overseas Territories) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 to allow tariff free access to the UK.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Amaya, Nigel (22 March 2018). "What Is A Crown Dependency?". World Atlas.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Demographic Yearbook – Table 3: Population by sex, rate of population increase, surface area and density (PDF) (Report). United Nations Statistics Division. 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Real GDP per capita". Central Intelligence Agency.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ a b "Brexit: the impact of the end of the Transition Period on Guernsey and Jersey". Carey Olsen. 18 January 2021. a new Customs Arrangement (the "UK-CD Customs Union") between the UK and the Crown Dependencies, enabling the Islands to enjoy the benefit of free trade agreements entered into by the UK{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ a b Sweet, Pat (27 November 2018). "UK agrees customs arrangements with crown dependencies". Accountancy Daily.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "Channel Islands to become part of UK's WTO territory". BBC News. 18 October 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "Guernsey will get WTO membership after Brexit". Bailiwick Express. 19 October 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Taylor, Ed (19 October 2019). "Agreement puts Island on 'strongest possible footing' for post-Brexit trade". Jersey Evening Post.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ "The Channel Islands and the European Union". Channel Islands Brussels Office.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ a b Heath, Richard (26 November 2018). "Brexit: Jersey signs customs agreement with UK". Jersey Evening Post. participation in a new Joint UK CD Customs Committee{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ a b "Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey sign deal with UK over post-Brexit trade". BBC News. 26 November 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "Quantitative restrictions". World Trade Organization.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ "Customs agreement signed between the IoM and UK". Isle of Man.com. 28 November 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "Common transit procedures that start outside Great Britain". Croner - i.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "Part 2 – Arrangement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of Jersey Concerning the Establishment and Operation of the United Kingdom-Crown Dependencies Customs Union". Croner-i.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "New customs arrangements for Crown Dependencies". Tax Journal. 28 November 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ "Further customs regulations". Tax Journal. 6 January 2021.


  1. ^ This total is a combined area all of the members [1] [2]
  2. ^ This is the combined total of all members (this citation contains links to all members GDP (PPP) [3]
  3. ^ Local issue: Guernsey pound,Jersey pound & Manx pound
  4. ^

    Quantitative restrictions
    Article XI of the GATT 1994 is the main provision regulating quantitative restrictions (QRs). The scope of this provision includes all prohibitions or restrictions other than tariffs or other taxes applied or maintained by a WTO Member on the importation or exportation of goods, which can be made effective through quotas, import or export licensing procedures, or other measures. Although Article XI of the GATT provides for the general elimination of quantitative restrictions, they are allowed in certain specific circumstances. Members' QR notifications seek to provide transparency on these measures, including on its WTO justification.


External links[edit]