Brexit – Frequently asked questions
Your most pressing questions on Brexit answered here
Given the current and ongoing levels of uncertainty it is essential that businesses trading with EU partners, customers or suppliers, make some preparation for the possible impact of a no deal Brexit on their organisations. We have received many questions on the topic of Brexit and here are some of the most frequently asked questions.
In order to allow the free movement of data between EU jurisdictions and third countries, safeguards must be in place. One of these safeguards is that the third country has been deemed ‘adequate’ by the European Commission. Jersey already has this ‘adequate’ status allowing frictionless data transfer between Jersey and the EU. Brexit will not affect Jersey’s adequacy status and will therefore not affect the flow of data between Jersey and other EU member states. Once the UK leaves the EU its position is going to change as it will become a third country for data protection purposes. The UK will seek an adequacy decision once it leaves the EU. To ensure that data can continue to flow freely between Jersey and the UK during this period of uncertainty, the Government of Jersey has proposed an amendment to the current data protection legislation. The effect of this amendment will be to maintain the status quo and allow data transfers to the UK to continue to be treated in the same way as those to EU Member States. This will ensure data flows with the UK can continue as they do today until the end of the transition period in December 2020 by which time we anticipate that the UK will have received an adequacy decision. Data can be transferred to other non-adequate third countries but other safeguards may be required for example binding corporate rules or EU model clauses
Importing and Exporting products
Customs are working very hard to minimise the likelihood of delays in releasing goods at the border, however Brexit will introduce new regulations that will add complexity to the customs process. As a result:
- More of the goods coming in to Jersey from the EU will be subject to new regulations and so the volume of items needing to be managed will increase substantially.
- There will be changes to licenced and prohibited goods being imported from the EU which may lead to more inspections.
- After Brexit the Customs team are required to collect Common Customs Tariffs payments and the declarations needed for this must be in place before goods can be released.
- Additional health and safety controls will be needed prior to customs clearance for some goods.
- The threshold for imported goods attracting GST will be reduced to £135 after Brexit which will increase the volume of packages requiring GST payments.
The main change in the process is that a declaration must be received by Customs before the products can be released. To minimise delays, freight carriers are asked to put the customs declarations into the system early so items can be pre-cleared before the arrive on Island. This should minimise the amount of personal intervention needed when the items arrive and reduce the amount of product being held. The time frame for holding products will depend on the speed with which proper documentation is provided by the freight carrier.
Some changes are being made to the customs process to make sure that Jersey can continue to comply with the UK’s import requirements. This will mean that:
- A full import declaration will be required.
- Allgoods will have to be included regardless of value, a change from the current requirements where only goods above £135 need a declaration.
- Customs import duties will have to be paid on all items.
- No goods will be released from customs controls until an import declaration has been submitted, however it will be possible to submit the declaration before the goods arrive in Jersey.
- For certain goods, safety and security declarations will be required for goods entering from the EU.
If you are registered importer your arrangement will still be in place so you can deliver goods straight to end consumer but:
- Customs declarations must be made before the goods are released, so make sure they are pre-declared.
- Payments can still be made later.
- Safety and security declarations will also have to be made in advance.
Jersey Post is part of the Universal Postal Union which puts international arrangements in place for the movement of goods by post. This means that for the exchange of mail with EU destinations (and in fact all worldwide destinations) there will be no change in the way Jersey Post trades after Brexit. However, currently, all goods posted from Jersey to an international destination, including the EU, are sent via the UK. In the event of a hard Brexit mail destined for or coming from European destinations may be caught up in the backlogs that will inevitably happen at exit ports around the UK. This will have an impact on the timescale of goods arriving by post into Jersey or reaching their final destination.
In practice some things will stay the same after Brexit:
- The goods subject to excise duty and the process for collecting this will stay the same.
- The arrangements for VAT will not change because of our continuing trade arrangements with UK.
- Because Jersey is already outside the EU and has secured bilateral agreements with the EU for services, businesses working in the finance and corporate services sector or any other service organisation should be unaffected by Brexit.
The rules allowing for the free movement of people around the EU will not apply to the UK and Jersey after Brexit. As a result if you are an EU national living in Jersey (excluding British/Irish nationals) you will need to apply for ‘Settled Status’. This will allow you to remain living in Jersey and to move freely around the Common Travel Area consisting of the UK, other Crown Dependencies and Ireland. There are two types of Settled Status:
- Pre-settled status for people currently here for less than 5 years. Once you have been here for 5 years you can then apply for Settled Status.
- Settled status for people who have been here for over 5 years. Settled status allows you to:
- Stay indefinitely
- Leave Jersey for up to 5 years without losing your status.
- If you currently have indefinite leave to remain you may wish to apply to the scheme as you will then be entitled to be away from the Common Travel Area for up to 5 years rather than the current permission of 2 years.
To get Settled Status you should:
- Complete the Jersey Settlement Scheme application form which will be available on the gov.je website.
- You will need to provide your social security number and valid Passport or National Identity Card Number.
- You have until the 31st December 2020 to apply.
- There is no application fee
- Any family members here with you who are not UK or Irish nationals will also need to apply
- Children 16 and over must apply in their own right
As Jersey is formally mentioned in the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement from the EU it will be subject to all the implications of leaving the EU including the status of non-UK and Irish citizens living in the UK and Jersey. One of the first decisions made during the negotiations between the UK and EU was an agreement to protect the rights of EU citizens’ living in the UK and this extends to those people living in Jersey. In order to provide this protection the UK government and the EU have agreed to operate a scheme known as the ‘EU Settlement Scheme’, which will allow EU citizens to remain in the UK after Brexit. This is the reason why you need to apply for Settled Status. To make the process as smooth and easy as possible, the States of Jersey will be operating its own version of this scheme, to ensure that EU citizens who live in the Island, making a valuable contribution to our community, are able to stay. If you are an EU Citizen who does not hold dual nationality e.g. British/Portuguese then you will be required to apply to the settlement scheme.
You will still be able to travel freely between the UK and Ireland because there is a ‘Common Travel Area’ between Jersey and the UK and Ireland which allows people in Jersey to travel in and out of the UK and Ireland as they do now. However, new arrangements will be put in place for travel to the EU even if you are travelling through the UK. Although these arrangements have not yet been finalised, you will definitely need to have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after you travel if you are going to any EU country. More information on potential travel implications and a passport validity calculator can be found online at www.gov.je/Brexit
To ensure that Jersey citizens can continue to drive and hire cars in Europe, the Government has sought the ratification of the United Nations Vienna Convention on Motor Traffic. One requirement of the Convention is the Periodic Technical Inspection (PTI) of all vehicles registered in a signatory jurisdiction. As such, Driver & Vehicle Standards (DVS) will commence a phased approach to testing the island’s vehicles, with mopeds being tested in 2019. The commencement of testing on public vehicles, such as cars, will begin in 2021 at the earliest. Additionally, an International Driving Permit (IDP) is recommended for certain countries. Following the UK’s exit from the EU, you may need an IDP to drive your own car or hire car in EU countries. You’ll need an IDP alongside your Jersey driving license. You may also need a green card from your insurance company. IDPs cost £10. For more information, including how to apply, visit the Parishes website. You will need to register all commercial trailers with DVS if you are travelling in the EU after the UK leaves the EU.
The States of Jersey has been looking at the potential impacts of Brexit and put in place various workstreams to understand the worst case scenario. In January Government held a Disaster Planning day to see how it should respond to the different impacts of Brexit and, in the event that the UK leaves the EU with no deal in place:
- Each Government department has its own contingency plan to assess the likely impact, authorisation process and immediacy of necessary action.
- A team has been looking specifically at freight routes in to Jersey to make sure the Island will be included in arrangements being put in place in England’s southern ports to minimise the likelihood of a disruption to supplies.
- Work is in place to ensure the Island’s critical national infrastructure including utilities, electricity and telephony is not impacted.
- Plans are being put in place to enable to the police to continue to exchange information through agencies in the UK on safety and criminal activity.
Brexit will impact on many businesses in Jersey even if you only sell products or services on Island. As each business will be affected differently, here are some key actions you should take:
- Look at the other Brexit pages to help you consider the impact on your business.
- Use Brexit toolkit as a checklist to help you think about different effects on your business.
- Some specific issues to highlight:
- If you employ EU nationals consider if there is a risk of them leaving Jersey and/or their need to register for Settlement scheme.
- Think if you need to give your staff any new training & development especially if you import or export products.
- If you have a supply chain that comes from off-Island, make sure you have the resilience to deal with possible delays and changes to customs arrangements.
- Make sure your cash flow can absorb the impact of supplier delays.
- Consider how and what data do you exchange with EU organisations and if this will need to change.
- There are new rules for transport and travel into the EU including for passport holders, so make sure you are up-to-date with these.
- New arrangements are being put in place for inspection and licencing of vehicles which you need to comply with if you drive a vehicle in the EU.