1. Does Guernsey have a sanctions regime in place?
Yes. Guernsey’s sanctions regime is based on legislation that broadly mirrors equivalent legislation in the UK. The Bailiwick of Guernsey is a dependent territory of the English Crown and has its own legislative assembly, administrative, fiscal and legal systems. As such, Guernsey operates independently of the UK regime and is completely independent of any other jurisdiction.
2. Does Guernsey implement UN sanctions?
Yes. The Bailiwick of Guernsey’s sanctions legislation gives domestic effect to measures taken by the UK, UN and EU.
Historically, United Nations Sanctions measures were implemented by an Order in Council under the United Nations Act 1946 or, more commonly, by an Ordinance under the European Communities (Implementation) (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 1994 which provided that a particular EU Regulation imposing sanctions (including both UN measures and autonomous EU measures) was to be treated as part of domestic law.
These processes have now been replaced by a power for the Policy & Resources Committee to implement UN, EU or UK sanctions measures by regulations under the Sanctions (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2018 (Sanctions Law). Sanctions relating to export and import controls are implemented by an Order made under the Export Control (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2006. The Bailiwick of Guernsey may also exceptionally enact primary legislation to implement sanctions, such as the Terrorist Asset Freezing (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2011.
3. Does Guernsey implement an autonomous sanctions regime?
Yes. Guernsey’s sanctions legislation gives domestic effect to measures taken by the UN and EU and broadly mirrors equivalent legislation in the UK. However, as noted above, Guernsey’s sanctions regime is completely separate from and operates independently of that in other jurisdictions.
For information on sanction measures in place with listed regimes, please see https://www.gov.gg/sanctionsmeasures
4. What is the nature of the sanctions regime in Guernsey?
The Bailiwick implements all types of international sanctions including:
- arms embargoes and bans on associated technical assistance, training and financing,
- import and export bans,
- trade restrictions,
- travel bans; and
- financial sanctions (such as asset freezes and investment bans).
Guernsey’s position as a leading financial centre means that financial sanctions are most likely to be relevant to businesses in the jurisdiction.
Financial sanctions include prohibitions on providing financial services or making funds or other economic resources available to designated individuals or entities.
5. Does Guernsey maintain a list of sanctioned individuals and entities?
Yes. Guernsey firms must have appropriate and effective compliance arrangements in relation to sanctions. There is also a useful webpage headed Recent Changes to Sanction measures which may be found here https://www.gov.gg/changestosanctions and which notes the sanctions regime, the domestic legislation and a link to the underlying enactment. When determining whether an individual or legal person is the subject of a sanction, one must consult the consolidated list of financial sanctions targets found on the HM Treasury website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/current-list-of-designated-persons-terrorism-and-terrorist-financing The Guidance issued by the Policy and Resources Committee is helpful as it takes the form of FAQs which are intended to assist businesses in meeting the reporting obligation set out at section 14 of the Sanctions Law. Please see: https://www.guernseyfis.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=124981&p=0 The reporting obligations at section 14 are very similar to existing reporting obligations for financial services businesses under a small number of UN sanctions regimes, and they are also in line with some aspects of the generally applicable reporting obligations which have been in place for several years in respect of money laundering and terrorist financing.
6. Are there any other lists related to sanctions?
Yes. Guernsey also relies on lists published by the UN and the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
7. Does Guernsey have a licensing or authorization system in place?
Yes. A licence is a written authorization from a named competent authority to allow an activity which would otherwise be prohibited by sanctions measures. In the Ordinances made under the European Communities (Implementation) (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 1994 the Bailiwick competent authority is usually the States of Guernsey Policy & Resources Committee. The Policy & Resources Committee is also the competent authority under the Terrorist Asset - Freezing (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law and for the purposes of regulations made under the Sanctions Law. In the Orders in Council made under the United Nations Act, the Bailiwick competent authority is usually HM Procureur. All applications for licences should be addressed to the Regulatory and Financial Crime Policy Team of the Policy & Resources Committee in the first instance. Further information on licence applications in relation to financial sanctions is available to download here: https://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=103136&p=0 .
8. What are the consequences for a breach of sanctions in Guernsey?
Each Order in Council made under the Export Control legislation and Ordinance contains provisions governing criminal penalties that are specific to the enactment in question. It is the responsibility of each individual or institution to comply with the relevant legislation and failure to comply is a criminal offense. Any person guilty of an offense under the relevant enactment shall be liable on conviction to a fine and/or imprisonment.
Where a corporate is guilty of an offense, and the offense is proven to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of any officer of the corporate body (or person purporting to act in any such capacity), he is guilty of the offense (as well as the corporate body) and may be proceeded against accordingly.
9. Who are the relevant regulators in Guernsey and what are their contact details?
The Sanctions Committee was established to co-ordinate sanction activities, to ensure information is distributed publicly and to provide advice on sanctions. It reports to the Policy & Resources Committee and the Bailiwick's AML/CFT Advisory Committee.
The Sanctions Committee comprises members from the Regulatory and Financial Crime Policy Team of the Policy & Resources Committee, the Law Officers Chambers, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, the Guernsey Border Agency, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission and the States of Alderney. Sark is also regularly kept informed of any sanctions related matters.
The Policy & Resources Committee is mandated to: • agree to implement new sanctions measures, • license frozen funds; and • administer notifications and authorizations, e.g. those under The Iran (Restrictive Measures) (Guernsey) Ordinance, 2012.
The Policy & Resources Committee also works with HM Treasury and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Guernsey Financial Services Commission PO Box 128 Glategny Court, Glategny Esplanade, St Peter Port Guernsey, GY1 3HQ T: (+44) 1481 712706 F: (+44) 1481 712010 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.gfsc.gg Cross border financial crime activities are the responsibility of the Guernsey Border Agency which mandates the Financial Intelligence Service (which is the financial intelligence unit for Guernsey) to prevent and combat financial and economic crime. The Guernsey Border Agency is required to protect Guernsey’s reputation as a well-regulated offshore financial centre. It must align its activities to complement FATF recommendations, the requirements of the IMF and other relevant international standard setters.
Contributor law firm
Jeremy Berchem, Office Managing Group Partner, Corporate
Lisa Upham, Senior Professional Support Lawyer
Appleby Global Hirzel Court St Peter Port Guernsey GY1 3BN
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