I am aware there are those who argue that Jersey and Guernsey don’t want businesses that exploit Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) – the VAT rule that allows goods costing less than £18 to be imported into the UK VAT free.
I don’t believe them. Take this Jersey web site as indication of true attitudes:
Something tells me that Jersey and Guernsey just aren’t making the most of Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR). Yeah, sure there are a few select individuals that have set themselves up for a very comfortable retirement – Play.com, Moonpig and MyMemory being ones that spring to mind. But, with the barriers to entry for creating an e-commerce store so low, there must be a number of niche areas yet to be explored.
As they put it:
Now… go forth and brainstorm! Think of products that you could start selling. Let’s give our islands an alternative to the finance industry!
So let me do two things. The first is to remind them that this law can be changed. The second is to remind them that when such laws are changed the impact on the islands can be significant. Watch the BBC programme ‚ÄòWho do you think you are?’ on Monty Don for some illumination. Start at around 40 minutes in. Don is related to the Keiller family who created marmalade. In 1857 the Keillers set up a factory in Guernsey to make marmalade to get round the sugar tax. But then the sugar tax ended. And with it went the Keillers from Guernsey.
Tax exploitation is not the basis on which to build prosperity.