Created Date:
26 June 2019

The Guernsey transitional arrangements have ended – what next?

On 25 May 2019 the Bailiwick of Guernsey’s new data protection regime became fully operational. Following the end of the transitional arrangements which were established in May 2018 under the Data Protection (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2017 (“Law”), Leonie Corfield explores what this means for businesses in the Bailiwick.

The Law came into force on 25 May 2018. It was enacted in order to align the Bailiwick’s data protection regime with that in place under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). However, unlike the GDPR the Law ‘grandfathered’ certain aspects of the previous data protection regime for one further year to allow businesses locally to prepare.

On 25 May 2019 the transitional relief largely came to an end with one exception, that we explain later. This means that any companies are fully in compliance with the Law.

The exception to this rule is that the States of Guernsey has passed a set of Regulations extending the transitional exemptions relating to registration and fees until 31st December 2019.

Registration and fees

Part of the challenge for jurisdictions across Europe has been determining how registration and fees should work; Guernsey is no exception to this. Whilst these issues are still being worked out, there is a transitional regime in place as follows:

  • The registration process is simplified – local businesses are no longer required to submit reams of information to the ODPA relating to their processing activities and data transfers. The expectation is that this information must, instead, be documented as part of their record-keeping arrangements.
  • Those entities under the law who were exempt from registration under the previous regime may continue to rely on this until 31 December 2019. These were businesses who were exempt: by virtue of either their charitable/not for profit or processor status or because they could rely on the exemption based on their “core business purposes” being staff administration and marketing their own good and services. They will, however, need to document their rationale for relying on the relevant exemption.
  • The online register has been abolished and will no longer be publicly accessible.

We understand that further guidance will be published by the ODPA in the coming months to clarify the new fees regime which will complement the registration process. 


Please note that this briefing is intended to provide a very general overview of the matters to which it relates. It is not intended as legal advice and should not be relied on as such. © Carey Olsen (Guernsey) LLP 2024