One of those licence holders never opened for business, so in effect only one company with a non-resident or non locally qualified owner is currently running an internet-based mail order business in Jersey.
This figure was revealed by Economic Development Committee president Deputy Gerald Voisin in the States in response to a question posed by Deputy Geoff Southern.
Deputy Voisin said that the licence, issued under the Regulation of Undertakings law, had been granted in 2003 on the basis of ‘the success of this diversified industry and the potential benefit to the economy’.
Asked if in granting the licence his committee had thought the UK government might take steps to remove the tax advantage that Jersey-based fulfilment companies receive by exporting low value goods into the EU, Deputy Voisin said his committee had not considered it as the company was not high profile.
He added that Economic Development was consulting with the Policy and Resources Committee on improving the image of the industry – which has attracted negative publicity recently following the arrival of well-known retailers such as Tesco and Asda, who have no physical presence in the Island – and both committees were working together to devise a joint policy as part of the Economic Growth Plan.
Most UK retailers set up a brass plate company in the Island but use a Jersey-based fulfilment company to dispatch goods from the Island.
Tesco, for instance, employ the services of States-owned Jersey Post Logistics to manage their operation while others, such as Asda, control the process from the UK but contract a Jersey-based third party to pack and ship the low value items.