Jurisdiction Project

Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is a British Crown Dependency located in the Irish Sea. Local matters are governed by Tynwald, the island’s bicameral parliament. While it is not a part of the United Kingdom, its foreign affairs and defence are handled by the United Kingdom. In return for these services the Isle of Man makes annual payments. Is not a member of the European Union, nor does it have associate member status.

Land: 572 sq. km (221 sq. mi.). 52 km (33 mi) x 22 km (13 mi). Highest elevation: 621 meters (2036 feet)

Approximately midway between Ireland and Great Britain, 50 km from each in the Irish Sea.

Latitude and Longitude:
54 15 North Latitude, 4 30 West Longitude. GMT. In the summer the clocks move one hour forward for daylight savings.

Time Zone:

Total Land Area:


Temperate. Cool summers and mild winters. During the coldest month, February, the average daily temperature is 4.9 C (41 F). The warmest months, July and August, see an average daily maximum of 17.6 C (63 F). Overcast approximately one-third of the time.

Natural Resources:
Excellent harbours, arable land.


Total GDP:
2002 2,007,633,000.00 USD
2005 2,719,000,000.00 USD

Per Capita GDP:
2002 26,307.00 USD
2005 35,000.00 USD

% of GDP per Sector:
  Primary Secondary Tertiary
2002 1.2% 15.7% 83.1%

% of Population Employed by Sector
  Primary Secondary Tertiary
2001 1.4% 15.9% 82.7%

External Aid/Remittances:

Real Growth Rate: 5.9 (2002/03)

Labour Force:
2001 39,685
1996 34,811
1991 33,000

Year: Unemployment Rate (% of pop.)
2004 1.1%
2003 0.8%
2002 0.6%
2006 1.5%

Offshore banking, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, fishery. The Isle of Man also attracts online gambling sites and the film industry.

Niche Industry:
Offshore banking, motor-cycle racing tourism. The Isle of Man purchased maritime claims (to 12 miles) from the United Kingdom in 1991 for £800,000; since that time the Isle of Man has received over £2 million in capital fees, and earns £180,000 annually from fees associated with cables and pipelines in their territory, as well as oil and gas exploration fees.



Imports and Exports:

Tot. Value of Imports 0.00 ()
From Eu:
Import Partners (EU:)
Partners Outside EU:
Import Partners:
Tot. Value of Exports ()
To Eu:
Export Partners: UK
Partners Outside EU::
Export Partners:
Main Imports:
Main Exports: tweeds, herring, processed shellfish, beef, lamb



Number of Airports: 1
Ronaldsway Airport, operated by civil government. Two runways: 1. 1,753 m (5,751 ft) 2. 1,256 m (4,121 ft).

Number of Main Ports:
Steam Packet Company operates freight, vehicle, and passenger transportation from Douglas port to Belfast (seasonal), Dublin (seasonal), Heysham, and Liverpool. SeaCat and Super Sea Cat sail during Easter and summer, while conventional ferries operate during the winter. Isle of Man Harbours Division owns, maintains, and operates 8 statutory harbours. The largest is in Douglas, and has deep water berths, as well as special berths for bulk oil and bulk gas tankers, visiting leisure craft, and fishing boats, in addition to transportation (passenger and roll-on/roll-off cars) services.


Regular flights to and from 14 locations in Ireland, England, and Scotland.

Public transit available, including all-island bus service and train routes. Rental cars and taxis also readily available. In 2003 there were 9,244 vehicles registered, alongside over 500 miles of public roads.


Other Forms of Transportation:
Railways: total: 65 km standard gauge: 7 km 1.067-m gauge (7 km electrified) narrow gauge: 58 km 0.914-m gauge (29 km electrified) note: primarily summer tourist attractions(2006)

Economic Zones:
There is a 20 acre Freeport located beside the Ronaldsway airport. It is an area where manufacturers build, create, store commodities and components free of regular customs and excise charges. Operators can bring in raw materials or unfinished products, complete them, then export without taxation (besides duty if sent into EU). No duties payable on goods until enter country of final destination. Additionally, Freeport traders can apply for financial assistance from government.

Energy Policy:

Year Total Energy Production (Mwh) Thermic (Mwh) Geothermic (Mwh) Other (Mwh) Total Energy Consumption (Mwh) Domestic (Mwh) Commercial (Mwh) Public Service (Mwh) Industry (Mwh) Public Lighting (Mwh)
2005 0 0 0 0 1,200,000 581,000 304,000 0 0 0


Official Currency:
Manx pound (M£)

Banking and Insurance:
Number of Banks and Credit Unions:
Number of Agricultural Credit Unions:
Number of Insurance Companies:

 The Manx banking system is well developed. The island has earned a reputation as an international leader in offshore banking, and as such many banks are based there.

Financial Services:

Features modern, hi-tech digital telecommunications system. Government and private web sites detailing and promoting the economy and tourism are extensive and thorough.

Public Ownership:
The government maintains control over Isle of Man Post, Manx Electricity Services, Isle of Man Harbours, Isle of Man Water Authority, Radio Manx Limited.

Land Use:
arable land: 9%; permanent crops: 0%; other: 91% (permanent pastures, forests, mountain, and heathland) (2002). Freehold – private land, ownership transferable; Tynwald National Park (St Johns Arboretum); There are four nature reserves, ranging from 3.5 to 670 acres. Manx Wildlife Trust, a conservation charity, owns 20 nature reserves (over 200 acres).

Cereals, vegetables, cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry.

Marine Activity:

Maritime claims: 12 nautical miles. Exclusive fishing zone: 12 nautical miles.

Marine Life:

Critical Issues:
Sustainable economic growth, with continued diversification. Waste disposal. There is a continued concern that the Isle of Man’s situation as a low-tax haven could lead to punitive charges from outside organizations. It was named in a recent report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development as a provider of “harmful tax competition.” The Isle of Man responded with a commitment to exchange information with overseas authorities regarding criminal tax matters by December 31, 2003, and on civil tax matters by December 31, 2005. Currently the government is pondering how to respond to a proposed directive from the European Union that would force it to impose a 35% withholding tax on savings held by EU residents, or to automatically exchange client information on interest paid to EU residents. Critical Needs: Work force (given the consistently low unemployment rate).



Political System:
Political System: Parliamentary democracy. The Charter: The relationship between the Isle of Man and the UK is not documented in any formal constitutional document, but rather through convention and historical processes. The most recent statement on this relationship is found in Part XI of Volume 1 of 1973’s Report of the Royal Commission on the Constitution (commonly referred to as the Kilbrandon Report). Island Government: The Isle of Man is responsible for all internal governing. Its bicameral parliament, Tynwald, is composed of a lower branch, the House of Keys, and an upper branch, the Legislative Council. The House of Keys is directly elected by the population in general elections, typically every five years. It consists of twenty-four seats. The Legislative Council is composed of eleven members. There are three ex officio members: the Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man, Her Majesty’s Attorney General, and the President of Tynwald. The remaining eight members are elected by the House of Keys for four year terms. These members are often, but not necessarily, members of the House of Keys. Bills are typically introduced in the House of Keys, while the Legislative Council chamber usually provides revisions. Legal System: The Isle of Man maintains a separate legal system from that in England, although based on the same principles. There are two levels of court: the High Court and the Manx Appeal Court. Final appeal, rarely utilized, is Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London. The members from the House of Keys and Legislative Council meet once a month to debate policy issues, approve taxation and government spending, and deal with secondary legislation at Tynwald Court. The President of Tynwald is charged with maintaining control of procedure in Council. Elected to a five year term by the members of Tynwald from within its own ranks, the President is an impartial position that only votes on the occasion of a tie. As a Crown dependency of Great Britain, Queen Elizabeth II is recognized as the “Lord of Man.” The monarch is represented on the island by the Lieutenant Governor, who is appointed by the Crown and Department of Constitutional Affairs for a five year term. Once the sole executive on the island, the position of Lieutenant Governor has become largely symbolic in recent years. The majority of functions have been transferred to elected officials or government departments, and in the remaining functions the Lieutenant Governor acts upon the advice of the Council of Ministers. The Isle of Man operates under a ministerial format, with the President serving as Chief Minister. United Kingdom: Handles defence, international representation, and international affairs, for which Isle of Man pays an annual contribution. The United Kingdom is ultimately responsible for good government in Isle of Man, meaning that in the event of a failure in administration of justice or civil order, residual prerogative powers of the Crown could be used to intervene in internal affairs. However, according to long-standing convention it only passes legislation relating to the Isle of Man with the consent of the island’s government.

Political Parties:
The Manx political system is dominated by independent candidates. While organized parties do exist, most notably the Manx Labour Party, the vast majority of seats are won by independent candidates. The Manx have repeatedly rejected any effort on behalf of the parties to transform the system, preferring to judge each candidate on their individual merit. Elections: The House of Keys, by general election, typically every five years.

Important Legislation:
Isle of Man Customs, Harbours and Public Purposes Act 1866: Began devolution of powers from United Kingdom by separating the Isle of Man’s finances from the UK’s. It also provided the island with influence over the expenditure of its surplus customs revenue. Manx revenue was still subject to UK legislation, the UK Treasury, and the discretion of their Lieutenant Governor. Isle of Man Act 1958: Lobbying from members of the House of Keys for further financial powers resulted in this Act, which provided Tynwald with control over most domestic matters. Finance Board Act 1961: Eroded powers of unelected officials on the Isle of Man by creating a board to advise on all financial matters. Police (Isle of Man) Act 1962: Authorized the establishment of a police board. Isle of Man Civil Service Act 1962: Created a Manx civil service, complete with powers of appointment, an area formerly the reserve of the Lieutenant Governor Income Tax (Exempt Companies) Act 1984: Provides income tax exemption for non-resident owned companies which do not derive their income, excepting interest from local bank account, from the Isle of Man. Stipulates at least one company director, and the company secretary, must be residents of Isle of Man. Ship owning and managing companies are eligible for this Act. Insurance Act 1986 (Amended 2000, 2004): Outlines regulations by which Isle of Man Insurance and Pensions Authority, a supervisory body, operates. Ensures business has professional management and has made provisions to protect policyholders by having sufficient resources on hand. Life Assurance (Compensation of Policyholders) Regulations 1991: Guarantees that in the event of a local assurance broker being unable to meet its liabilities to policyholders, up to 90% of the protected policyholder’s liability will be met. Merchant Shipping Registration Act 1991: Made provision for bareboat chartering of vessels to or from Isle of Man register. Participating ship owners able to separate operational and financial jurisdictions. All vessels registered as such must follow Manx vessels’ regulations – minus those concerning ownership. International Business Act 1994: Similar to Income Tax Act 1984’s provisions except in place of tax exemption, company can apply to pay income tax of up to 35%. Also introduced provisions for International Limited Partnerships, in which Manx income tax not required for income earned by limited partner from within the partnership. Limited Liability Companies Act 1996: Introduced new entity to Manx law, the limited liability company. May be international or resident. Is a hybrid structure, featuring attributes of a company and a partnership. Is not liable for income tax on profits, and members not liable for income tax on their share of profits. Corporate Services Providers Act 2000: Step to maintain integrity and competence of locally licensed companies. Contains 'Know your customer' requirements, compliance systems, procedures and returns, provision of directors, avoidance of conflicts of interest, professional indemnity insurance cover. Requires that clients’ money be held on trust for the client or client’s company and must be segregated from the corporate service provider’s moneys. Also sets out operational procedures for handling clients’ money and the requirements for the payment of interest on clients’ money.

Principal Taxes:
Income Tax Double Taxation Relief 1955: Established double taxation agreement with United Kingdom.

Associated Power:
United Kingdom

British (British Crown dependency) Nationality: Manx

Supranational Affiliation: The Isle of Man is not a member of the European Union, nor does it have associate status. Its relationship with the European Community is governed by Article 299 (6)(c) of the Treaty establishing the EC and Protocol 3 of the United Kingdom’s Act of Accession to the Community in 1972. This means Isle of Man is part of EU customs territory, so common customs tariffs, levies, and other agricultural import measures apply to trade between Isle of Man and non-member countries. There is free movement of industrial and agricultural products between Isle of Man and EU, but no free movement of services, capital, or persons. European Community law has very limited direct application to Isle of Man. Neither contributes nor benefits from European Community funds; is not subject to EC measures on taxation. The Isle of Man is a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Became member when ratified by UK in 1961; however, since the territories it applied to was not specified at the time by the UK it was not until 1990, after consultation between the UK and Manx governments, that its membership was clarified. Treaties: Treaties ratified by the United Kingdom are typically on behalf of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of its overseas territories, including the Crown Dependencies that wish to be included. The External Relations Division of the Isle of Man’s Chief Secretary’s Office is responsible for ensuring that consideration is given to the island, whether it should be included in relevant treaties and conventions; scrutinizes developments of European Union and its potential impact on Isle of Man.


Island Area (km sq.) Population % of Total Population

0-14 years: 17.3% (male 6,669/female 6,350); 15-64 years: 65.7% (male 24,884/female 24,678); 65 years and over: 17% (male 5,197/female 7,663) (2006 est.)

Year Resident Population

Age of Population: 0-14 15-24 25-49 50-64 65 and up
2007 12975 0 0 49,925 12,931


Net Migration Rate: 5.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Crude Birth Rate:
2004 11.28%
2007 1.096%

Life Expedctancy:
total population: 78.49 years; male: 75.14 years; female: 82.02 years (2006 est.)

Crude Death Rate:
2004 11.35%
2007 1.11%

Manx (Norse-Celtic), Briton.

Class Division:

English (official), Manx Gaelic (recognized in 2003 under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which necessitates state support) Preservation of Manx Gaelic, which barely survived nineteenth century decline before recent revival, is a concern. Now available as an optional course to all students beginning at age 7.

Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Society of Friends (Quakers)


Education System:
Compulsory education between ages 5 and 16. Pre-school: Except for four nurseries operated by the Department of Education, the island’s pre-schools are privately operated. There are 35 primary schools and 5 secondary schools operating under the guidelines of the Manx National Curriculum. Special education is delivered through the mainstream schools.

Total Pre-schools:(2007) 10
Total Primary Schools  
First Level:
Second Level:
Third Level:
Total Secondary Schools: 5
Total Professional Schools 1
Universities: 1


Number of Schools per Island:
Isle of Man


Students Enrolled:


The Isle of Man College provides vocational and professional training opportunities. It is affiliated with the University of Liverpool, and provides first year undergraduate university training. For further training the students usually travel to the UK. The college also offers a two-year part-time degree in banking and an MBA in International Finance. The privately run Isle of Man International Business School provides a broad range of training. Financial assistance is available for students under 35 working on first degree or higher education diploma. Grants are scaled according to parents’ income. Each year, approximately 1,100 undergraduate and 120 post graduate students are supported by the Department to further their studies at Higher Education establishments in the United Kingdom, whilst a further 250 are supported on Further & Higher Education courses at the Isle of Man College and International Business School on the Island.

Medical Services:
The system is comparable to that offered in the United Kingdom. There are 2 hospitals on the island, while general practices, dentists, and pharmacies are located in the various communities. In 2003 there were 41 full time general practitioners, 26 full time dentists, and 24 pharmacies. The National Health Services Act 2001 dictates that the Department of Health and Social Security must provide medical, dental, and nursing treatment to all residents. If specialist treatment is unavailable, or in the event of an emergency, patient may be sent to the UK, with the Department normally covering the expenses incurred.


 Settled initially by the Celts, it became a Viking outpost approximately 850 AD. It later became part of the Norwegian Kingdom of Hebrides, which lasted until it was acquired by Scotland in 1266 for 4,000 marks. In 1405 granted to Sir John Stanley and his heirs, and ruled by Earls of Derby, later as Dukes of Atholl, as the Kings and Lords of Man, until 1765. Acts of Parliament in 1765 and 1825 reverted rights of Lords of Man to Crown. Constitution: Constitutional change has been gradual, and manifested itself in two main forms: devolution of powers from the United Kingdom to Tynwald, and the transfer of powers from the Lieutenant Governor, once the sole executive of the island, to the popularly elected members of the House of Keys. This process of devolution has been marked by two Acts of Parliament: the Isle of Man Customs, Harbours and Public Purposes Act 1866 and the Isle of Man Act 1958. Tynwald continued to consolidate its power in the post-1958 world. In 1973 it received an endorsement of the constitutional status quo by the Kilbrandon Commission. Later that year it assumed control of postal service. In 1979 it took control of customs and excise administration, as well as management and control of merchant shipping in Manx waters. In 1984 responsibility for telecommunications came under the island’s control, as did its territorial seas in 1991. The Isle of Man’s special status as a Crown Dependency was safeguarded in 1973 when the United Kingdom joined the European Communities. It negotiated a special relationship, in which it must apply common external tariff and agricultural levies on imports from third countries, as well as maintain a commitment to free trade in agricultural products. It is not subject to any other European treaties or regulations. The Isle of Man is not a member of the EU, nor is it an associate member. Prior to 1866 the Lieutenant Governor appointed members to the House of Keys. In that year, however, it evolved into a directly elected chamber. The Lieutenant Governor continued to dominate the Legislative Council, which was almost wholly composed of Crown appointees. This, in effect, allowed the UK to continue its control of the Isle of Man. Prior to the outbreak of the Second World War there were proposals to transfer constitutional powers from the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Council to the House of Keys, but these were repeatedly blocked by the Home Office. However, concessions were granted. In 1919 four appointed members of the Legislative Council were replaced by elected members form the House of Keys. Also, following 1920 the Lieutenant Governor was required to consult with Tynwald on all financial matters. Major changes emerged following the outbreak of war in 1939 and the 1945 election of a Labour government in the UK. A war cabinet was appointed in 1939 within Tynwald. In 1946 the Executive Council formed to advise the Lieutenant Governor. The Labour government committed itself to major devolution of legislative powers, and by 1958 a devolution package was in place. In addition, the 1959 Report of the Commission on the Constitution, and numerous successive reports by Tynwald constitutional committees led to major changes. Whereas the Lieutenant Governor and externally appointed members of the Legislative Council once dominated, a more democratic system emerged over the next thirty years, with the balance of power shifting to the directly elected representatives in the House of Keys. Likewise, the appointed boards of Tynwald were replaced by a ministerial executive. Also, between 1961 and 1990 the bulk of the Lieutenant Governor’s powers were transferred to Tynwald, reducing its role to that of a ceremonial figure. Areas once controlled by the Lieutenant Governor were largely taken over by boards. Acts that led to this erosion of unelected power included the Finance Board Act 1961, the Police (Isle of Man) Act 1962, and the Isle of Man Civil Service Act 1962.


Recent Significant Events:

Music, Dance, Handicraft and Patrimony:
Music: Manx music has been strongly affected by English folk song. A roots revival of Manx folk music began late in the 20th century, alongside a general revival of the Manx language and culture. The 1970s revival was kickstarted, after the 1974 death of the last native speaker of Manx, by a music festival called Yn Çhruinnaght in Ramsey


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Review of renewable energy sources: http://www.gov.im/lib/docs/dti/final%20report%20rev%201.pdf


Useful Links:

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