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About Gibraltar

About Gibraltar

Gibraltar is a town & port on the Rock of Gibraltar, which is situated on a peninsula at the southern tip of Spain, just opposite the north coast of Africa. Thus, due to its geographical position Gibraltar generally dominates the entrance to the Mediterranean. It is nearly 6 kilometers long, and is almost 450 meters high.

Gibraltar has a population approximately 30,000. The official language is English, but Spanish is widely used, and most Gibraltarians are fluent both in English and Spanish.

Currency

The currency is the Gibraltar Sterling, which is monetary united with the UK pound. British and Gibraltar pounds both are at par value, and British pound sterling is in free circulation. For all practical purposes it is preferable. There are no foreign exchange controls as to fund remission into and out of Gibraltar and currency convertation.

Legal System

Gibraltar is one of the oldest European offshore centers with the most complete selection of offshore products and services. The legal system is based on British common and statute law with variations introduced by local statute law ("Ordinances") or regulations. The major source of corporate legislation is the United Kingdom Companies Act of 1929, and Companies Ordinance Act of 1984 (as amended).
The administration of justice is in the hand of a Chief Justice; there are three courts, a Supreme Court, a Court of First Instance and a Magistrates Court. Appeals from the Supreme Court are heard by a Court of Appeal composed of visiting judges and ultimately by the Privy Council in the United Kingdom.

Government

It is a politically stable territory with superb commercial and professional infrastructure. Gibraltar has its own government but remains a dependent territory of the United Kingdom. It officially began to depend on Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Under its Constitution of 1969, Gibraltar is responsible for its own internal self governing in relation to domestic affairs, while defense, foreign affairs and internal security are in the responsibility of the United Kingdom. Governor represents the UK foreign office in Gibraltar.

Economy

The most important sectors of the economy are the MOD, the Port, Tourism and more recently the Finance Center. The Gibraltar Government has undergone a substantial investment program in infrastructure to ensure Gibraltar can provide the standards expected internationally. There is now a wide selection of quality office space, warehouses, light industrial areas and residential accommodation available.

Telecommunications

Gibraltar possesses good, modern telecommunication facilities, which gave possibility for Internet betting and gaming services. There is a good access by air, sea and road. There are several flights daily to London, which is the main air connection to Gibraltar. Widespread use of the English language and a legal system mainly based on British legislation make Gibraltar a very convenient and effective business base.
Probably Gibraltar will be soon one of the most attractive offshore locations aiming at the EU market.

Legal background

Gibraltar is a member of the European Union. Being dependent on the United Kingdom, it entered the EU along with the UK through the Treaty of accession. However, unlike Channel Islands, it does not belong to the customs union. Gibraltar does not belong to EU's VAT (indirect taxation), CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) or common external tariff regimes. However Gibraltar has implemented much EU financial legislation and can apply Common European Passport regulations in the insurance, banking and fund management spheres. All the Treaty provisions with regard to free movement of capital, services and persons are in force in Gibraltar.

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