The European Union on Tuesday announced Barbados and Grenada are among eight jurisdictions removed from a new list of global tax havens following commitments made at a high political level to remedy EU concerns.
In a statement, the EU said the two Caribbean countries are joined by the Republic of Korea, Macao SAR, Mongolia, Panama, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
It said they were removed from the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes and included in a separate category of jurisdictions subject to close monitoring.
The EU said the Council agreed Tuesday that a delisting was justified in the light of an expert assessment of the commitments made by these jurisdictions to address deficiencies identified by the EU. In each case, the commitments were backed by letters signed at a high political level, it added.
Vladislav Goranov, the Finance Minister of Bulgaria, which currently holds the Council presidency said, “Jurisdictions around the world have worked hard to make commitments to reform their tax policies. Our aim is to promote good tax governance globally.”
Nine Caribbean countries still listed
The decision by the European Council leaves nine jurisdictions including Trinidad and Tobago and St. Lucia, on the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions out of 17 announced initially on December 5, last year.
St. Lucia also to be delisted
Last Friday, the St. Lucia government said it expected to join Barbados and Grenada, in being removed from the list.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said he had a conference call with EU officials on Friday to identify the problem areas. He said he hopes by the time the next review is conducted the island will be off the so-called blacklist.
The list excludes a number of British Overseas Territories such as the Cayman Island and Bermuda that were on a previous EU blacklist from June 2015. Complaints about the methodology of that last list saw it scrapped and replaced with the new register.
In its statement Tuesday, the EU said that the list also carries recommendations on steps to take to be de-listed.