Four Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries were on Tuesday named in a new list of global tax havens released by the European Union.
EU finance ministers said Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago were among 17 countries on the blacklist of tax havens, after 10 months of investigations by EU officials.
Caribbean countries have in the past been very critical of being included on these lists insisting that they have done everything required as outlined by various European organizations like the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Countries blacklisted not doing enough
The finance ministers who met in Brussels on Tuesday also named American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
They said the countries on the blacklist were not doing enough to crack down on offshore avoidance schemes.
Potential sanctions that could be enforced on members of the list are expected to be agreed in the coming weeks.
Cayman Island and Bermuda included too
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.
The new list was drafted by the European Council’s Code of Conduct (COC), a group comprised of finance ministers from EU member states. Countries’ inclusion is based on whether a state gives preferential treatment to companies enabling them to move profits to avoid charges.
Another 47 countries have also been included in a “grey” list of countries not compliant with EU tax standards but who have committed to change their rules.
The announcement comes less than a month after the publication of the Paradise Papers, a global leak containing information about individuals and companies holding offshore finances.