European Union removes three Caribbean countries from its black list

BRUSSELS, CMC – The Council of the European Union Friday said it had removed Aruba, Barbados and Bermuda from the EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions

It said the EU list is contributing to on-going efforts to prevent tax avoidance and promote good governance principles such as tax transparency, fair taxation or international standards against tax base erosion and profit shifting.

The list was established in December 2017 and was revised in March this year, following an in-depth review of the implementation of the commitments taken by third country jurisdictions that are part of the process.

“Barbados has made commitments at a high political level to remedy EU concerns regarding the replacement of its harmful preferential regimes by a measure of similar effect, whilst Aruba and Bermuda have now implemented their commitments.
“At the same time, Bermuda remains committed to address EU concerns in the area of collective investment funds. As a consequence, Barbados and Bermuda will be moved from annex I of the conclusions to annex II, which includes jurisdictions that have undertaken sufficient commitments to reform their tax policies, while Aruba will be removed entirely from both Annexes,” the Council said in a statement.

12 Caribbean nations remain on list

It said as a result, 12 jurisdictions remain on the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions including Belize, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago and the US Virgin Islands.

“The work on the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions is a dynamic process. The Council will continue to regularly review and update the list in 2019, whilst it has requested a more stable process as from 2020,” the Council added.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have consistently condemned the decision by the EU to place regional countries on its so-called black list and CARICOM foreign ministers, who ended a two-day meeting in Grenada earlier this week, said in a statement that they had taken note of the strategies put in place to address the issue of blacklisting.

“This included calling on CARICOM Ambassadors in Brussels and New York to engage third countries on this critical issue.

“Ministers viewed the EU’s approach to “tax good governance” as inappropriate and recall that the relevant agency to deal with these matters is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Forum for Harmful Tax Practices which is inclusive in allowing other Member States to be present and to be consulted. In that regard they called on the EU to adopt a more collaborative approach,” the foreign ministers added.

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