Two Caribbean Countries Removed from EU Tax Haven Blacklist

BRUSSELS, Belgium – The European Union (EU) Council has removed The Bahamas and St Kitts and Nevis from the list of jurisdictions deemed to facilitate tax avoidance, leaving two other Caribbean territories on the blacklist.
 
The decision to move the two from the list of uncooperative tax jurisdictions to the group of jurisdictions that have undertaken sufficient commitments to reform their tax policies, was taken at a meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council, without discussion.
 
It follows what the EU said were The Bahamas’ and St Kitts and Nevis’ “commitments at a high political level to remedy EU concerns”.
 
“EU experts have assessed those commitments… [and] implementation of their commitments will be carefully monitored by the working group responsible for the listing process (code of conduct group),” the EU Council said, noting that while the list is revised at least once a year, the code of conduct group can recommend an update at any time.
 
The list of uncooperative jurisdictions was published in December 2017, but The Bahamas, and St Kitts and Nevis along with the US Virgin Islands (USVI) were added in March of this year. At the time, the governments of both Caribbean nations had expressed surprise at their inclusion.
 
The USVI remains on the list along with Trinidad and Tobago, American Samoa, Guam, Namibia, Palau, and Samoa.
 
The EU says its list is contributing to ongoing efforts to prevent tax fraud and promote good governance worldwide.
 
“Having fewer jurisdictions on the list is a measure of the success of the listing process,” said Vladislav Goranov, Minister for Finance of Bulgaria, which currently holds the Council presidency. “As jurisdictions around the world work to reform their tax policies, our challenge for the rest of the year will be to see that their commitments have been correctly implemented.”

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