Premier Dr. The Hon. D. Orlando Smith told the media that he took the Territory’s concern about being placed on the EU list of blacklisted countries at the recent Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government in Barbados
The BVI Leader said: “The BVI used the opportunity to discuss with Caribbean leaders, the decision taken by the European Commission to place a number of Caribbean countries on a list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.”
“Heads of Government agreed that this decision was done without merit, and was done outside of the internationally agreed body empowered to set international standards on Tax cooperation. CARICOM Heads of Government have called on the European Union to withdraw the listing,” the Premier added.
The injurious blacklist was issued on 17 June with the purpose of identifying non-EU countries that have non-compliant tax practices. The list was met with widespread criticisms and deemed unfair because the Territory continues to strive to remain in sync with regulations and requirements from international agencies. Therefore it was an expressed concern that the Territory was wrongly placed on a list which was reportedly created to identify countries that lack compliance with transparency and exchange of information standards.
The list comprised of 30 financial services jurisdictions. With the exception of Dominica all of the Caribbean financial services jurisdictions have been blacklisted. The list includes: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Montserrat, Panama, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos, and US Virgin Islands.
It was reported that in order for the countries to end up on the said list they had to be suggested by at least ten EU member countries. However, it was noted that the United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany did not identify any country for the list.