BRUSSELS, Belgium, Wednesday December 6, 2017 – The European Union (EU) has released a blacklist of 17 countries which it says are tax havens, and four Caribbean countries are included.
Barbados, Grenada, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago are on the list of countries not doing enough to deal with offshore avoidance schemes which was made public yesterday after months of EU officials screening tax policies.
Several other Caribbean countries failed to comply to the standards set by the EU as well, but got a temporary pass because they were hit hard by hurricanes this year. They are: Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos and the US Virgin Islands.
However, they have until next year to deal with the issues, the EU said.
“For jurisdictions affected by natural disasters, it was agreed to put the process temporarily on hold. This refers in particular to countries affected by hurricanes during 2017. They will be asked to address the concerns identified as soon as the situation improves, with a view to resolving them by the end of 2018. By February 2018, they will be contacted to prepare the next steps,” it said in a statement.
The full blacklist is: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, St Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
The EU said the goal of that list is to ensure its partners adhere to the same tax standards as itself, calling it “a key victory for transparency and fairness”.
The list was established following a screening and a dialogue conducted during this year with a large number of third country jurisdictions. Those that appear on the list failed to take meaningful action to address deficiencies identified and did not engage in a meaningful dialogue on the basis of the EU’s criteria.
Apart from the 17 countries on the blacklist, 47 countries were placed on a so-called “grey-list”. These are countries that have committed to making changes to their tax policy in an attempt to comply with EU regulations.