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Caribbean News Today

CARICOM states strong objection to EU “blacklist”

CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La Rocque CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La Rocque
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has stated its strong objection  to the recent decision by the European Commission to “blacklist” a number of CARICOM Member States for allegedly not co-operating on tax law enforcement  with European Union countries.

The Community, in a Statement issued Thursday, described the Commission’s assertion as patently false in view of the continued efforts by CARICOM Member States to comply with the onerous and unilaterally imposed regulatory measures.

The Commission earlier this month named Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Turks and Caicos Islands on its list of non-co-operative Tax jurisdictions and counties.

The following is the CARICOM Secretariat's statement on the matter:

"The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) strongly objects to the recent decision by the European Commission to "blacklist" a number of Member States of CARICOM on the pretext that there is no cooperation on tax law enforcement with the countries of the European Union (EU). This assertion is patently false in view of the continued efforts made by Member States to comply with the onerous and unilateral regulatory measures put forward by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)which sets international standards on tax cooperation.

"The OECD itself has stated in correspondence to the EU on this matter that “it considers most of the countries listed as largely compliant in the area of tax information sharing.” The OECD went further when it stated: “There is nothing more that they can do in order to be considered as cooperative.”

"It is indeed surprising that during the CARIFORUM-EU Summit Meeting on 11 June 2015 in Brussels, at which the strengthening of the bi-lateral partnership and cooperation was invoked as well as the strong historical, human and cultural bonds that unite the two regions, an issue as detrimental to the economic development of CARICOM as the “blacklisting” of a number of Member States was not tabled by the EU, but announced subsequently. The Caribbean Community, for which financial services are of vital economic importance, is forced to express its deep disappointment and grave concern at the conduct of the EU on this matter.

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