Prime Minister of Grenada Dr Keith Mitchell (FILE)
ST GEORGE’S – The Grenada government says it is awaiting official communication from the European Union after the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country was included in a new list of global tax havens.
“We were aware of the monitoring done but right now we only saw the list online and is awaiting communications from the EU as to what are the reasons or the reason for us be placed on the list,” said International Business Minister, Nikolas Steele.
Grenada is among four Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries named Tuesday in the new list of global tax havens. The other Caribbean countries are Barbados, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.
EU finance ministers who met in Brussels on Tuesday said the new list was drawn up after ten months of investigations by EU officials.
The finance ministers also named American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
They said the countries on the blacklist were not doing enough to crack down on offshore avoidance schemes. Potential sanctions that could be enforced on members of the list are expected to be agreed in the coming weeks.
The EU said that as a first step, a letter will be sent to all jurisdictions on the new list, explaining the decision and what they can do to be de-listed.
The EU said that the new list was compiled through a three-step process including the pre-selection of 216 countries worldwide using more than 1600 indicators and that all jurisdictions chosen for screening were formally contacted, to explain the process and invite them to engage with the EU.
St Vincent and the Grenadines is listed as a jurisdiction with improved fair taxation while Bermuda and the Cayman Islands are listed as jurisdiction which introduced substance requirement.
“The adoption of the first ever EU blacklist of tax havens marks a key victory for transparency and fairness. But the process does not stop here,” said Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs.
“We must intensify the pressure on listed countries to change their ways. Blacklisted jurisdictions must face consequences in the form of dissuasive sanctions, while those that have made commitments must follow up on them quickly and credibly. There must be no naivety: promises must be turned into actions. No one must get a free pass,” he added.
The announcement of the new list comes less than a month after the publication of the Paradise Papers, a global leak containing information about individuals and companies holding offshore finances. (CMC)