Grenada ‘to be taken off EU blacklist’ – but St Lucia stays

Last updated: 18 January 2018, 12:11 pm

Grenada looks set to be removed from the European Union’s tax haven blacklist – but St Lucia is likely to remain.

Officials have proposed removing eight jurisdictions from the grouping adopted in December, in what critics may see as a blow to its campaign against tax avoidance.

EU states decided last month to draw up the list in a bid to discourage the most aggressive tax dodging practices.

But eight of the 17 jurisdictions currently listed are set to be quickly removed from the list after they offered to change their tax rules, according to EU documents seen by Reuters news agency.

Panama, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Barbados, Macao, Mongolia and Tunisia are the other countries that EU officials have recommended be delisted.

The removal of Bahrain was also initially considered, but its delisting was eventually not recommended, the documents show.

Jurisdictions set to remain on the blacklist alongside St Lucia are American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, the Marshall Islands, Namibia, Palau, Samoa, and Trinidad and Tobago.

‘Committed’ to rule changes

The eight jurisdictions who have introduced changes will be moved to a so-called grey if officials approve.

This separate list, currently made up of 47 countries, includes those who have committed to change their rules on tax transparency and cooperation.

The recommended removal of Panama may cause particular outcry, as it has been at the centre of one of the largest disclosures of offshore schemes, the so-called Panama Papers.

When EU lawmakers announced the list, Grenada was slow to respond. One minister said the government was unaware why Grenada had been blacklisted.

The Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community said the organisation “strongly objects” the member states being included.

Earlier this month Keith Mitchell, prime minister of Grenada, said he was confident that the country would be off the list by the end of January.

There has been no comment from the government of St Lucia over its continued inclusion.


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