The European Council has made some changes to its list of non-cooperative jurisdictions by removing three countries.
Aruba, Barbados and Bermuda have all been taken out of the blacklist.
But while Aruba is now white-listed – meaning that is fully compliant with EU taxation rules – Barbados and Bermuda have been added to the Annex II list.
Also know as the ‘grey list’, Annex II comprises all the jurisdictions that have committed to comply with EU rules, or have started taking steps towards it, but are not fully compliant.
Ronald Toppin, Barbados’ minister of international business and commerce, said: “No country wishes to be on any blacklist, especially a country like Barbados which takes its character and reputation in the international community very seriously.
“Hence, after discussions between the ministry of international business and the EU, at the technical level, we were able to reach agreement on the way forward.”
Similarly, Curtis Dickson, Bermuda’s minister of finance, said in a speech to the House of Assembly: “Bermuda has now been placed on the ‘grey’ list, meaning being placed in Annex II of the EU list.
“This reflects the need to further expand our legislative framework in this area, to include the EU’s economic substance requirements for collective investment funds (CIVs).
“The Bermuda Monetary Authority CIVs experts have already engaged in several discussions with the EU Commission on these matters. They will continue to cooperate with the EU with respect to the adoption, by the end of this year, of an economic substance framework for CIVs that is acceptable to the EU.”
There are currently 12 jurisdictions left on the blacklist: American Samoa, Belize, Dominica, Fiji, Guam, the Marshall Islands, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates and the US Virgin Islands.