One of the more prominent offshore jurisdictions has joined the ranks of those criticising their inclusion on a European Commission blacklist.
Another jurisdiction in the form of the British Virgin Islands has attacked the European Commission’s recent decision to publish a communiqué and annex suggesting that the Caribbean location is a non-cooperative tax jurisdiction.
The BVI’s government said in a statement that the jurisdiction has a “long track-record of meeting the highest international standards in international cooperation, regulation and transparency, and continues to do so today”. The BVI said it hopes the European Commission’s list is withdrawn.
The government said its efforts have been “recognised by the governments of several Group of Eight and G20 countries, and the BVI has met the standards set by international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, Financial Action Task Force and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)".
Already, Guernsey and the Cayman Islands, among others, have criticised the EU’s move, saying its methodology is unfair and inaccurate. On the list are Andorra, Liechtenstein, Guernsey, Monaco, Mauritius, Liberia, the Seychelles, Brunei, Hong Kong, the Maldives, Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, the Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Montserrat, Panama, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the US Virgin Islands.
“The BVI continues to be a constructive and cooperative partner on transparency and information exchange and demonstrates this by having an active role in the OECD's Global Forum, which is the largest tax body in the world, as well as sitting on the 30 member peer review group,” the BVI’s statement continued. “The BVI is also an early adopter of the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard for the global automatic exchange of financial account information to take effect in 2017,” it said.
The Caribbean island said it wasn’t clear what standard was used by the EU as a basis for this publication save for lists of member state countries that are in many cases outdated and it is not clear whether any of the foregoing was considered.
Last week, two senior Guernsey government officials strongly contested the offshore jurisdiction's placement on the European tax blacklist. Governments of the Cayman Islands and Bermuda have also criticised the European Commission’s action.