Barbados Removed From European Union’s Annex II

Bridgetown Barbados, February 15, 2023 – Barbados has been removed from the European Union’s (EU) state-of-play document (Annex II), which means the island has been deemed compliant with tax requirements.

This disclosure came from Minister of Energy and Business, Senator Lisa Cummins, who said the announcement today follows the substantial work done by government officials and stakeholders, from last November until now, to arrive at this important stage.

The state-of-play document identifies cooperative jurisdictions which have made further improvements to their tax policies or related cooperation.  It reflects the ongoing EU cooperation with international partners and the commitments of these countries to reform their legislation to adhere to agreed tax good governance standards.

Ms. Cummins continued: “Even over the Christmas holidays, into the earlier part of the new year, we literally had to keep our heads down to ensure that Barbados avoided the measures that would have come along with an Annex II listing, which many would call, perhaps in a different type of language, a black listing.

“We have been able to avoid some of the additional enhanced due diligence measures that would have resulted in Barbados being subjected to measures that were not in place in other jurisdictions that were structured differently than we are.”

The Minister explained that officials in the International Business Unit, the Barbados Revenue Authority, the Barbados International Business Association, and all of the service providers, including members of the Barbados Bar Association, worked earnestly on this matter.

“Very often, you think that the business community does not want to be compliant, either with domestic policy or international policy, and that has not been our experience at all in this instance.  In fact, it has been the opposite.

“The business community has walked hand in hand, lock step with us as the Government, to ensure that Barbados is not facing a negative outcome internationally and that our corporate sector and our international business sector is not negatively impacted,” she said.

Acknowledging that there was still more work to be done going forward, Senator Cummins gave the assurance that Government would continue working with the Forum on Harmful Tax Practices, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and sovereign jurisdictions.

‘We are going to be making sure that Barbados is a country that is sitting at the table.  We have always been finding ourselves over the years in a defensive position as the goalpost is moved and as the rules are changed.

“But now we’re working to make sure that we are in a far more proactive position; that we’re sitting at every table where the decisions are being made and so we’re able not just to respond, but to be a part of crafting the rules and regulations that govern jurisdictions like ours,” she stated.

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