AG: Bahamas supports abolishing ‘blacklists’

AG: Bahamas supports abolishing ‘blacklists’

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas staunchly supports the abolition of so-called ‘blacklists’ in international tax policy compliance, with Attorney General Ryan Pinder noting their lack of objectivity and fairness and their devastating impact on the economies of small developing states.

Pinder, while addressing the 6th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee to Draft Terms of Reference for a United Nations Framework Convention on International Tax Cooperation, emphasized the need to abolish the use of blacklists.

“We support abolishing the use of blacklists in international tax policy compliance. Blacklists used by developed country multilateral institutions have been applied arbitrarily and unilaterally. We question the utility of blacklists in light of the extraordinary economic damage they impose on small developing countries,” Pinder remarked.

“Objective research would demonstrate that blacklists have lacked objectivity and fairness and have devastated economies of small developing states in our hemisphere with questionable global benefits. Our right to development has been violated as blacklists have caused financial diversion away from developmental investment, caused de-risking and job loss, and have limited our ability to recover from natural disasters brought on by climate change. Blacklisting hampers access to international finance, including from international insurers for disaster recovery. We call for the abolishment of using blacklists.”

While advocating for “predictable” rules for financial compliance, Pinder noted: “We all want to abide by international standards, we all have difficulty complying with multiple standards.”

“The concepts underpinning the current international tax system prefer the interests of the Global North. The predominant suggestions do not take the Global South’s perspectives into account and are not likely to meet the demands of developing nations.

“Non-OECD members have not been equally represented in developing OECD policy, and the Inclusive Framework’s “inclusivity” is mostly symbolic. More steps must be taken to bridge the geopolitical divide and give a greater voice to the nations of the Global South and the challenges that we face.

“This is the reason we support the United Nations as the global tax policy standard-making body,” said Pinder.

The EU removed the Bahamas, Seychelles, and two other jurisdictions from its tax havens blacklist on Tuesday. The list, approved by the EU’s member states, now counts 12 jurisdictions deemed non-cooperative for tax purposes, particularly when it comes to sharing tax information. The European Union removed Bahamas, Belize, Seychelles, and Turks and Caicos Islands from the list. It now includes American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Fiji, Guam, Palau, Panama, Russia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, US Virgin Islands, and Vanuatu.