FOOT OFF NECK: The Bahamas removed from EU Blacklist

FOOT OFF NECK: The Bahamas removed from EU Blacklist

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas, Belize, Seychelles, and Turks and Caicos Islands have been removed from the European Union’s (EU) blacklist following recent approval by EU member states.

EU officials noted that since October 2022, deficiencies in the enforcement of economic substance requirements have been identified in The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands by the OECD Forum of Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP).

In the FHTP’s most recent assessment, the recommendations to both jurisdictions to remedy these deficiencies were converted from “hard” to “soft” recommendations. This change allows the Code of Conduct Group to consider these jurisdictions compliant with the standard for jurisdictions with no or only a nominal corporate income tax.

Prime Minister Philip Davis last year slammed the EU for what he described as its “indefensible” and “immoral” blacklisting of this jurisdiction, demanding: “Remove us from it now.”

During his contribution during the plenary session of the EU-CELAC SUMMIT in Brussels, Belgium, Davis addressed the EU blacklisting issue and said: “Remove us from your blacklist. Take your economic feet off our necks… using criteria that are unfairly applied to us, and not to European jurisdictions or those in developed countries.”

The EU list now consists of the following 12 jurisdictions:

  • American Samoa
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Fiji
  • Guam
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Russia
  • Samoa
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Vanuatu

The Council stated that it “regrets” that these jurisdictions are not yet cooperative on tax matters, and “invites them to improve their legal framework in order to resolve the identified issues.”

The list is updated twice a year to keep track of developments, usually in February and October, under the auspices of the EU finance ministers.

About Genea Noel

Genea Noel is the news director and weeknight TV news anchor at Eyewitness News. She began working at Eyewitness News in 2018 as the newsroom editor and was subsequently promoted during her tenure. As a household name who graces the screens of thousands of Bahamian homes each night, Genea has racked up an impressive five Bahamas Press Club awards, including “The Cyril Stevenson Award for Outstanding Political Journalism” (2020), “Best Studio Live Producer” (2020) and “Best Newscast” (2018).