Three Caribbean nations make ‘White List’

PARIS, France: Three more Caribbean countries – Dominica, Grenada and St. Lucia – have made the so-called “White List” of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Last week, the OECD moved the trio into the category of jurisdictions considered to have substantially implemented the standard on transparency and exchange of information, having now all signed at least 12 tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs).

Belize and Montserrat are the only English-speaking Caribbean countries which are still to meet the standard.

“We continue to see a great deal of progress in the Caribbean as jurisdictions move to sign agreements. With Dominica, Grenada and St. Lucia now reaching this benchmark, most of the Caribbean jurisdictions have implemented their commitment to signing exchange of information agreements,” said Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, Jeffrey Owens.

Owens said the OECD will work with the remaining Caribbean jurisdictions “to encourage them to follow this trend, providing them with whatever assistance is needed”.

The move to make the recent additions to the list follows the signature of a series of agreements involving the three jurisdictions plus Antigua and Barbuda, which had already reached 12 agreements on December 7 2009, and the Nordic countries – Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Following these signatures, Antigua and Barbuda has now signed a total of 20 agreements meeting the international standard. Dominica and Grenada have now signed 13 agreements each, and St. Lucia has signed 15 agreements.

As members of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, each of these jurisdictions agreed to participate in a peer review of their laws and practices in this area.

According to a schedule published by the Global Forum, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and St. Lucia will undergo reviews of their legal and regulatory framework for exchange of information in 2011 and reviews of their information exchange practices in 2013. Dominica’s peer reviews will take place in 2012 and 2014.

Owens said the peer review process will be the real test as the Global Forum evaluates the quality of the TIEAs and the extent of the implementation of the standards in practice.

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