Inniss wants EU to explain blacklisting

Some two weeks after the European Union (EU) blacklisted Barbados as a non-cooperative tax haven, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss said he still did not know “what the problem is” that led to the country’s blacklisting.

Therefore, Inniss said, in the absence of clarification from the EU, it was difficult to determine what steps Barbados needed to take in order to be removed from the list.

“First of all, you have to know what the problem is that the European Union has. So until that is made clear to us I don’t think I can make a public announcement as to what needs to be done. Up to five o’ clock this evening when I last communicated with the director of international business, we had not received official correspondence from the European Union as to their reason for action,” the minister said on the sidelines of his Christmas party last Friday for his St James South constituency.

Barbados was among four Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries named by the EU on December 5 in a list of 17 global tax havens.

Also included on the blacklist, which followed ten months of investigations by EU officials, were CARICOM countries Grenada, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

Those placed on the dubious list were described as not doing enough to crack down on offshore avoidance schemes, and they could lose access to EU funds. Other possible countermeasures will be decided in coming weeks, according to EU officials.

The day following the announcement Inniss had expressed shock over this country’s latest blacklisting,  describing the decision as both “unfortunate and unfair”.

He argued then that Barbados was a fully cooperative jurisdiction when it came to taxation matters, and explained that it had made the required commitments to either amend or eradicate its regimes that were not in line with EU specifications by the December 5 deadline.

However, Inniss told journalists at the weekend Christmas party that the dialogue would continue in the days ahead and he anticipated a resolution in the not-too-distant future.

“I am sure that the dialogue continues some time over the next couple of days. We will come a lot closer to resolving this matter and as directed our task is to not just understand what the challenges that you may have with our systems, but more importantly, to ensure that actions are fair and reasonable and that the process for being removed from any list of uncooperative jurisdictions is one that does not have to wait a year. Their own processes allow for a speedy removal from our uncooperative list and so we are not shouting across at one another.

“My approach is to work together with the EU and their representatives on finding a speedy resolution to the issue, but first we have to know from their end what the major issue is,” Inniss reiterated.

CARICOM has voiced strong objection to the EU move, with Secretary General Irwin LaRocque urging France to leverage its influence with a view to stopping the 28-member political and economic union from taking “arbitrary and punitive actions” against the four blacklisted CARICOM states, which, he emphasized, had not been so labelled by the relevant regulatory authorities such as the Financial Action Task Force and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Global Forum.

“This decision by the EU has been based on new and unilaterally-determined criteria, that go beyond the generally accepted international tax transparency and accountability standards which our countries have been diligently meeting over the past several years,” LaRocque said last week as he received France’s new ambassador to the 15-member grouping.

“CARICOM strongly objects to this listing of our member states and calls on the EU to remove our member states from this pernicious list,” he added, while noting that the community stood ready to discuss this matter with the European Council.

17 Responses to Inniss wants EU to explain blacklisting

  1. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole December 19, 2017 at 12:27 am

    I would advise the Minister to read Jeff Cumberbatch’s Column. He may learn a thing or two. Square peg in a round hole.

  2. Antheia Springer-Williams
    Antheia Springer-Williams December 19, 2017 at 2:40 am

    Trying to grandstand without legs or grounds to stand on! Let me think of I also have a question for the EU…..

  3. Ken R. Smith
    Ken R. Smith December 19, 2017 at 3:12 am

    Another RH moment, can it get any worse….

  4. hcalndre December 19, 2017 at 4:25 am

    A minister with all those job titles say he don`t know any of the reasons that barbados is blacklisted, sure isn’t fooling the EU. Here it is that you want answers in a hurry, so is the barbadian people about the sale of the Hilton. The PM would say that Barbados is not the only country so there`s no need to worry.

  5. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn December 19, 2017 at 5:31 am

    Barbados get independence from EU. America have a lot of tax haven also.You do have to cooperate once you not trading with them and you don’t want no money borrowed from them. Eu come like a God.

  6. Saga Boy December 19, 2017 at 5:49 am

    Why is Cayman not on the list? The EU is picking on countries which don’t have the lobbying power to keep them off the list. This has nothing to do with politics.

    • Leroy December 19, 2017 at 7:15 pm

      Maybe bc Cayman has started to cooperater with EU, do you know what is happening in Cayman? And we know nothing is happening in bds but talk. And if our minister is clueless then im ashamed, its either you pass the necessary laws or you directly tell EU, we will not pass those laws you require in the form you want, this is what we are willing to pass, and go fron there

  7. Alex Alleyne December 19, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Then why not take the EU to the INTERNATION COURT in the HAGUE if you think Barbados got “blacklisted” for nothing done wrong.

  8. Gregory December 19, 2017 at 8:44 am

    The answer is quite simple. In Barbados a foreigner can open a local bank account (lots of paperwork involved passport address etc) and then deposit large sums of foreign exchange without any questions being asked as to how that money was earned.
    I should know because I have done so for many years depositing 1000s of pounds sterling or US dollars. In my case the money was from my salary in the UK (not illegal in any way)and the saving were for future holidays or purchases in Barbados.
    But that might not always be the case and could be viewed as evading tax.

  9. Gregory December 19, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Following up on my last post, many times the deposits were £1000.00 Sterling or $2000.00 USD
    I believe there may be a procedure to ask if the deposits were over a certain amount, but in 18 years I was never asked once for proof of income for depositing those amounts.

    The irony is the time I asked to withdraw £1000.00 Sterling oh, the paperwork and bureaucracy involved. I kid you not it took a whole day filling out paperwork, going to the Central Bank and more paperwork to seek permission and waiting to hear if I could take back a fraction of the currency I deposited.

    No questions were asked if I wanted to withdraw say $1000.00 BBDs

  10. Eddy Murray
    Eddy Murray December 19, 2017 at 9:06 am

    You all must bring more big boys to the court houses.

  11. Michael Crichlow
    Michael Crichlow December 19, 2017 at 9:34 am

    These are the educated pundits we rely on as leaders? evidently this vast dis -connect from reality has saturated the current administration..folks! You are privy to what appears to be an a..hole convention on the Island

  12. Helicopter(8P) December 19, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Mr Gregory! do you think Barbados ; once called Bimshire is so remote from British intelligence that we would not know your identity , work history and character through Scotland Yard Intelligence or even the MI-5 at Home office ?

  13. Mackar December 19, 2017 at 11:45 am

    I keep saying this clown Innis don’t know anything about the job he was assigned to.
    Nothing in his portfolio has improved during his terms. He is a NATO man. No action talk only. What you think????

  14. Grantley Ifill
    Grantley Ifill December 19, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    And i want you to explain the sale of the Hilton Hotel and the other one for less than the market value.. I want you to explain to me how is it that you can t seam to find out how all those chicken wings got into Barbados as yet.. I want you to explain how these foreign business are setting up here I Barbados treating our sons and daughters like slaves; and not paying in they NIS, then leave the country and gone and you not saying a word … Mr Minister when no dudileganc is done on business coming here our you turn a blind eye to they shady practices because of greed YOU GET BLACK LIST..

  15. Gregory December 19, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Lol, who said I was hiding anything, on arrival I pass through the superb facilities of your international airport and provide my credentials.
    Not sure what you are thinking with Scotland Yard, but made me smile.

  16. Jus me December 20, 2017 at 4:22 am

    Tax Havens,are there because hard working people, are sick to their Souls of paying to keep , lieing politicians ,with an everfull pot of money, to pillage waste and squander.

    The Law is used to keep us like sheep.

    Taxes are legalised thievery,devised by the elite to maintain the elite, .

    Of course they will cry FOOL, as they need taxes to run our
    They really think we are so foolish we cant see the difference between running our country and RAPING it!!


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