St Lucia removed from EU tax blacklist; St Kitts added

The European Union has removed St Lucia form a blacklist of tax havens, according to international media reports.

The removal was made at a regular monthly meeting of EU Finance Ministers in Brussels Tuesday.

St Lucia has now been placed on a “grey list” which includes countries that have made commitments to bring their tax rules and practices in line with European Union standards.

“Since the list was first published on 5 December 2017, Bahrain, the Marshall Islands and Saint Lucia have made commitments at a high political level to remedy EU concerns. In the light of an expert assessment of those commitments, the Council decided to move the three jurisdictions from annex I to annex II,” according to a statement on the European Council website.

The Opposition, St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has accused the Allen Chastanet administration of damaging St Lucia’s reputation as a result of the country’s inclusion on the tax blacklist.

‘All Saint Lucia had to do was write that letter of commitment from the time the first black list came out and Saint Lucia would not have remained on that list for so long,’ SLP Leader Phillip J Pierre declared.

The EU added the Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Saint Kitts and Nevis to the tax haven blacklist, Reuters News Agency reported.

The blacklist, set up to discourage the use of shell structures abroad, currently includes nine jurisdictions. The other six are American Samoa, Guam, Namibia, Palau, Samoa and Trinidad and Tobago.