Ambassador of the Eastern Caribbean States to Brussels, Sharlene Shillingford-McKlmon has responded to the European Union’s blacklisting of Dominica pointing out that Dominica has fulfilled the requirements of the EU and there is nothing else that can be done in relation to the EU’s decision.
The new list announced on March 12th, 2019, triples the roster to 15 countries which include Dominica along with American Samoa, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Fiji, Guam, Marshall Islands, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S. Virgin Islands, United Arab Emirates and Vanuatu.
Ambassador Shilling-ford Mcklmon explained that Dominica was given 9 months to make necessary changes to its laws and policies which were requested by the EU in March 2018. The deadline stated in the EU letter was December 2018.
She said among the laws that needed amending, were The Offshore Banking Act, The International Business Companies Act and The Fiscal Incentives Act.
“The EU considered that these were preferential regimes and that the parliament of Dominica needed to approve certain changes,” Mcklmon stated. “The necessary changes were done to amend the laws in accordance to EU requirements.”
She also stated that Dominica was granted membership and fulfilled its requirement to the Convention Dealing with Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), after the necessary legal and policy changes were made, noting that joining is mandatory but is unilaterally required by the EU.
She said that Dominica fulfilled the requirements of the EU and became a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
“The outstanding matter relates to joining another OECD tax related convention on the exchange of information for tax purposes. In this case, Dominica… made the necessary legal and policy changes. It submitted its draft laws, its draft Act … to the OECD,” Shillingford-Mcklmon stated.
She said the OECD accepted the draft law as being in compliance with its requirements and now OECD countries are in the process of internal consolation before issuing an invitation to Dominica to join.
“At this stage there is nothing else for Dominica to do until it hears from the OECD,” the OECS Ambassador declared.
Shillingford-McKlmon said it was unfortunate that the EU felt it was necessary to blacklist Dominica and is hopeful that the OECD internal consolation process will soon be over and that Dominica will be given the approval to join and therefore to meet the last EU requirement.