Minister: Acting To Be Removed From EU List

May 10, 2019 | 9 Comments

“Bermuda has acted promptly and effectively in order to be formally removed from the EU list,” Minister of Finance Curtis Dickinson said, adding that they believe that the EU will remove Bermuda from the tax blacklist on May 17th.

Speaking in the House of Assembly today [May 10], the Minister said, “On March 28, Premier David Burt and I met with Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, responsible for economic and financial affairs as well as taxation and customs. Thereafter, on April 1, I met with Mrs. Lyudmila Petkova, Chair of the Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation.

“These meetings, together with visits to the German and French Ministries of Finance, were open, transparent and cooperative. They permitted Bermuda to further explain in detail the source and reasons for which there was a technical omission in our Economic Substance Regulations submission.

“This omission was addressed and corrected to the satisfaction of the European authorities. Subsequent to these meetings we understand there was a meeting of the Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation on April 11.

“Following our meetings and the assurances we received, we have every reason to believe that the EU Finance Ministers, on May 17, will remove Bermuda from Annex I of the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in tax matters [the so-called “black list”].”

Minister Dickinson added that “when Bermuda is removed from Annex I, we will be placed in Annex II of the EU list with three other jurisdictions, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands,” which is due to “EU concerns regarding the need for a legislative framework for collective investment funds [CIVs] that meets their expectations.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to provide additional background information regarding the action which Bermuda has taken to be removed from the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in tax matters, as adopted by the EU Finance Ministers [“ECOFIN”] at their March 12 meeting.

I can report that Bermuda has acted promptly and effectively in order to be formally removed from the EU list, most likely at the May 17 meeting of ECOFIN.

On March 28, Premier David Burt and I met with Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, responsible for economic and financial affairs as well as taxation and customs. Thereafter, on April 1, I met with Mrs. Lyudmila Petkova, Chair of the Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation.

These meetings, together with visits to the German and French Ministries of Finance, were open, transparent and cooperative. They permitted Bermuda to further explain in detail the source and reasons for which there was a technical omission in our Economic Substance Regulations submission.

This omission was addressed and corrected to the satisfaction of the European authorities. Subsequent to these meetings we understand there was a meeting of the Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation on April 11.

Following our meetings and the assurances we received, we have every reason to believe that the EU Finance Ministers, on May 17, will remove Bermuda from Annex I of the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in tax matters [the so-called “black list”].

Mr. Speaker, I should add that when Bermuda is removed from Annex I, we will be placed in Annex II of the EU list with three other jurisdictions [Bahamas, British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands]. This is because of EU concerns regarding the need for a legislative framework for collective investment funds [CIVs] that meets their expectations.

Mr. Speaker, we have already committed to continue to cooperate with the EU with respect to the adoption, by the end of this year, of a proper legislative framework for collective investment funds. Bermuda officials have already engaged last month in a positive dialogue with EU representatives to finalize the scope of the required adjustments to our legislation.

We want to ensure an efficient implementation of our commitments and will carefully address certain concerns raised as they relate to the substance criterion in the CIVs sector as required from Annex II jurisdictions.

Mr. Speaker, the Bermuda-EU relationship is well developed. For example our industry sectors have many clients in the EU, and economic studies indicate that the value of Bermuda’s financial contribution to the EU is significant.

More than 10 European Union countries export about $6 billion in goods and services and annual two-way trade is normally $30 billion between, the EU and Bermuda. Bermuda’s economy supports almost 150,000 jobs in European Union markets through trade, the foreign direct investment of its multinationals, and its portfolio investment capacity – mostly in the UK, Germany, France, and Ireland. Mr. Speaker, most of this trade between Bermuda and the EU is in the areas of reinsurance and finance.

Mr. Speaker, I also wish to recognize the cooperation the Government received from industry stakeholders throughout the process. It was remarkable. I want to thank all stakeholders for their support and show of unity.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker

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Comments (9)

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  1. JohnnyB says:

    That’s cool and all…but when will you make Bermuda affordable to live in? All you have done so far is made it more expensive.

  2. question says:

    So we go from one blacklist to another.

  3. They better thank Curtis for this. If it were not for him we would never get off the black list.

    • Madge says:

      I think most of us appreciate the minister of finance,a lot of us would like to see him as our premier….I also would like the current leader to fire Rolf and also get rid of the minister without portfolio…think of the money we could save….

  4. Joe Bloggs says:

    “They permitted Bermuda to further explain in detail the source and reasons for which there was a technical omission in our Economic Substance Regulations submission.”

    A “technical omission”? Really? Omitting a paragraph that would prevent people from doing things by proxy (through an agent) is what you call a “technical omission”?

    “Minister Dickinson added that “when Bermuda is removed from Annex I [the "blacklist"], we will be placed in Annex II of the EU list with three other jurisdictions, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands”

    Oh, great. Let’s not get on the “clean” list with Guernsey and Jersey and the Isle of Man. Instead let’s get on the list with islands closer to home.

  5. Ok says:

    Ok so we get off one list to be on another? Is that a lust we want to be on? Or are we just cool because Cayman is on it? Why can’t we be better than them?

  6. Mr. Apathy says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it. The incompetence of the Premier & co. in getting Bermuda placed on the EU blacklist in the first place is enough to make one take these optimistic, wishy-washy expectation statements with a huge grain of salt.

    Either way, Bermuda’s international reputation will have taken a serious hit from being placed on the EU blacklist, even if it ends up becoming removed at a later date. What is truly astonishing, is that nobody was made to resign over this monumental gaffe on the part of the PLP. And so the circus continues…

  7. Off one list on to another says:

    So we are on another list.

    Are the Channel Islands on that list too???

  8. Louden Cleere says:

    Annex I = the Blacklist
    Is Annex II also called the Blacklist or is it called something else?

    In other words, is this article merely prepping us to still be on some version of the Blacklist after the 17th? This is the first time we are hearing about Annex I and Annex II so I’m curious.

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