Latvia Corrects Record, Bermuda Not Blacklisted

June 29, 2015

[Updated] A second European state, Latvia, has conceded Bermuda is not one of their “blacklisted” countries and has written to the European Commission [EC] to set the record straight, the Finance Ministry said today.

“The EC recently included Bermuda in a list of 30 “uncooperative” tax jurisdictions. The master “blacklist” was comprised of countries targeted by 10 or more EU member states. Initially, 11 EU members included Bermuda in their lists,” a spokesperson said.

“Subsequently, Poland indicated they had already informed the EC that Bermuda was no longer on their register of uncooperative tax jurisdictions.

“And Latvia, which joined the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance on Tax Matters May 29, 2013, has emailed their corrected facts to the Commission.

“When the Convention came into force for Latvia last November, Bermuda and a number of other co-signatories automatically fell off their blacklist.

“Today, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, Everard T. Richards said that diplomatic efforts continue to have Bermuda removed from the EC’s master blacklist.

“And although the number of countries targeting Bermuda is now down from eleven to nine with the recent announcements, Minister Richards said Bermuda’s name should be removed from the all European blacklist immediately.”

The Minister said, “There was some indication that the list might be revised by the end of the year. But we see no reason why an administrative decision in our favour couldn’t be made immediately. We have consistently done the right thing.”

“I am grateful that Latvia and Poland have acted quickly to correct the mistake and we hope other countries will follow suit.

“As I have indicated before, considering Bermuda’s outstanding record of signing agreements with a large number of countries, it is extraordinary that we would be labelled by the EC as “uncooperative”.

“Bermuda has signed tax information exchange agreements with countries around the world together with a multilateral Tax Convention, adding up to over 80 treaty partners. This is today’s international standard for tax cooperation and information exchange.”

Update 6.49pm: Bermuda Business Development Agency CEO Ross Webber said, “We applaud the news that a second EU country, Latvia, has confirmed Bermuda is not on their national register of uncooperative jurisdictions.

“It underscores the inaccuracies of the recent EU blacklist, which Bermuda should never have been included on. Unfortunately, Bermuda’s reputation has suffered damage, however.

“This episode illustrates the dire need for more education and public awareness about our jurisdiction’s compliant track record. All of us need to be advocates—we need to take a pro-active approach to spreading the word on Bermuda’s highly-regarded regulatory framework, our global partnerships and tax treaties, and our blue-chip history. We can’t afford not to.”

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  1. Thank you Latvia….cuil runnins…