Report: EU Considering Blacklisting Bermuda

March 6, 2019

The European Union have reportedly added 10 jurisdictions to a draft tax haven blacklist, including Bermuda, according to a report from the Reuters news agency.

Background

In 2017, the Council of the European Union named 17 jurisdictions as “non-cooperative tax jurisdictions”; with American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates included on the original list, with the list changing as nations meet commitments set by the EU.

Bermuda, while not listed as a “non-cooperative jurisdiction,” was placed on a secondary list along with over 60 other nations and territories.

Citing the “existence of tax regimes that facilitate offshore structures which attract profits without real economic activity,” the Council said “the following jurisdictions are committed to addressing the concerns relating to economic substance by 2018: Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey and Vanuatu.”

In December 2018, MPs passed the Economic Substance Bill 2018 in the House of Assembly, with the Bill, which was aimed at addressing the EU concerns, receiving bipartisan support.

The Bill’s explanatory memorandum states it “imposes an obligation on an entity that is engaged in a relevant activity to maintain a substantial economic presence in Bermuda and, in that regard, comply with economic substance requirements.”

Report

The Reuters report said, “European Union states have added 10 jurisdictions to a draft tax haven blacklist, including the United Arab Emirates [UAE] and Bermuda, an EU official told Reuters on Tuesday.

“The measure comes more than one year after the bloc decided to blacklist jurisdictions that are non-cooperative on tax matters and to monitor countries that commit to change their tax rules to comply with EU standards.

“In a meeting on Wednesday, EU envoys are set to agree on the new list which will then be formally adopted by EU finance ministers in a meeting on March 12.

“The existing list includes only five jurisdictions: Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago and the three United States’ territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands.

“The new draft list has been broadened to 15 jurisdictions, including the UAE, Oman, the British territory of Bermuda, and other Caribbean and Pacific islands, the official said.

“However, EU states are still considering whether Bermuda and the UAE will be added, the official said.

“Sixty-two jurisdictions around the world have committed to abiding by the tax standards set by Brussels. Most of them were required to overhaul their rules by December or February.

“Bermuda and the UAE have not complied by the set deadlines, but EU states are assessing whether their delays could be warranted.

“Blacklisted jurisdictions could face reputational damage and stricter controls on their financial transactions with the EU, although no sanctions have yet been agreed by member states.”

Read the full story here on the Reuters website.

Premier’s Response

“Bermuda’s Economic Substance Act and Regulations meets the requirements of the European Union,” commented Premier David Burt on international media reports on continuing deliberations in Brussels suggesting that Bermuda and other countries might be added to an EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.

“It is important to recognize that no decisions have yet been made. We have been in regular contact with EU officials and look forward to implementing the new substance regime in Bermuda.”

The Premier indicated that technical officers and Ministers were engaged in daily contact with officials in Brussels and representatives of key member states to ensure that it is clear that Bermuda has in fact met the requisite standard.

“This has been a difficult process but I am confident that a fair examination of Bermuda’s legislation in this area of economic substance will clearly show that we have complied with the standard required of us and we should properly be omitted from any list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions,” he added.

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Comments (42)

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  1. sandgrownan says:

    “Bermuda and the UAE have not complied by the set deadlines, but EU states are assessing whether their delays could be warranted”

    JFC. Asleep at the wheel again.

    • gustav says:

      yes , that happens if you always do what you want and not what you have to do .
      other tasks have been more important ( F and F )
      I am glad that I decided already to shut down my little office here and join another island.
      just two more Bermudians without a job , but I am an evil foreigner and are tired about all those “anti foreigner ” campaigns.
      enough is enough and if you don’t feel welcome anymore ( despite to donate in taxes and social security )you have to make up your mind.
      it is too sad that this beautiful island will go down the drain .
      the “real Bermudians” will feel that very soon , but then it is too late .
      good luck bermuda

      • Hmmm says:

        You said you shut down your office. Idiot you never had a office another oba drone tired of the 25 to 11 flugging you received via cat of nine tails. So you departed Bermuda but you still remain here to visited a Bernews/Bermuda blog site get the fox tail out of here. One of OBA MP’s “Baron” sister appeared to be a racist with her vile post that election year. Not one of you in the OBA challenged her when it was in the media . Her blog help the election even more. You need to realize what helps the OBA and what does not help them when you blog

        • Good riddance

        • gustav says:

          @Hmmm
          I am really surprise what you know .
          you know that I am an idiot , you know that I departed already , you know that I am a racist , you know that I am an OBA follower and their drone .
          respect
          but , people like you just prove that my decision to leave was the right decision.

      • 100%truth says:

        Good bye

  2. watching says:

    this is absolutely ridiculous. Every 3 months they create a new hoop for countries to jump through. It is beyond ridiculous.

  3. dick francis says:

    And Renee Webb is doing ….?

  4. St.George's Passport and Immigration Control says:

    you can thank the plp for this.

    • watching says:

      this has nothing to do with the PLP or OBA for that matter.
      Those comments are unhelpful and just show your ignorance.

      • question says:

        Bob Richards managed this process successfully without all this drama. And without a vanity office in Brussels.

  5. Onion Peels says:

    We are so lucky to have the Brussels office. I know it’s expensive but it keeps us out of trouble with the EU doesn’t it? Just imagine what would happen if we didn’t have that office. We might be lumped in with all the corrupt tax havens in the Caribbean.

  6. J Austen says:

    It’s high time we blacked listed them.

    • JohnnyB says:

      And this is why, thankfully, you have zero input political decisions.

      • Merrick says:

        You need to stop buying into all the BS we get fed, J Austen has a point.

  7. Jus' Askin' says:

    International Business bringing more trouble our way :-(

    IB destroyed Bermuda ;-) ;-)

    • Double Dos says:

      Get it Right . Bermudians Destroyed Bermuda. Where have you been ? Where you around when Bermuda was thriving off of IB ?

      • Jus' Askin' says:

        IB is the reason for EU wanting us on a the blacklist

        • question says:

          We could be more like, say, Haiti. GDP of $1,800 per person per year. 15% inflation. Average income for those lucky enough to find a job, about $130 a month. But they don’t have to worry about those pesky IB people.

          • PBanks says:

            To be fair Haiti was mercilessly and metaphorically raped by France and others post Independence and the scars are still burning to this day.

        • Onion Peels says:

          Don’t worry, as soon as you get that “Redemption Chicken Farm” up and running you can kick out all those nasty IB companies. Pass da Beans has some spashul gawd fearing chickens that can lay three eggs a day. you’ll be set.

    • gustav says:

      indeed , without the IB you can enjoy your onions

  8. Befree says:

    Why do we care so much about the EU… Wake up people they just scrambling for money… They won’t even put countries like the USA, England and Canada… All highly corrupted countries. Shows blatant racism and this is absolutely ridiculous.

    • aceboy says:

      Race card thrown early!

      • Befree says:

        That’s all you all say… Newsflash of course race has to do with it!!! Look at the racial wealth gaps globally you idiot!!! Sick of ppl playing the race card? Take it out of the deck!!! I’m sure you won’t cause you have your generational wealth inna. Learn history you fool.

        • question says:

          So why would they pick on IB, if it’s to do with perpetuating some kind of racial thing? Seems effin stupid doesn’t it? Or are you just talking out of your a$$?

        • lav says:

          “Learn history you fool.”

          Please do…instead of revealing your ignorance, hatred and racist agenda.

    • Kathy says:

      Agree 100%. It is my understanding the UK is still a member of the EU. Why don’t they flog their own. After all, we are just a banana republic! USA needs a good flogging while they are at it… Biggest tax havens in the world Delaware and Nevada!!!

    • lav says:

      “Shows blatant racism and this is absolutely ridiculous.”

      Yes, you are a racist and you’re absolutely ridiculous!

  9. Eye over the World says:

    EU has no right to impose global ogligarchy upon other nations, especially when it can cause the financial ruin of an entire nation whom is innocent in its own right. The EU should be called out for such tyrannical practice. Their stupid little decisions can ruin all our lives, and we are innocent people. It is our right to have less taxes here, and overall our costs of insurance etc brings it up to about equal level with other countries’ higher taxes anyways. So to demonize and punish us is simply unjust, beyond unethical. Their own nations should be blamed for having such high taxes and such high waste of public money to start with, which encourages their own companies to go abroad where taxes are less. They first victimize and profit off their own people, and now they are victimizing poor nations like our own. Tyranny.

  10. Merrick says:

    Ms. Webb with her enormous experience and ability will stop this becoming a crisis. Thank goodness she is not somebody who thrives on the attention that a crisis would bring. In her, we most certainly have the steadfast public servant that we deserve.

  11. Adam says:

    Maybe Bermudians need to do what I did to see just how awful the economy of Bermuda is or will get. I was stunned at the limited local retain. But what scared me most was the empty properties built for what Bermudians thought would be a growing industry of the International Business Sector.

    We can not rely on these people. Yes, we appreciate them being here. But they don’t care about Bermudians or Bermuda…they care about their bottom line. Bermuda is going to face one hell of a crisis and this is why you need to diversify your economies.

    Bermuda PLP is a government who can easily win every election because of their voter base being 99% black. The former UBP and now the OBA can only win when Bermudians don’t show up to vote when they see nothing has changed except that the government and their buddies have done very well with their personal bank accounts but not the Islands deficit.

    • lav says:

      ” nothing has changed except that the government and their buddies have done very well with their personal bank accounts but not the Islands deficit.”

      The problem with your posts is: You’re describing the current PLP government, not the OBA. It’s blatant lies like this that harm Bermuda…not the falsely perceived slights by ‘certain people’.

  12. Y-Gurl says:

    Beginning of the end

  13. Joe Bloggs says:

    ‘Citing the “existence of tax regimes that facilitate offshore structures which attract profits without real economic activity,” …’

    As I keep saying, one man in Brussels says he wants to tax Bermuda companies.

    Why isn’t the PLP Government railing against this? This potentially affects our economy, unlike the talk of one committee in London charged with protecting the welfare of Britons abroad.

  14. 18 Year Old says:

    Has the EU ever thought of implementing similar tax regimes

  15. Eda Dick says:

    Considering what has occurred due to immigrants in EU I would view this as irrational entitlement or in laymans terms…you need to look inward and make a few ratification s before imposing negative conotation outward…it seems your judgement to your own peoples and economic ifastructures are under scrutiny by your own .
    Acting out from that to others is not the answer…I understand why but will not allow…slander , malign , or denigrative
    Intonation go unchallenged.