Tuesday, Apr 23, 2019
17 Oct

Minister of International Business and Industry Ronald Toppin, has rejected news reports suggesting Barbados has been identified on an OECD blacklist, relating to residence or citizenship by investment programmes.

Mr. Toppin says the Ministry is aware the OECD published an article relative to the abuse, in some instances of the common reporting standard.

That's where individuals can exploit citizenship by investment programmes.

He says it must be emphasised that Barbados has never had, and does not have, a CBI programme.

He admitted however, that Barbados was among several other countries, whose high net worth individual special entry permit regime, was identified as one which poses a high-risk to the integrity of the CRS.

Minister Toppin insists that this is, however, not a "blacklist", although some media establishments have chosen to headline their articles on the issue as such.

The Minister adds that these reports, while false and erroneous, can unfortunately, have deleterious effects on the island's reputation.

He says the OECD report simply provides practical guidance to financial institutions on how to undertake enhanced due diligence on clients that are citizens or residents of the countries with CBI or residence by investment programmes, so as to prevent cases of CRS avoidance and tax evasion.

He notes that the representatives of the ministry, who are currently attending meetings at the OECD, engaged with officials of the OECD which published the report.

The Ministry has since been assured that the characterization of the list of jurisdictions as a "blacklist" is completely inaccurate.

The Barbados delegation was also informed that a statement of clarification will be forthcoming from the OECD very shortly.

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