Response to Nation article dated October 30, 2020 and statements attributed to the Regional Cooperation and Trade Support Team Leader, Felipe de la Mota.
Barbados takes good note of the statements attributed to the Regional Cooperation and Trade Support Team Leader, Felipe de la Mota and states categorically that the timeline of the Global Forum (GF) assessment was never in dispute.
Further, it must be highlighted that the GF did not ‘blacklist’ Barbados nor impose any defensive measures and/or sanctions.
Barbados also iterates the fact that the GF does not determine the European Union’s (EU) listing or its listing exercise but rather the Code of Conduct Group, after receiving assessments from the technical arm called Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD), makes recommendations to the Council of Ministers who then make the ultimate decision.
The EU was present in Luxembourg at the GF meeting in February of this year, when Barbados’ report was presented. The EU was therefore aware of all that transpired at the meeting particularly the acknowledgement that Barbados had no legislative deficiencies.
The EU has developed its own criteria separate and apart from that of the GF and chooses to rely on the GF report as and when it suits the EU’s purposes.
Being cognizant of this fact, Barbados through its Ministry of International Business and Industry, initiated discussions with the DG TAXUD and then the Chair of the Code of Conduct Group in order to reiterate that not only was Barbados legislatively compliant in accordance with the GF’s Exchange of Information on Request standard, but that we were well on the way to demonstrating effectiveness and as such would be seeking a supplementary review by the GF in short order.
Barbados was of the opinion that, since the EU Criteria 1.2 stated that “jurisdictions should possess at least a Largely Compliant (LC) rating”, given the circumstances of our Partially Compliant (PC) rating and other present global health and economic factors, that good reason would suggest that if the EU wanted to list Barbados, then placing us on the monitoring “grey list” was the reasonable approach.
Instead the EU took the hard-line approach to negatively list Barbados, all of which had nothing to do with the GF or its process.
Barbados therefore has no misconceptions of its understanding of the EU and its modus operandi.