ST GEORGE’S – Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell says Grenada is expected to be removed from the European Union Blacklist by the end of January.
The decision to remove Grenada, one of 17 countries blacklisted by the EU, is expected to follow a meeting of the Financial and Economic Unit of the OECD set for January 23.
On December 5, 2017, the European Union Council approved and published conclusions containing an EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in taxation matters.
According to the Council, Grenada did not sign or ratify the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance as amended and did not clearly commit to addressing these issues by December 31 this year.
However, Prime Minister Mitchell said Grenada ought not to have been placed on the list in the first place, since the country had met all the conditions required.
“On January 23rd, the Financial and Economic Unit of the OECD will be meeting after the response from Grenada and of course we pointed out the mistakes that were made,” he said.
“Grenada is expected to be removed before the end of January from that blacklist. So I think we would have gone through that process successfully”.
The Ministry of Finance had issued a statement saying Grenada made high level commitments, complete with timelines, to the EU Code of Conduct group by way of letters on November 17 and 28, 2017.
Those commitments were in response to concerns raised by the OECD group, regarding meeting all the criteria set up by the EU Council for Transparency and fairness in Taxation, and was well on track to doing so.
Prime Minister Mitchell said it was accepted that the decision was unfair.
“But the specific case of Grenada, we had asked for some communications sent to us so that we would move and deal with what we are supposed to do,” the Grenadian leader said.
“And they took a very long time to send it, so since the blacklist came on they have sent the information and we then replied and, like I said, before the end of the month, from indications in correspondent received last week, we expect to be release from that blacklist.”
Grenada was not the only Caribbean nation on the blacklist. There were three others: Barbados, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.