BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, March 13, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) –The twin island Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis was on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, removed from the European Union’s (EU) list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes as a result of the country’s effective compliance with the EU’s requirements that will ensure fairness in its fiscal arrangements.
The revised list was adopted by the European Council following a meeting of its Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) held in Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday.
In its report, the Council’s Code of Conduct Group for Business Taxation, which is the working group responsible for the listing process, moved St. Kitts and Nevis from Annex I to Annex II. Annex I refers to the EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, whereas Annex II comprises jurisdictions that have made commitments to implement tax good governance principles.
Since assuming office in 2015, the Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Government has maintained discipline in the management of the country’s economy in accordance with the highest international standards.
Reacting to Tuesday’s decision to remove St. Kitts and Nevis from the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, Prime Minister Harris stated, “We have progressed in leaps and bounds since the dark days of the 2014/2015 calamity of the bygone Denzil Douglas administration.”
In May 2014, the US Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an advisory on St. Kitts and Nevis in which it stated that foreign individuals were abusing the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme to obtain passports for the purpose of engaging in illicit financial activity.
The issuance of this advisory was followed in November 2014 by the Canadian government’s revocation of its visa-free waiver for persons carrying St. Kitts and Nevis passports.
The Team Unity Administration has since undertaken a comprehensive reform of the country’s CBI programme which includes the introduction of a 24/7 case management system that allows for round-the-clock, real-time monitoring of the status of CBI applications, the employment of additional due diligence providers with specialist knowledge of particular countries and regions, and increased partnerships with friendly governments.
These reforms have reinforced the strength and stability of the country’s CBI programme, which is largely regarded as the platinum standard of economic citizenship programmes.