US Virgin Islands take strong stance against EU Blacklist

The US Virgin Islands have expressed concerns regarding the European Union’s list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, as the archipelago finds itself on the list, a reality which has been received with disappointment in the Caribbean territory for a while now.

US Virgin Islands take strong stance against EU Blacklist. Picture Credits: Google Images
US Virgin Islands take strong stance against EU Blacklist. Picture Credits: Google Images

The US Virgin Islands have expressed concerns regarding the European Union’s list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, as the archipelago finds itself on the list, a reality which has been received with disappointment in the Caribbean territory for a while now.

Governor Albert Bryan and his administration have been very vocal about their opposition to this stance taken by the European Union and have continued to lobby against what they have termed as an ‘unjust action’ since 2019.

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Governor Bryan still seeks the removal of the US Virgin Islands from the list and has been an ardent advocate for the same ever since the found itself blacklisted.

During the Interagency Group on Insular Areas annual meeting at the Department of the Interior in Washington, DC, which was held on the 21st of February, Governor Bryan urged the State and Treasury Departments to take a strong stance on the issue of Small Territories being included on the European Union’s Blacklist.

The Caribbean region recently saw the Bahamas, Belize, Seychelles and Turks and Caicos Islands being removed from the list, which is seen as a positive development by many. This could be construed as a contributing factor to the dissatisfaction that the US Virgin Islands administration has expressed. It has also been joined by other parties in the region who have been blacklisted as well.

Governor Bryan stated the following, “It is unacceptable for us to continue being treated like a foreign country separate and apart from the United States. In the area of territorial tax treatment, especially, we continue to be treated inconsistently across the Territories as a group.”

US Department of State officials are scheduled to meet Governor Bryan in Washington and the two sides are expected to discuss multiple topics of concern with regards to the US Virgin Islands. One of the first points on the agenda is expected to be the territory’s inclusion in the European Union’s Blacklist.

Governor Bryan added that, “We urge the EU to reconsider its decision and recognise the US Virgin Islands’ commitment to international tax cooperation and transparency. Our administration remains steadfast in our efforts to rectify this situation and ensure fair treatment for the people of the US Virgin Islands.”

The consensus is that the Bryan-Roach led administration is focused on stabilizing the economy with the territory’s people as the top priority. To achieve this, the administration is investing in the region’s infrastructure transparently, while re-establishing the people’s trust in the government and focusing on the completion of recovery projects with renewed zeal.

While the Bahamas, Belize and the Turks and Caicos Islands were removed from the European Union’s blacklist recently, the US Virgin Islands, along with Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda and Trinidad and Tobago are among the 12 jurisdictions which have been named on the list.

This has become a matter of concern for the region as certain territories feel that they have been disenfranchised by these decisions despite their best efforts and are fully aware of the implications that are forthcoming as a result.