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Belize off the EU’s blacklist!

GeneralBelize off the EU’s blacklist!

by Kristen Ku

BELIZE CITY, Tues. Feb. 20, 2024

Today, the European Union (EU) has officially removed Belize from its list of “non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes,” also known as the EU Annex I list or the “blacklist.”

The news was met with praise and appreciation from Belizean government officials, including the Minister of State for Finance, Economic Development, and Investment, the Hon. Christopher Coye, who said, “I welcome the EU’s action today, as it not only demonstrates the EU’s recognition of Belize’s unshakeable commitment to the transparency of its tax and regulatory framework, as well as, in establishing an effective regime for the exchange of information on tax matters, but also corrects the false and unfair designation of Belize as a non-cooperative jurisdiction for tax purposes.”

Belize’s inclusion in the “blacklist” occurred on 17 October 2023 by the European Union’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN).

However, the EU provided an opportunity for Belize to remedy the situation, informing Belize that if the Global Forum on Tax Transparency and Exchange of Information (GF) received and approved a request from Belize to open a supplementary review of its compliance with the Exchange of Information on Request (EOIR) standard, Belize would be removed from the Annex I list.

Following Belize’s request in December 2023 for a Supplementary Review based on substantial legislative amendments and administrative changes, on February 2, the GF approved the request.

The review is now set to commence in the first quarter of 2025.

Prime Minister, Hon. John Briceño expressed his satisfaction with the outcome, attributing the success to the dedication and hard work of the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Services Commission.

“This is the culmination of the dedication and hard work of the team from the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Services Commission. My Government is proud of this tremendous achievement, and its reinforcement of the reputation of Belize as a place where firms and individuals of substance and good reputation can conduct and promote their business,” remarked Prime Minister Briceño, noting “Belize’s unwavering commitment to working with its global partners.”

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