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Barbados: Double Tax Treaties

Other International Agreements

Bilateral Investment Treaties: Barbados has concluded or is negotiating Bilateral Investment Treaties with the UK, Germany, Italy, the US, Venezuela, Switzerland, Canada, Cuba and other countries. The terms of these treaties vary considerably, but general effect of such a treaty is to strengthen bilateral intellectual property protection, to give benefits to nationals working in treaty partner countries, and to give trading advantages.

Caricom and the related Association of Caribbean States are moving towards the creation of a single market, the creation of a common currency, the establishment of a regional Court of Appeal to replace the Privy Council, (which many of these states retain from colonial days as the final court of appeal) and a possible joint application to join NAFTA. It will be a while however before the CSME represents much more than token integration. Initially, freedom of movement for certain categories of people, and some mutual reductions of customs tariffs will be the main features of the new grouping. Moves towards a common currency, a regional stock exchange and other economic measures will take longer to achieve.

Tax Information Exchange Agreement: Barbados signed TIEAs with Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland in late 2011. The agreement with the United States, which was signed in 1984, provides for the exchange of tax information in connection with the operation of the Double Tax Treaty between Barbados and the US. It is more specific than the exchange of information and mutual assistance provisions that are usually included in double tax treaties.

According to the OECD, as of March 12, 2010, Barbados was a jurisdiction which has 'substantially implemented the agreed international tax standard' and has therefore attained a place on the OECD's so-called 'white list.' Countries must have entered into at least 12 Tax Information Exchange Agreements in order to be placed on the 'white list.'

The Foreign and Commonwealth Judgements (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1922 provides the basis for the Governor-General to allow local enforcement of foreign judgements if the foreign country in question reciprocates.

The Proceeds of Crime Act 1990 allows the Attorney-General to order a local investigation to assist foreign investigators when money laundering or (importantly) fiscal crime are suspected. More than most offshore jurisdictions, Barbados is willing to mount such investigations into fiscal crime (tax evasion, in other words); however, it is not clear how this law has been implemented in practice, or whether the Barbadian authorities have been willing to respond to 'fishing expeditions' by foreign tax authorities.

In July, 2005, CARICOM heads of government agreed a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty. Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer, said that the purpose of the Treaty is to increase cooperation in mutual legal assistance among Caribbean countries in respect of serious criminal matters and to combat criminal activity.

Under the Treaty, countries will be allowed to provide assistance in identifying and locating persons and objects; taking evidence or statements from persons; obtaining the production of judicial or other documents and examining objects, sites and premises. Further permitted measures of assistance include the temporary transfer of persons in custody to appear as witnesses; executing searches and seizures; tracing, seizing, freezing and confiscating the proceeds or instrumentalities of crime and facilitating the personal appearances of witnesses.

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning said that the leaders had approved all the proposals put forward by a Prime Ministerial sub-committee on crime and security that met recently in Trinidad and Tobago.

"Basically, crime and security portfolio is being elevated in CARICOM to the status of health, agriculture or any other areas of responsibility and that is so because more and more, issues of crime and national security are assuming greater and greater importance in the region", he said.

Manning said that the committee had also recommended the establishment of a Council of Ministers responsible for National Security and Law Enforcement as well as a number of other committees including the Policy Advisory Committee of technical people at the level of permanent secretaries to further develop the region's response to the crime and security situation.

"We believe by these arrangements we have taken the issue of crime and security one step further to a significantly higher place, giving it, the requiste attention it deserves in the context of the aspirations and concerns of citizens of the various countries of the region," Manning said.

The countries signatory to the Treaty include Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.



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