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Seychelles Responds To 'Arbitrary' EU Blacklisting

by Lorys Charalambous, Lowtax.net, Cyprus
30 June, 2015

The Seychelles Finance Ministry has said that most of the 11 European Union member states that include Seychelles on their blacklists of non-cooperative jurisdictions have done so "on the basis of inaccurate and outdated information."

The EU tax blacklist was included in the European Commission's new Corporate Tax Reform Action Plan, which was released on June 17, 2015. It features those territories that are included on 10 or more EU member state blacklists and consequently included Seychelles.

The Finance Ministry said that the EU and any countries that have concerns "should align themselves to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) process," which it pointed out is the only multilateral process currently working on issues of tax transparency.

Finance Minister Jean Paul Adam insisted that "Seychelles is making considerable and steady progress in achieving the OECD standard in relation to the exchange of tax information." He added that Seychelles has implemented all of the recommendations of the OECD in relation to tax transparency, which led to its original non-compliant rating in 2013.

At a meeting between EU states and the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries (ACP) on June 26, the Secretary of State in the Seychelles Department of Foreign Affairs, Barry Faure, illustrated how strongly the Seychelles Government feels about the move by the EU.

Speaking on the subject, he stated that the publication of the list was "arbitrary, non-inclusive, discriminatory, and unsustainable, as it was not coherent with the EU's development policy."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that Seychelles had joined ACP countries in a formal declaration that called on the EU "to immediately withdraw the list and to refrain from such publications in the future without due process."

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