Belize Disputes European Union’s Non-Compliance Claim, Calls Decision Unjust

Belize Disputes European Union’s Non-Compliance Claim, Calls Decision Unjust

According to the European Union, Belize has failed to be fully compliant when it comes to the exchange of information, in accordance with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.  Belize has since rejected that decision, saying that it was unjust and procedurally unfair.  Minister of Political and Constitution Reform, Henry Usher, spoke on the matter.

Henry Charles Usher, Constitutional and Political Reform and Religious Affairs Minister: “I think what that really indicates is a situation where you have these first world countries continuing to change the goalposts, continuing to move the goalposts for jurisdictions like Belize, jurisdictions in the Caribbean when it comes to these issues. We have, this government has passed a huge amount of legislation dealing with transparency in taxes. But for whatever reason, the EU decided to go back to a date when those legislations had not been passed. They did not give Belize an opportunity to update them on what legislation has been passed. And you all know, you’ve covered it in the House, since April there has been a number of legislation, a package of legislation dealing with tax issues, dealing with all the different institutions that deal with taxes as well. But instead of looking at what has been done, they decided to go back to an arbitrary date before the legislations were passed and to use that as their baseline. What Belize will do, of course, is to apply for a review but it can’t be done until April of 2024. But we do believe that in April 2024, when that application for review is made, that Belize will then be removed from this list.”

The other two countries placed on the non-cooperative list were Antigua and Barbuda and the Seychelles.

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