Despite suffering massive financial setbacks as a result of COVID-19, the British Virgin Islands continues to remain on the ‘white lists’ of fully cooperative tax jurisdictions for at least two major international economic organisations.
Premier Andrew Fahie gave that indication while updating the public on the recent developments of the BVI’s financial services sector on Tuesday.
“In regard to international tax, the Virgin Islands remains on the white lists of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Union (EU).”
After years of difficulty, the BVI made it on to the EU’s ‘white list’ back in February.
BVI inline with international regulatory obligations
Fahie who is also the Minister of Finance stated that the BVI continues to meet the international regulatory obligations in the financial services industry, thanks largely to the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search system (BOSSs).
“Whilst many saw the EU’s Economic Substance initiative as a major threat, we have successfully negotiated the initial elements of that and are now implementing the data collection requirements it brings,” he stated.
“Utilising the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search system platform has enabled us to also rise to meet EU standards on data collection with an efficiency and effectiveness that some of our competitors may envy,” the Finance Minister added.
BOSSs information available to other authorities
Premier Fahie also said the information from BOSSs will also be available to other authorities in the Virgin Islands to ensure that they are able to meet their international obligations.
He, however, noted that the system will not be accessible by the public.
Letter to UK reiterating commitment
Meanwhile, Fahie said the BVI government had penned a letter to the government of the United Kingdom reiterating its commitment to exchange beneficial ownership information under the Exchange of Notes on Beneficial Ownership agreement signed in 2016.
He said that the UK’s National Crime Agency along with other law enforcement agencies have found the arrangement to be effective.
“We also took the opportunity in the letter to highlight that the BVI continues to meet and adhere to the highest international standards as a responsible, cooperative and quality financial centre. The Virgin Islands, in this regard, communicated that this jurisdiction has been deemed largely compliant by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF),” Fahie explained.
The Premier sees the aforementioned achievements as underscoring the BVI’s commitment to upholding the integrity of the global financial system and at the same time proving that the territory is a cooperative jurisdiction.