The Cayman Islands Government is aware that the EU's blacklist is based upon the individual, national blacklists of EU countries. However, we also are aware that major European economies, which have been rated similar to the Cayman Islands on upholding international standards on transparency, do not list our jurisdiction.
The national blacklists that have resulted in this overall blacklisting are primarily generated by European countries that are not major economic trading partners of the Cayman Islands. These countries therefore may not be aware of Cayman's adherence to standards, both in terms of our bilateral and multilateral agreements for exchange of information.
Save for Bulgaria, we have EOI mechanisms with all of the jurisdictions that have blacklisted Cayman.
It is unfortunate that the EU black list unfairly downplays the significant strides made by Cayman, as well as the significant global accomplishments in the area of transparency.
Fact Sheet: Cayman's Participation and Cooperation in Global Transparency Measures
- Operationally, in March 2015 Cayman announced the opening of our portal for automatic exchange of information (AEOI), which completes our process for building an AEOI compliance framework.
- In 2014 Cayman passed an amendment to its Tax Information Authority Law that enables all forms – automatic, spontaneous, and by request – of exchange of information for tax purposes.
- Cayman is one of more than 50 jurisdictions committed to undertaking the first AEOI exchanges for tax purposes, under the Common Reporting Standard, by 2017. The CRS is the OECD's mechanism that standardises global AEOI.
- Cayman has 35 signed tax information-exchange agreements, with a number of others in negotiation.
- Cayman signed early commitments to US and UK FATCA in 2013. In regard to the US, today we now have more than 27,000 registered foreign institutions that have registered with the US Internal Revenue Service, which is one of the strongest representations of jurisdictional cooperation with FATCA.
- Cayman sits on the 19-member Steering Group; and the 30-member Peer Review Group, of the OECD's Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The Global Forum is the largest tax body in the world, with 127 member countries.
- Furthermore, Cayman is one of the Global Forum's four vice-chairs, which carry out extensive Peer Reviews to evaluate the tax information exchange regimes of OECD and non-OECD countries.
- Cayman was rated as largely compliant in the Global Forum's rankings released in 2013.
- Our regime of providing tax information to relevant authorities, from data collected, verified and maintained by licensed and regulated corporate service providers, has been in place for 15 years, and is firmly in line with the G20's High-Level Principles on Beneficial Ownership Transparency, which were issued in November 2014. We therefore align with principles that the G20 countries themselves uphold as the standard.
- In addition to the Global Forum, Cayman's engagement in international regulatory initiatives includes our participation since 2005 in the EU Savings Directive; and our membership through CIMA in the Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors; Working Group on Cross Border Banking; Caribbean Group of Banking Supervisors; and the Association of Supervisors of Banks of the Americas (ASBA), among others.
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