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BVI Makes OECD White List

Monday, August 17, 2009

The British Virgin Islands has signed its 12th Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) after concluding an agreement with New Zealand.

The signing, which took place on August 13, means that the BVI will now be placed on the “white list” of those countries which have “substantially implemented” the internationally agreed tax standard as set by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

After signing the agreement on behalf of the BVI at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington, Premier Ralph O’Neal said: “The conclusion of this TIEA demonstrates the commitment of both the BVI and the New Zealand governments to the OECD principles of transparency and effective exchange of information. We are delighted that, in signing this TIEA with New Zealand today, we are now on the OECD’s white list."

He added: “The BVI is committed to cooperation and collaboration through these agreements. Today’s agreement is very much part of an ongoing process. We hope to sign our 13th TIEA with the Netherlands in the very near future and are in discussion with Ireland as well.”

The BVI signed its first TIEA with the United States seven years ago and has engaged in talks with a number of countries since that time. In addition to the US, it currently has agreements with the United Kingdom, Australia, France and the Nordic Alliance including Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. In addition, all members of the OECD have been approached and the BVI aims to conclude more agreements over the coming months.

The BVI’s move to the OECD white list means that it now joins the likes of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Canada among the group of countries which have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard.

In addition to the BVI, four other jurisdictions have been elevated from the OECD’s’ gray list of countries which have committed to, but not yet implemented, the tax standard since the lists were published after the G20 London Summit concluded on April 2. These jurisdictions include Bahrain, Belgium, Bermuda and Luxembourg.