Vanuatu Finance Minister wants legislation amended to address blacklisting

Vanuatu’s Minister of Finance and Economic Management, Gaetan Pikioune, says the blacklist referred to in an article originally published online by Radio New Zealand, is that of the European Union (EU) and not France.

Radio New Zealand had reported that the blacklisting was made by France but Minister Pikioune said it was the EU that made the list.

He said Vanuatu was included mainly due to its status as a tax haven country that could attract tax evaders from Europe.

Minister Pikioune said Vanuatu needs to amend legislations covering international companies under the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission.

An amendment is also needed for the Tax Administration Act.

“The Bill did not mature in the last parliament session for debate, which was why it was not discussed.

“When the next government comes in then it should pass the amendments,” Mr Pikioune said.

He said Vanuatu was removed from the grey list but it is only the blacklist of the EU that is still to be addressed.

The grey list is that of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering, created by the G-7 group of countries.

The minister said no sanctions have been imposed but the only issue that could be affected is Vanuatu’s correspondence banking at international level.

He said this could affect Vanuatu’s trade with other countries if Vanuatu’s name remains on the blacklist.

The minister made an example of the National Bank of Vanuatu has an overseas bank that it can trade with, which is called correspondence banking.

Apart from Vanuatu, Fiji, Guam and the two Samoas were added to the blacklist of non-cooperative countries and territories in fiscal matters.

Photo supplied Caption:  Minister of Finance and Economic Management, Gaetan Pikioune



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