Fiji joins forum on transparency

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The Fiji Revenue & Customs Service building in Suva. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU/FILE

Efforts to remove Fiji from the European Union’s tax blacklist were recently boosted with Fiji officially joining the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, becoming its 169th member last month.

“Becoming a member of the Global Forum marks a pivotal measure in addressing concerns related to the European Union (EU) Blacklisting,” the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service said in a statement.

“This move is aligned with the key requirement of the EU Code of Conduct, which mandates participation in the Global Forum and the establishment of cross-border information-sharing channels.”

Fiji was put on the EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes in 2019 following the introduction by the last government of a tax incentive package which the EU Code of Conduct Group deemed as not in line with EU tax standards.

Last month, Fiji, along with Palau, Samoa, American Samoa and Vanuatu were still part of this list, along with 11 other developing nations from around the world.

“The team at FRCS is dedicated to removing Fiji from the EU blacklist,” said FRCS chairman and acting chief executive officer Malakai Naiyaga.

“Having progressed through various crucial EU requirements, we have a well-defined plan to address the other outstanding obligations. Joining the forum will also enhance our international collaboration against tax evasion and avoidance. With government backing, we have successfully achieved this specific milestone.”

The Global Forum is the leading international body working on the implementation of global transparency and exchange of information standards around the world.