As published on theeastafrican.co.ke, Monday 18 May, 2020.
Companies operating in Mauritius face a test of integrity after the European Union included the island on its revised list of high risk jurisdiction for money laundering and terror funding.
Mauritius has been a popular financial haven for the region’s wealthy individuals, with several companies registering their subsidiaries in Port Louis mostly due to its favourable tax regime with corporate and export taxes of 15 per cent and three per cent, respectively.
The country also allows a 100 per cent foreign ownership with no capital gains tax.
However, about a fortnight ago, the European Commission (EC), the executive branch of the EU, put Mauritius on its list of high-risk countries with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks.
In a statement on its website, EC said the revised list will now be submitted to the European Parliament and Council for approval within one month (with a possible one-month extension) and the country status of the new listing will take effect on October 1.
The methodology takes into account the interaction between the EU and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) process, an enhanced engagement with third countries and consultation with member states.