An important round-table discussion recently took place in St Kitts and Nevis. Details of different countries’ CBI programmes were the order of the day. The discussion was led by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of the Treasury and joined by all of the Caribbean CBI nations. Subsequently, the Caribbean states of Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada and Saint Lucia have all agreed to six new CBI principles for the Caribbean.
All five CBI countries agreed on implementing six common principles to safeguard the financial systems. Joined by the Caribbean states’ Prime Ministers and Citizenship by Investment Unit heads, it was altogether a productive meeting.
Six new CBI principles for the Caribbean
The US team has recognized the importance of CBI programmes to smaller countries as part of their development, stating that:
CBI revenues are invaluable for funding major infrastructural and development projects, and for building resilience.
The agreed principles are as follows:
1. Collective agreement on the treatment of denials: Not to process applications from individuals who have had previous applications denied in other CBI jurisdictions, by proactively sharing information on denials.
2. Interviews: Conduct interviews with applicants, whether in person or virtually.
3. Additional checks: Each jurisdiction will run checks on each application with the Financial Intelligence Unit of its respective country.
4. Audits: Audit the programme annually or at least every two years in accordance with internationally accepted standards.
5. Retrieval of passports: Request law enforcement assistance to retrieve revoked/recalled passports.
6. Treatment of Russians and Belarusians: Suspend processing applications from Russians and Belarusians. Four jurisdictions have already suspended applications and Grenada which processes applications from Russians and Belarusians with enhanced due diligence will suspend processing new applications from Russia and Belarus from March 31, 2023.
The CBI states also requested that the US Government facilitate similar engagements with the European and United Kingdom Governments based on these six new principles.
They will convene a technical discussion within the next four to six months to decide the implementation timeline of the new principles.