ANTIGUA
SUMMARY

Sanctions

None

FAFT AML Deficient

No

Higher Risk Areas

 

Non - Compliance with FATF 40 + 9 Recommendations

US Dept of State Money Laundering Assessment

Not on EU White list equivalent jurisdictions

Offshore Finance Centre

Medium Risk Areas

Failed States Index (Political Issues)(Average Score)

 

 

ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING

 

FATF Status

Antigua & Barbuda is no longer on the FATF List of Countries that have been identified as having strategic AML deficiencies

 

FATF Statement: 14 February 2014

The FATF welcomes Antigua and Barbuda’s significant progress in improving its AML/CFT regime and notes that Antigua and Barbuda has established the legal and regulatory framework to meet its commitments in its action plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF had identified in February 2010. Antigua and Barbuda is therefore no longer subject to FATF’s monitoring process under its on-going global AML/CFT compliance process. Antigua and Barbuda will work with CFATF as it continues to address the full range of AML/CFT issues identified in its mutual evaluation report.

 

Compliance with FATF Recommendations

The last Mutual Evaluation Report relating to the implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards in Antigua & Barbuda was undertaken by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in 2009. According to that Evaluation, Antigua & Barbuda was deemed Compliant for 6 and Largely Compliant for 8 of the FATF 40 + 9 Recommendations. It was Partially Compliant or Non-Compliant for all 6 of the Core Recommendations.

 

US Department of State Money Laundering assessment (INCSR)

Antigua & Barbuda was deemed Jurisdiction of Primary Concern by the US Department of State 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR).

Key Findings from the report are as follows: -

 

Perceived Risks:

Antigua and Barbuda remains a substantial offshore center which continues to be vulnerable to money laundering and other financial crimes. An increase in drug trafficking, a large financial sector, and a growing internet gaming industry likewise add to its susceptibility. Antigua and Barbuda’s Office of National Drug Control and Money Laundering Policy (ONDCP) continues to strive to eradicate transnational drug trafficking, money laundering, and the financing of terrorism through a three-pronged approach in the areas of financial intelligence and investigation, AML/CFT compliance, and counternarcotics operations. The ONDCP’s analysis

in 2013 shows that criminals exploit the financial system as financial institutions often fail to apply sufficiently rigorous due diligence investigation to suspicious transactions.

Casinos and internet gaming remain a strong presence in Antigua and Barbuda. Internet gaming companies are supervised through the ONDCP. Regulations require companies to incorporate as international business corporations and maintain a physical presence on the island. Additionally, domestic casinos must incorporate as domestic corporations. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda receives approximately $3,120,000 per year from license fees and other charges related to the internet gaming industry. A nominal free trade zone (FTZ) in the country attempts to attract investment in areas the government deems a priority. Casinos and sports book-wagering operations in Antigua and Barbuda’s FTZ are supervised by the ONDCP and the Directorate of Offshore Gaming.

Shell companies are not permitted in Antigua and Barbuda. All certified institutions are required to have a physical presence, which means the presence of at least one full-time senior officer and availability of all files and records. International companies are authorized to possess bearer shares. However, the license application requires disclosure of the names and addresses of directors (who must be natural persons), the activities the corporation intends to conduct, the names of shareholders, and number of shares they will hold. Registered agents or service providers are compelled by law to know the names of beneficial owners. Failure to provide information or giving false information is punishable by a fine of $50,000. Offshore financial institutions are exempt from corporate income tax.

Currently, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) supervises Antigua and Barbuda’s domestic banking sector, along with the domestic sectors of seven other Caribbean jurisdictions.

 

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SANCTIONS

There are no international sanctions currently in force against this country.

 

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BRIBERY & CORRUPTION

 

Index

Rating (100-Good / 0-Bad)

Transparency International Corruption Index

N/A

 

World Governance Indicator – Control of Corruption

87

 

 

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INVESTMENT CLIMATE - Executive Summary (US State Department)

Antigua and Barbuda’s economy is expected to grow by 1.8% in 2014. Antigua and Barbuda completed and exited a three-year Standby Agreement with the International Monetary Fund in 2013. Recent improvements in fiscal management are leading to economic recovery, particularly coupled with the uptick of tourist arrivals.

The government is pursuing investment in niche markets, particularly tourism, international financial services, offshore education, agro-processing, light manufacturing, real estate & construction and information & communication technology (ICT).

Companies registered in Antigua and Barbuda have the right to repatriate all capital, royalties, dividends and profits free of all taxes or any other charges on foreign exchange transactions.

The United States and Antigua and Barbuda are both parties to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO Dispute Settlement Panel and Appellate Body resolve disputes over WTO agreements, while courts of appropriate jurisdiction in both countries resolve private disputes. The United States and Antigua and Barbuda brought a case before the WTO, and the WTO ruled in favor of Antigua and Barbuda.

Foreign investors may hold up to 100% of an investment, and the entrepreneur needs 26 days from start to finish to transfer the title on a piece of property. The government of Antigua & Barbuda owns 55% of the land in Antigua. The remaining 45% is privately owned. Currently, land ownership is prohibited on the island of Barbuda.

Antigua and Barbuda bases its legal system on the British common law system. There is one ongoing dispute regarding expropriation of an American-owned property, for which the government has not paid compensation for many years despite a court ruling in favor of the American.

Antigua and Barbuda has bilateral investment treaties with Germany and the United Kingdom. Antigua and Barbuda has also signed free trade agreements with Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic but the agreements have not entered into force. Antigua and Barbuda has double taxation agreements with Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

 

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