EU removes 8 countries from tax havens blacklist

25 Jan 18

The European Union has officially removed eight countries from its blacklist for tax havens, leaving the list to just nine jurisdictions outside the bloc.

EU finance ministers removed Barbados, Grenada, South Korea, Macau, Mongolia, Panama, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates from the list on Tuesday.

This comes as EU officials recommended to remove these countries from the list of tax havens as they had offered to change their tax rules.

The bloc published its blacklist of countries that fell under its category of a tax haven last month, with a total of 17 non-EU countries, to tackle tax dodging.

It has also been considered removing Bahrain, but remains on the list along with American Samoa, Guam, the Marshall Islands, Namibia, Palau, Saint Lucia, Samoa, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The recommendation for delisting was made by the Code of Conduct Group, which consists of tax experts from the 28 EU member states.

The removed countries will be added to the so-called grey list, which includes 47 other countries that have committed to change their tax rules on tax transparency and cooperation.

The EU was initially criticised by NGOs because it did not blacklist its member states.

NGOs said that a number of EU countries would meet the criteria set by the bloc if put to the test, including Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Malta. 

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