24 Jan 2018

Pacific island countries left on EU tax haven blacklist

1:27 pm on 24 January 2018

More than half the countries that remain on a European Union blacklist of tax havens are Pacific Island nations after other states moved to address EU concerns.

EU flag waving in front of European Parliament building. Brussels, Belgium

Photo: 123RF

The EU last month blacklisted 17 countries in an effort to crack down on tax avoidance.

American Samoa, Guam, Marshall Islands, Palau, and Samoa remain on the list of nine "non-cooperative jurisdictions."

Those that have been moved up to a separate category for close monitoring are Barbados, Grenada, South Korea, Macau, Mongolia, Panama, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

The EU Council agreed on Tuesday that a delisting was justified because of their commitments to address deficiencies identified by the EU.

The EU said in each case, the commitments were backed by letters signed at a high political level.

It warned EU member countries could apply "defensive" measures if the blacklisted countries didn't change their ways.

"Our listing process is already proving its worth", said the EU Council's Vladislav Goranov in a statement.

"Jurisdictions around the world have worked hard to make commitments to reform their tax policies.

"Our aim is to promote good tax governance globally."

Bahrain, Namibia, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago also remain on the blacklist which was prepared during 2017.