EU removes eight countries from its blacklist
At its January session, ECOFIN crossed off eight countries from the EU tax haven blacklist: South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Panama, Barbados, Grenada, Macao, Mongolia and Tunisia were grey listed instead.
The EU responded to the countries’ commitment to reform their tax systems in accordance with the conditions stipulated by the EU to fight tax evasion. The EU will continue monitoring these countries and assess their cooperation and to which extent they fulfil their commitments; subsequently, it will decide whether to move them back on the blacklist or to exclude them from the monitoring process.
As yet, blacklisting does not entail any sanctions. Recently, however, the European Commission announced that in the upcoming weeks it will publish a list of penalties: the sanctions will include, for instance limited access to money from EU funds. Tax-related measures, such as the non-deductibility of expenses arising from transactions with these countries or a special withholding tax, are also being considered.