European Union finance ministers adopted on Tuesday a blacklist of tax havens which includes 17 extra-EU jurisdictions seen as not cooperative on tax matters, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.
American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates are the countries listed, officials said.
Le Maire said that other 47 jurisdictions are included in a public “grey” list of countries that are currently not compliant with EU standards but have committed to change their tax rules.
Following multiple disclosures of offshore tax avoidance schemes by companies and wealthy individuals, EU states launched a process in February to list tax havens in a bid to discourage setting up shell structures abroad which are themselves in many cases legal but could hide illicit activities.
Blacklisted countries could lose access to EU funds. Other possible countermeasures will be decided in coming weeks, Le Maire said.