On the 23 January 2018, The Code of Conduct Group of the European Council resolved the removal of eight of the originally listed 17 jurisdictions, (including UAE, South Korea and Panama) from the EU tax haven blacklist. Blacklisted jurisdictions are jurisdictions that have failed comply with measures tackling tax fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax-avoidance. The following full list of countries were moved to a “grey list” of jurisdictions who are committed in following EU standards relating to tax transparency and cooperation, although, it should be noted that they still fail to implement measures to aggressively tackle tax avoidance and evasion and remain under close scrutiny and monitoring. These jurisdictions are as follows:
- Republic of Korea
- Macao SAR
- United Arab Emirates
The EU blacklist it was formed in 2017 in conjunction with the policies of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD and initially included 17 countries; the remaining 9 countries are American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, Marshall Islands, Namibia, Palau, Saint Lucia, Samoa and Trinidad and Tobago.
The Minister of Finance of Bulgaria, the president Member State of EU currently, commented that the purpose of EU’s list is to endorse good governance in global taxation and therefore to avert tax avoidance, tax fraud and tax evasion. Albeit the effectiveness of the black list remains questionable, with its aim to portray transparency and guide businesses in making correct jurisdiction choices, when such changes from ‘black’ lists to ‘grey’ lists and vice versa are not even publicized.