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EU releases tax haven blacklist

The European Union Tuesday named 17 countries and territories to its first-ever blacklist of tax havens.

Forty-seven other countries were grey-listed but have committed to meeting EU standards.

The EU designated a country or territory as a “non-cooperative jurisdiction” primarily by measuring the transparency of its tax regime, its tax rates, and whether it has agreed to make improvements.

The EU said a nominal or zero tax rate didn’t automatically land a country or territory on the blacklist. But it was “a relevant factor” to consider.

The 17 countries or territories on the EU tax blacklist are:

American Samoa





South Korea


The Marshall Islands





Saint Lucia


Trinidad and Tobago


United Arab Emirates

Some of the blacklisted countries “facilitate offshore structures” and other arrangements “aimed at attracting profits without real economic substance,” the EU said.

Grey-listed countries — those not now meeting EU standards for tax policy and transparency but committed to doing so — include Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cabo Verde, Fiji, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Jordan, Maldives, Montenegro, Morocco, Serbia and Swaziland.

Also grey-listed are Aruba, Cook Islands, Faroe Islands, Greenland, New Caledonia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Taiwan and Vanuatu.

Others are Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cabo Verde, Fiji, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Jordan, Maldives, Malaysia and Labuan Island, Montenegro, Morocco, Serbia, and Swaziland.


The Council of the European Union’s December 5, 2017 list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes is here (pdf).


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.

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  1. Where are the EU countries? Why did the EU exclude member countries?

  2. Interesting that the US (which has just passed legislation to dramatically reduce corporate taxes) Canada, which has had very low tax rates on Canadian Controlled Private Corporations for years and the rates are decreasing annually, and EU countries with low tax rates are not on that list.

    In addition, if the EU wants to fight these issues, perhaps it should pass legislation whereby companies that are essentially EU based must pay taxes in the EU on the profits they earn in these tax havens, so that the flight to tax havens stops because there is no benefit. That would be quite an easy process, have great effect, plus increase the tax revenues to the EU countries.

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