EU removes Marshalls from tax haven blacklist

BRUSSELS – European Union finance ministers have decided to remove the Marshall Islands from their blacklist of tax havens.

The blacklist had been set up in December to discourage the use of shell structures abroad and now included nine jurisdictions.

In January, a total of eight countries were removed from the same list, including Panama.

Only six countries will remain in the list — American Samoa, Guam, Namibia, Palau, Samoa and Trinidad and Tobago.

Bahrain, the Marshall Islands, St Lucia has taken “certain commitments” to adapt its tax laws and practices to EU standards.

However, it does not specify what conditions the three countries have accepted.

This means that these countries will be transferred to grey list, remaining under monitoring to implement the promised commitments and adopt their tax laws to ensure transparency.

“This ever-decreasing list of tax havens will soon be so short it will be able to fit on a post-it.

“It’s time for the EU to publish how it chooses which countries go on the list and why”, said the Elena Gaita from Transparency International EU, an anti-corruption watchdog.