The European Union’s finance ministers have adopted a blacklist of tax havens which includes 17 extra-EU jurisdictions seen as not cooperative on tax matters.
The countries listed are 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, according to reports from officials.
France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that other 47 jurisdictions are included in a "grey" list of countries that are currently not compliant with EU standards but have committed to change their tax rules.
Blacklisted countries could lose access to EU funds. Other possible countermeasures will be decided in coming weeks, Mr Le Maire said.
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.
The EU has struggled for over a year to finalise the blacklist, with smaller, low-tax EU nations including Malta, Ireland, and Luxembourg worried about scaring off multinationals.