Council of the EU updates EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions

Deloitte Malta Tax Alert

7 October 2020

On 6 October 2020, the Council of the EU decided to add Anguilla and Barbados to, and remove Cayman Islands and Oman from, the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes (‘EU list’).

In the view of the Council of the EU, the inclusion of Anguilla and Barbados in the EU list was due to the recent publication of peer review reports by the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes which effectively downgraded the respective jurisdictions’ status to “non-compliant” and “partially compliant” with respect to the international standard on transparency and exchange of information on request.

The decision to remove Cayman Islands from the EU list was taken following the adoption of new reforms in the jurisdiction’s framework on Collective Investment Funds in September 2020.

With respect to Oman, the Council of the EU determined that the jurisdiction was now compliant with its commitments following the ratification of the OECD Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, the enactment of legislation to enable automatic exchange of information and the activation of exchange of information relationship with all of the EU member states.

Following these changes, the 12 jurisdictions on the current version of the EU list are the following: American Samoa, Anguilla, Barbados, Fiji, Guam, Palau, Panama, Samoa, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago, the US Virgin Islands and Vanuatu.

The EU list was first proposed by the EU Commission in 2016 as an effective tool to deal with external risks of tax abuse and unfair tax competition and was established in December 2017. Since then, it has become a strong tool to promote tax good governance on an international basis. As part of the listing process, jurisdictions are assessed against three key criteria: tax transparency, fair taxation and the implementation of the OECD base erosion and profit shifting minimum standards.

The Council of the EU’s official press release may be accessed here.

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