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BRUSSELS – The European Union published its first list of international tax havens on Wednesday (June 17th 2015) as part of a crackdown on multinational companies trying to avoid paying tax in the 28-nation bloc.
The list of 30 territories includes Hong Kong and Brunei in Asia, Monaco, Andorra and Guernsey in Europe and a series of Caribbean havens including the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands.
The European Commission proposals also include reforms to end sweetheart tax deals following a series of investigations into arrangements between EU countries and firms including Amazon, Apple and Starbucks.
“We are today publishing the top 30 non-cooperative jurisdictions consisting of those countries or territories that feature on at least 10 member states’ blacklists,” EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici told a news conference.
The former French finance minister said the publication of the blacklist was a “decisive step” that would “push non-cooperative non-EU jurisdictions to be more cooperative and adopt international standards.”
The full list is: Andorra, Liechtenstein, Guernsey, Monaco, Mauritius, Liberia, Seychelles, Brunei, Hong Kong, Maldives, Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Montserrat, Panama, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos, US Virgin Islands.
But critics say the publication of the list risks being seen as an attempt to distract from the EU’s need to tackle its own issues with tax avoidance.