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14 March 2019 Tunisia taken off EU’s tax heaven blacklist while the UAE remain

On 12 March, EU Member States approved the removal of Tunisia from the EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. Over the course of last year, the Commission assessed 92 countries based on three criteria: tax transparency, good governance, and real economic activity, as well as one indicator, the existence of a zero corporate tax rate. Among the 25 countries that were in the original screening process and that were cleared, was Tunisia. On the Commission’s press release, Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs said: “The EU tax havens list is a true European success. It has had a resounding effect on tax transparency and fairness worldwide. Thanks to the listing process, dozens of countries have abolished harmful tax regimes and have come into line with international standards on transparency and fair taxation.” Ministers blacklisted 15 countries, based on the Commission’s screening. 3 of them were on the 2017 list but were moved to the greylist following commitments they had taken but have now to be blacklisted again for not having followed up: Barbados, United Arab Emirates, and the Marshall Islands. The UAE condemned its inclusion in the EU tax haven blacklist. An Emirati official claimed the UAE have been nothing but cooperative with the EU and had provided the EU with a “detailed timetable, including a series of actions that are being carried out, in line with sovereign legal procedures and constitutional requirements.” “The UAE will continue to update its domestic legislative framework in this regard,” the official stressed.