The EU have created a blacklist of tax havens, which contain 17 names. Crucially for the UK, the main list excludes a number of British Overseas Territories such as the Cayman Island and Bermuda that were on a previous EU blacklist from June 2015.
There is also a “grey” list of a further 47 countries who do not meet the EU tax standards but have pledged to change their rules to improve their tax arrangements.
Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Man and Jersey, have been placed on a list of those who have committed by the end of 2018 to reform their tax structures.
The names on the list are American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
Luxembourg’s finance minister, Pierre Gramegna, said: “To be on a blacklist is in itself bad enough and of course there will be consequences for these countries.”
French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said: “This is not just a one-off process. We will regularly review and update the list in the years to come. Our aim is to ensure that good tax governance becomes the new norm.”
It is thought £506bn is lost to aggressive avoidance every year.