B Law & Tax
19 March 2024

List of non-cooperative jurisdictions updated

The European Council today announced the removal of the Bahamas, Belize, Seychelles and the Turks and Caicos Islands from its list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. 

It should be recalled that countries that are considered as non-cooperative jurisdictions are formerly known as “tax havens”.

Non-cooperative jurisdictions are characterised by a lack of commitment in the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion. These territories do not meet international standards in terms of transparency and cooperation in the exchange of tax information.

  • The criteria for assessing whether a jurisdiction is cooperative or not are as follows:
  • The level of existing international tax transparency is assessed;
  • The ease with which instruments or companies can be created to attract profits without any real economic activity;
  • The existence of low or no taxation. 

This decision reduces the EU list to the following twelve places:

  • American Samoa
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Fiji
  • Guam
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Russia
  • Samoa
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Vanuatu

The Council thus regretted the lack of tax cooperation of these countries and territories and urged them to improve their legal frameworks to address the identified shortcomings.

The EU list of non-cooperative countries and territories is based on a lack of constructive dialogue with the EU on tax governance or failure to implement commitments to implement certain tax reforms.

The reforms, which are to be based on the above criteria, determine the updating of this list of non-cooperative jurisdictions. This list is updated twice a year under the supervision of EU Finance Ministers.

As regards the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, the OECD has noted shortcomings in compliance with the economic requirements since October 2022. However, these deficiencies have been addressed, which has been understood as progress in their tax co-operation.

On the other hand, Belize and the Seychelles were included in the list in October 2023 due to problems in the exchange of information upon request, but following changes in their regulations, they have been granted an additional review.

In addition to the list of non-cooperative countries, the Council approved a document on the current situation, which recognises constructive efforts in the tax area and highlights countries that have fulfilled their commitments, such as Albania and Hong Kong, which have changed their tax regimes.

The EU’s list of non-cooperative countries and territories in the tax area is part of its external tax strategy and is updated twice a year to reflect developments and changes in tax cooperation worldwide.

B Law & Tax International Tax & Legal Advisors.


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