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Montserrat Removed from OECD Gray List

Montserrat was removed from the European Union’s Grey List as part of its bi-annual review of non-cooperative jurisdictions.

KPMG, in its latest report said on “October 17, 2023, the ECOFIN Council adopted conclusions (PDF 131 KB) on the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions (Annex I) and the state of play with respect to commitments taken by cooperative jurisdictions to implement tax good governance principles (Annex II – so called “grey list”).

However, our neighbours, Antigua & Barbuda have been added to the EU blacklist of non-cooperative jurisdictions (Annex I). In addition, Belize and the Seychelles were moved from the grey list (Annex II) to Annex I. While the British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica were moved from Annex I to Annex II, the Marshall Islands were removed completely from the EU list.

“Following this latest revision, the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions therefore includes the following sixteen jurisdictions: American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Fiji, Guam, Palau, Panama, the Russian Federation, Samoa, the Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, the US Virgin Islands and Vanuatu.

“In addition to the movements between Annex I and Annex II, the Council agreed to remove four jurisdictions from the grey list, as they had fulfilled their previous commitments (Jordan, Montserrat, Qatar and Thailand).

The grey list now includes the following fourteen jurisdictions: Albania, Armenia, Aruba, Botswana, the British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Dominica, Eswatini, Hong Kong (SAR), China, Israel, Malaysia, Türkiye and Vietnam.

The EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions, first adopted in the Council conclusions of December 5, 2017, is part of the EU’s efforts to curb tax avoidance and harmful tax practices. The list is the result of an in-depth screening of non-EU countries that are assessed against agreed criteria for tax good governance by the Code of Conduct Group (‘CoCG’ or ‘Group’), which is composed of high-level representatives of the Member States and the European Commission.

The current screening criteria are founded upon tax transparency, fair taxation, and the implementation of OECD anti-BEPS measures. Jurisdictions that do not comply with all criteria, but that have committed to reform are included in a state of play document – the so-called “grey list” (Annex II). The lists are an on-going project and are updated and revised twice every year.