In Summary
  • The two global hubs for multinational tax schemes have been given the all clear.
  • Blacklisted countries face only limited sanctions, consisting of freezing them out of European aid or development funding.
  • The move leaves only nine countries or territories considered to be uncooperative on the list.

Luxembourg,

The EU removed Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates from its list of tax havens on Thursday, giving two global hubs for multinational tax schemes the all clear.

"Albania, Costa Rica, Mauritius, Serbia and Switzerland have implemented ahead of their deadline all necessary reforms to comply with EU tax good governance principles," the bloc's 28 finance ministers said.

The EU's grey list has included Switzerland since its launch in December 2017 as the country was deemed as having inadequate tax rules, although it had expressed commitment to reform them.

"If Switzerland is off this list, it is a success for me. The best list is the shortest," said Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, at a press conference in Luxembourg.

Switzerland had approved a tax reform in October 2018, but its entry into force had been delayed due to a referendum.

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