Macau | MSAR delisted from EU tax haven blacklist, joins list of ‘cooperation with respect to commitments taken’ – EU Council

Macau (MNA) – The Macau SAR has been removed from the European Union list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, the European Union (EU) announced on Tuesday.

In the document released today, the Council claimed the reason for removing the MSAR from the list responds to commitments made ‘at a high political level to remedy the EU concerns’ as well as to ‘address deficiencies identified by the EU.’

Following the decision, the city has now been included into a separate category of jurisdictions ‘subject to close monitoring,’ which comprises Barbados, Grenada, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Panama, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

‘Since December 2017, several new commitment letters signed at high political level by [the above] jurisdictions … were received by the Code of Conduct Group. These letters were assessed and delegations agreed, through silence procedure, that based on the specific commitments made through these letters [those] jurisdictions should be moved from [the non-cooperative list],’ the EU Council document reads.

The MSAR Government has previously clarified that it was working to comply with the latest international standards – in reference to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – claiming further that the city was an active member of several OECD-based initiatives.

The EU decision announced today still leaves nine jurisdictions on the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions from the initial list of 17 issued on December 5, 2017, with the Council putting forward recommendations on steps to be taken to be de-listed.

The current non-cooperative jurisdictions by the EU standards are American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, Marshall Islands, Namibia, Palau, Saint Lucia, Samoa and Trinidad and Tobago.

The Council also noted that today’s decision was taken without discussion at a meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council, by means of an amendment to its December conclusions.

The list launched last year was prepared in parallel with the global forum on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes of the OECD.

The list is to be revised once a year, with updates from the working group to be recommended at any time.

Still according to the Council, its purpose is aimed at promoting good governance in taxation around the world, maximise efforts to prevent tax avoidance, tax fraud and tax evasion.

Contacted by MNA, the local Financial Services Bureau said that the MSAR Government is preparing an statement on the matter to be released soon.