The Council of the European Union on Tuesday added the Seychelles and Caribbean countries of Belize and Antigua and Barbuda to a list of 16 countries and territories considered “non-cooperative” in tax matters.
The council said all three jurisdictions either lacked tax information or had failed to meet commitments to governance reforms and transparency.
The list also included Russia, Panama, five other Caribbean states and territories and six in the Pacific.
The EU asks its members to take this list into account when making diplomatic and economic decisions. In addition, the Union undertakes to strengthen the monitoring of transactions or taxpayers linked to these countries and prohibits the channeling of some EU funds through them.
The Belizean government criticized the move.
Oxfam’s EU tax expert Chiara Putaturo also criticized the list for not including the United States, the UK or EU states such as Luxembourg and Malta, adding that “countries considered too large to be included in the list are more cannot escape scrutiny.”
The council also removed the territory of the British Virgin Islands, Marshall Islands and Costa Rica from the list.