According to Brussels, “the list has proven a true success with many countries having changed their laws and tax systems to comply with international standards.”

Over the course of last year, the Commission assessed 92 countries based on three criteria: tax transparency, good governance and real economic activity, as well as one indicator, the existence of a zero corporate tax rate.

Based on the Commission’s screening, ministers blacklisted 15 countries. Of those, 5 have taken no commitments since the first blacklist adopted in 2017: American Samoa, Guam, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, and US Virgin Islands.

Three others were on the 2017 list but were moved to the grey list following commitments they had taken but have now to be blacklisted again for not having followed up: Barbados, United Arab Emirates and Marshall Islands. A further seven countries were moved from the grey list to the blacklist for the same reason: Aruba, Belize, Bermuda, Fiji, Oman, Vanuatu and Dominica.

Another 34 countries will continue to be monitored in 2019 (grey list), while 25 countries from the original screening process have now been cleared.