As part of its efforts to crack down the transfer of illicit funds, the EU broadened its blacklist of tax heavens during an Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) meeting of the bloc’s finance ministers in Brussels on 12 March where they added the United Arab Emirates, Aruba, and Bermuda to a list of flagged nations that was set up in December 2017.

Barbados, Belize, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Oman, Vanuatu, and Dominica were also added to the list. They join Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, and three US territories – American Samoa, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands – on the EU’s blacklist.

Three other countries were on the 2017 list, but were later moved to the greylist following commitments they had taken but have now to be blacklisted again for not having followed up, Barbados, United Arab Emirates and Marshall Islands.

“Since it was first adopted in late 2017, the list has proven its worth in promoting a cooperative manner to the EU’s agenda of improving global tax practices, fighting tax avoidance, and improving good governance and transparency. More than 30 jurisdictions have already delivered on their commitment to pass tax reforms,” said Eugen Teodorovici, the Romanian ECOFIN president and Bucharest’s minister of finance.

The countries that have have been flagged by Brussels now face stricter controls on transactions with the EU, although no sanctions have been applied.