OECD Removes Vanuatu From Blacklist

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003
Bruce Zagaris
On May 20, 2003, the OECD announced that Vanuatu had made a commitment to improve the transparency of its tax and regulatory systems and establish effective exchange tax information with OECD’s list of uncooperative tax havens, published in April 2002, and the thirty second non-OECD country to commit to the harmful tax practices principles. The removal of Vanuatu leaves as the remaining countries on the list: Andorra, Liberia, Liechtenstein, the Marshall Islands, Monaco, and Nauru. In its commitment letter the Vanuatu Government noted that two OECD members have specifically abstained from adopting the 1998 report and that an additional two other countries have abstained from adopting the 2001 report. Specifically, officials in countries targeted by the OECD oppose plans to exempt three EU countries-Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg as well as Switzerland from information exchange requirements on individual interest income. The OECD pressed without success to see these exceptions discarded from the EU proposal, which has yet to be implemented.