Oxfam has hit out at move by European Union. Photo: REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
The European Union has removed the British overseas territory of Bermuda, the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, and Barbados from the bloc's blacklist of tax havens, leaving no EU territory still on the list.
The move left 12 jurisdictions on the list, prompting criticism over the EU blacklisting process, which was launched in 2017 after revelations of widespread tax avoidance schemes used by corporations and wealthy individuals to lower their tax bills.
The three islands were added to the list in March as they had failed for months to change their tax rules, which the EU deemed at risk of facilitating tax evasion in other countries.
But now Aruba has been removed because it has changed its legislation to make it compliant with EU requirements, an EU statement said.
Bermuda and Barbados have committed to addressing EU concerns and have therefore been moved to a so-called grey list of countries still under EU scrutiny for their tax practices, the statement said, effectively giving them more time to be fully compliant.
"The reforms agreed by Bermuda, Barbados and Aruba will not stop them operating as tax havens," said Chiara Putaturo of the charity Oxfam.
Major jurisdictions that are still on the EU list are the United Arab Emirates, Oman and the three US territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands.
Belize, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Dominica, Samoa and Trinidad and Tobago also remain on the blacklist.