Go to content

Main menu:

Home | Black List
"Blacklists" and the EU
"Blacklists" are ways of identifying the most potentially dangerous territories for economic relations.
It is noted that certain countries, territories and regions still on the list, voluntary acceded to binding legal instruments for the automatic exchange of information i n the field of taxation, both within the European Union and in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), plus the conclusion of Conventions to Avoid Double Taxation and Prevent Fiscal Evasion as well as promoting Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA's).

On the 5th of December of 2017, the EU Council adopted a first common list resulting from the assessment of third countries against distinctive criteria. Pursuing the assessment process, the Council has updated the list on the basis of commitments received, while also reviewing countries that had not yet been assessed.

Currently, 19 countries from the EU do not have "Blacklists" of “tax havens”. Among the 9 that do have, there are those who have a more general approach and those who are more meticulous. Cultural and historical affinities and economic diplomacy constraint these choices. Therefore, each state has a very own practice, which varies over time.

Countries that do not have "Blacklists" include Germany, Sweden, Denmark or Ireland, but this does not mean that they are more lenient in the fight against fraud and tax evasion. They simply use other tools to identify potentially fraudulent situations.

Few European countries resort to "Blacklists" as a watchdog and sanction for offshores. Among those who do adopt this procedurte, Portugal has them especially extensive.

When the European Council released in 2017 the "blacklist" of tax havens (from jurisdictions outside the European Union), 8 territories in this group of non-cooperating offshore fiscal centers, including Macao and Panama, committed themselves to make improvements in transparency, leading European Countries to withdraw them from this blacklist and transfer them to a less burdensome list, called the "gray list".
This decision was taken at a meeting of European Finance Ministers in Brussels and includes, in addition to Macao and Panama, Tunisia, South Korea, Barbados, Grenada, Mongolia and the United Arab Emirates. The option is justified by the fact that governments have committed themselves at the highest "political level" to fine-tuning the rules in terms of cooperation and greater fiscal transparency (exchange of bank account information, for example).

The countries that are on the "gray list" will still be monitorized by European countries and may be "blacklisted" if the EU considers that the required criteria are not being met.

About “Tax Havens”
European Parliament. (May 2018)

Broadly speaking, 'tax havens' provide taxpayers, both legal and natural persons, with opportunities for tax avoidance, while their secrecy and opacity also serves to hide the origin of the proceeds of illegal and criminal activities.

At first, the term 'tax haven' designated countries offering attractive low-tax regimes to attract financial services. Later, it was used to describe jurisdictions that do not respect the tax good governance principles and other jurisdictions, since their objective is to attract tax bases or investment. Three elements, commonly used as distinctive criteria, contribute to the conclusion that a location is a tax haven:
  • lack of effective exchange of relevant information with other governments on their taxpayers, minimal or no disclosure on financial dealings and ownership of assets,
  • no or minimal taxation on income and assets of non-residents, tax advantages to non-resident individuals,
  • generally not applying accepted minimum standards of corporate governance and accountability.

In the EU, the process of adopting a common list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions was initiated as part of efforts to further good tax governance, and its external dimension. These are commonly known as “Blacklists”.
The “Blacklist” in Portugal
Portugal has one of the most extensive lists in Europe, with more than 80 territories, with which economic transactions face aggravated rates of taxation.

In Portugal, it was published in Ordinance no. 150/2004  the list of the countries, territories and regions with clearly preferential taxation regimes. From this initial list, 83 countries were included.

In 2016 the list was officially amended with the elimination of the Republic of Cyprus, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Isle of Man and Uruguay (Portaria n. 345-A/2016, Art. 1).
The Government considered appropriate to carry out a new review, taking into account the developments in the implementation of anti-abuse mechanisms in the area of international taxation, which in some cases made it unnecessary that certain countries, territories and regions remained in the list.
Bilateral and multilateral mechanisms for the exchange of information are likely to allow, the countries that participate in them, the control of the movement of wealth or income to more favorable regimes that sets up a base to an erosion of the Portuguese tax.

In 2017 the list was again revised (Lei nr. 114/2017 date 29/12/2017, Art. 290) and restored with the original version, dated 2004.

Currently Portugal's blacklist include the following countries/regions/territories, each one with its particular conditions (check the notes below the list):

O Público. (2018).
Panamá e Macau passam para a “lista cinzenta” de paraísos fiscais da UE. Click here

Economia. (2017).
Autoridade Tributária atualiza ‘lista negra’ dos offshores. Click here

Jornal de Negócios. (2017).
Offshores: cada país a sua regra para a lista negra. Click here

O Público. (2017).
Portugal ajudou Cabo Verde a evitar a “lista negra”. Click here
1) Andorra (5)
2) Anguilla
3) Antigua and Barbuda
4) Netherlands Antilles
5) Aruba
6) Rise
7) Bahamas
8) Bahrain (5)
9) Barbados (5)
10) Belize
11)  Bermuda (4)
12) Bolivia
13) Brunei
14) Channel Islands (1)
15) Cayman Islands (4)
16) Cocos and Keeling Islands
17) Cyprus
18) Cook Islands
19) Costa Rica
20) Djibouti
21) Dominica
22) United Arab Emirates (5)
23) Falkland Islands or Malvinas
24) Fiji Islands
25) Gambia
26) Grenada
27) Gibraltar (4)
28) Island of Guam
29) Guiana
30) Honduras
31) Hong Kong (5)
32) Jamaica
33) Jordan
34) Queshm Island
35) Kiribati Island
36) Kuwait (5)
37) Labuan
38) Lebanon
39) Liberia
40) Liechtenstein
41) Luxembourg

42) Maldives Islands
43) Isle of Man
44) Northern Mariana Islands
45) Marshall Islands
46) Mauritius
47) Monaco
48) Monserrate
49) Nauru
50) Christmas Island
51) Niue Island
52) Norfolk Island
53) Sultanate of Oman (5)
54) Islands of the Pacific (2)
55) Palau Islands
56) Panama (5)
57) Pitcairn Island
58) French Polynesian
59) Puerto Rico
60) Qatar (5)
61) Solomon Islands
62) American Samoa
63) Western Samoa
64) St. Helena Island
65) Saint Lucia
66) Saint Kitts and Nevis
67) San Marino (5)
68) St. Peter's Island and Miguelon
69) Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
70) Seychelles
71) Swaziland
72) Svalbard Islands (3)
73) Tokelau Island
74) Tonga
75) Trinidad and Tobago
76) Tristan da Cunha Island
77) Turks and Caicos Islands
78) Tuvalu Island
79) Uruguay (5)
80) Republic of Vanuatu
81) British Virgin Islands (4)
82) US Virgin Islands
83) Arab Republic of Yemen

(1) Includes Alderney, Guernsey (5), Great Stark, Herm, Little Sark, Brechou, Jethou, Jersey and Lihou.
(2) Plus other Pacific Islands not included in this list.
(3) Spitsbergen Archipelago and Bjornoya Island.
(4) The Portuguese Authorities signed, by January 14, 2011, fifteen Agreements on the Exchange of Information in Tax Matters which may exclude from this list the jurisdictions of Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominica , Gibraltar, Guernsey, Liberia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the British Virgin Islands. There are also agreements on the exchange of tax information with the Isle of Man and Jersey (territories that had been excluded from this list by Ordinance No. 345-A / 2016, which has since been repealed by the State Budget Law for 2018).
(5) Jurisdiction with which the Portuguese Authorities signed an Agreement to avoid Double Taxation (DTA). The DTAs with Andorra, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Panama, Kuwait, San Marino, Sultanate of Oman, Uruguay, Bahrain and Qatar are already in accordance.


Back to content | Back to main menu