The European Union removed South Korea and seven other countries from the blacklist of tax havens on Tuesday after they agreed to change their rules on tax transparency.
The move comes a month after the EU officials drew up a list of 17 non-cooperative tax jurisdictions in an effort to discourage tax dodging.
Korea was initially blacklisted for offering tax breaks to foreign tenants in its free economic and investment zones, which Brussels called “harmful preferential tax regimes.”
Last week, the EU’s Code of Conduct working group recommended moving eight countries, including South Korea, from the blacklist to a so-called gray list of countries that have committed to changing their tax practices in compliance with EU standards.
The recommendation was approved by EU finance ministers on Tuesday. The eight jurisdictions that have been delisted are South Korea, Panama, the United Arab Emirates, Barbados, Grenada, Macao, Mongolia and Tunisia.
The measure has slashed the number of jurisdictions on the blacklist from 17 to nine to include American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, the Marshall Islands, Namibia, Palau, Saint Lucia, Samoa, and Trinidad and Tobago. The gray list has increased from 47 to 55.
By Yoon Won-sup and Kim Hyo-jin
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