Namibia off EU tax blacklist

09 November 2018 | Local News

Namibia has now been listed as a cooperative tax jurisdiction by the European Union. The announcement was made recently at a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels, Belgium.

Following Namibia's removal from the contentious list, only five jurisdictions remain, namely American Samoa, Guam, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago and the US Virgin Islands.

At the time of its listing as a non-cooperative tax jurisdiction, Namibia was the only sub-Saharan African country that had fallen out of favour with the EU as a consequence of its tax policies.

Namibia was the only country on the blacklist that made no effort at all to correspond with the EU's tax experts on the European Council's code of conduct group when issues were raised with the country's government, The Guardian reported.

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein at the time called Namibia's listing unfair, saying: “Namibia is clearly, by any objective criteria, not a tax haven.”

The listing was “unjust, prejudiced, partisan, discriminatory and biased”, Schlettwein added.

The list of non-cooperative tax havens adopted by EU ministers at the time included American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, Macau, the Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates.

In January 2016, 92 countries received a screening letter. They included some of the world's biggest states, including China, the US and Japan; small European countries such as Monaco and Andorra; and tiny developing nations such as Niue in the Pacific.

They were informed that they would be assessed against three broad criteria: tax transparency; fair taxation; and commitment to implementing measures agreed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) intended to stop countries stealing each other's tax bases.