The European Union has added 12 countries to its money-laundering blacklist, putting their financial transactions under greater scrutiny.
They include Botswana, Ghana, Mauritius and Zimbabwe.
Others are Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Cambodia, Mongolia and Myanmar.
Once approved by the European Parliament the list will come into force in October.
The commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said the EU needed to put an end to dirty money infiltrating its financial system.
Of the 22 blacklisted countries, only North Korea has refused to commit to trying to tackle the problem.
The European Union tax haven blacklist, officially the EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, is a tool of the European Union (EU) that lists tax havens. It is used by the Member States to tackle external risks of tax abuse and unfair tax competition.
EU’s idea to blacklist was first conceived in the Commission’s 2016 External Strategy for Effective Taxation, which pointed out that a single EU blacklist would hold much more weight than a medley of national lists and would have a dissuasive effect on problematic third countries.
Member States supported the idea, and agreed on the first EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in December 2017.
This list was the result of an extensive screening of 92 jurisdictions, using internationally recognised good
governance criteria. The countries that were ultimately blacklisted were those that failed to make a high-level commitment to comply with the agreed good governance standards.
Many other countries did commit to comply with the listing criteria within a set deadline (usually the end of 2018).
Member States agreed that these countries should be monitored by the Code of Conduct Group and the Commission, to ensure that they delivered fully and on time. The Commission was asked to assess these countries’ progress once the deadline was up, so that Member States could decide on an updated EU list.
What are the main results of the listing process?
The revised list marks the culmination of a long and intensive process of careful analysis and dialogue with third countries steered by the Commission.
It confirms the role of the EU as world leader on tax good governance. The clear, credible and transparent process bares fruit: Since December 2017, many of the screened countries have been changing their national laws and tax systems to comply with international standards.