6 Apr 2009

Malaysia in OECD tax havens blacklist

10:05 am on 6 April 2009

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has published a blacklist of non-co-operative tax havens.

Costa Rica, Malaysia, the Philippines and Uruguay are the countries listed by the OECD as not having agreed to tax standards.

The list is part of efforts agreed by the G20 to clamp down on tax havens, which may involve using sanctions.

Three of the blacklisted countries have said that they should be removed from the list.

There is also a list of 38 places that have agreed to improve standards but not yet done so, such as Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Andorra and San Marino.

On Thursday, G20 leaders agreed to take sanctions against tax havens using the OECD list as its basis.

In their communique, they agreed, "to take action against non-co-operative jurisdictions, including tax havens".

"We stand ready to deploy sanctions to protect our public finances and financial systems. The era of banking secrecy is over."


OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said the G20 summit had helped to focus minds on the issue of tax havens. "We've had more progress in the last two weeks on this matter than we've had in the last 10 or 12 years."

Mr Gurria added that the progress had come despite the leaders not specifying what sanctions they would take.

"[Non-co-operating countries] will move because they know the question of sanctions, however ill-defined that was, is going to affect them somehow."

The Philippines is already reported to be taking steps to remove itself from the blacklist.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that his country should not be on the blacklist at all.

"We should not be in that category as, in practice, we have been committed to OECD requirements," he said.

Uruguay has also objected to its inclusion on the list.

"In Uruguay, we are not a tax haven," President Tabare Vazquez said.

"Uruguay may not be a monastery, but it is not a casino," he added.