The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has removed the Marshall Islands from its list of "uncooperative" and "harmful" tax havens as the group continues to pare down the destinations for money laundering.
The OECD has been working to cut down on the number of countries that act as offshore tax havens and convince more of them to commit to financial transparency by exchanging information on tax matters with other nations. Last month, the organization removed Liberia from its list of uncooperative tax havens. Only three countries remain on the uncooperative list: Andorra, Lichtenstein and Monaco.
Meanwhile, the Marshall Islands are joining a list of 34 other jurisdictions that have committed to exchanging information with other countries to help enforce their tax laws. Among the signatories are the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Malta.
"The Marshall Islands wishes to be seen as a responsible financial center," wrote Brenson S. Wase, minister of finance for the Republic of the Marshall Islands, in a letter to the OECD. "As a result, the Marshall Islands has taken steps to comply with international standards, and in particular has shown itself ready to cooperate in the fight against financial crimes such as money laundering."
However, the Marshall Islands reserved the right to decline a request for information if the disclosure would be contrary to public policy or if the information requested by another country could not be obtained under its own laws. The Marshall Islands also would not try to collect taxes on behalf of another country or institute legal proceedings to collect them.
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