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Panama exits tax haven black list, Guatemala joins

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Panama  has disappeared from the French list of tax havens along with ten other jurisdictions but Guatemala has been added to the black list.

On Thursday, April 12 France issued a new list of tax havens along with the eleven jurisdictions who have officially been delisted including Panama and Costa Rica, but they  will continue to be monitored permanently. 

The Official Journal  published a decree removing Anguilla, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, Grenada, Cook Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Liberia, Oman, Panama. and San Vincent and the Grenadinesfrom theblack list.

In the update, which had not been done since 2010,  says the EFE news agency Botswana is added to the list of havens, which also include Brunei, Guatemala, Marshall Islands, Montserrat, Nauru, Niue and the Philippines. French Finance Minister Valérie Pécresse,who appeared before the Senate Finance Committee, stated that, for those who have left the blacklist, "the challenge for the coming years is to operatet under the monitoring agreements" established with them. 

He added that "we must be very firm in implementing the agreements … and he did not not rule out " turning back." 

The minister also noted that "prosecutors have tightened sanctions" of firms operating in non-cooperative countries, such as prohibiting the deduction of charges paid in those states, the increase in withholding tax appeal or to take away the burden of justifying specific documentation of all operations. said that the device will apply not only to jurisdictions identified internationally as non-cooperative, but also "all States, in the light of experience, not implement the agreements signed with France." "We remain vigilant more than ever" to "national sanctions," he said. In the case of Panama, the agreement signed last year between the two countries was ratified by the French Parliament in late December. During an official visit to Paris Last November, French President Nicolas Sarkozy assured  Panamanian President  Ricardo Martinelli, that Panama  would leave the list of tax havens when the text was ratified. 

A month ago, when Sarkosy was president  of the G20 meeting he was  was quoted as listing "tax havens" that  did not meet international standards on tax evasion: including Panama.

This raised some political tensions between Paris and Panama, especially since Pécresse, announcing on November 4 , a tightening of controls against tax evasion, giving  Panama as an example of a non-cooperative state.