The Republic of Palau has been officially removed from the European Union’s list of tax havens after it was included in a group of countries originally cited as refusing to co-operate with the EU’s crackdown on tax havens.

Now just over six months since that inclusion, Palau has been officially taken off the list by European Union finance ministers after the Republic committed to changes to bring tax issues in line with those required by the EU. Palau has been removed from the blacklist to a so-called grey list of jurisdictions with low tax transparency standards (but aiming to become less opaque) as the Republic has shown a strong determination to become compliant with the EU after months of screening of global tax policies.

Panos Kirnidis, CEO of Palau International Ship Registry (PISR) which is the Republic’s designated maritime flag-carrier, sees this as further evidence of the strong commitment the Republic is making in promoting its name, reputation and services globally.

“This is excellent news for both the Republic of Palau and the ship registry because it is further evidence of the great strides we are both making to provide dedicated services to those actively involved in the global economy. When the EU blacklist was created in December 2017 it was due to revelations of widespread worldwide tax avoidance schemes used by corporations and wealthy individuals to lower their tax bills. The Republic has always been an innovative and far-sighted country and we have worked with them to ensure that everything we do with the PISR is class-leading and legal. This recognition by the EU of the efforts made by the Republic to comply with European financial regulations is a sure sign that we are both on the right road.”

Palau was facing the possibility of stricter controls on financial transactions with the EU while on the blacklist but Panos Kirnidis sees this as an incentive that has resulted in a promising future for all things Palau.

“Over the past few years we have grown from a new registry into a SMART one that has embraced digital excellence and been called the fastest growing ship registry in the world at the end of 2017. Palau has a reputation as a country of great environmental standards and PISR has followed that since we became the official ship registry for the Republic. Everything we do at PISR is focussed on commitment to clients. We follow the same high standards as the Republic and we both intend to remain consistent, transparent and highly active in the world’s global economy and service sectors.”