Tax evasion, money laundering and tax transparency in the EU Overseas Countries and Territories: Ex-Post Impact Assessment

20-04-2017

This study aims to present the legal, political and institutional framework governing offshore practices in the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) of the European Union, which are under the sovereignty of four Member States: Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The institutional arrangements of the OCTs with the relevant EU Member States directly affect the possibility to establish policies and adopt regulations, including on taxation and money laundering. Regardless of the level of control of the EU Member States over their OCTs, implementation of the law by the local authorities is of concern in a number of the UK and Dutch OCTs, both in terms of structural weaknesses, but also because of limited financial and human resources. In the case of the French OCTs, suboptimal oversight controls and lack of information make it difficult to supervise financial activities. The opening analysis compares the French, Dutch and British cases in terms of combating tax evasion, money laundering and enhancing tax transparency; explores the case of Greenland; and draws conclusions on how the EU could better use its leverage in these overseas territories. The analysis is based on the detailed annexed contributions, written by external experts, which cover in detail the OCTs under French, Dutch, and British rule. This ex-post impact assessment has been produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service at the request of the European Parliament's Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) to assist it in the context of its ongoing work.

This study aims to present the legal, political and institutional framework governing offshore practices in the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) of the European Union, which are under the sovereignty of four Member States: Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The institutional arrangements of the OCTs with the relevant EU Member States directly affect the possibility to establish policies and adopt regulations, including on taxation and money laundering. Regardless of the level of control of the EU Member States over their OCTs, implementation of the law by the local authorities is of concern in a number of the UK and Dutch OCTs, both in terms of structural weaknesses, but also because of limited financial and human resources. In the case of the French OCTs, suboptimal oversight controls and lack of information make it difficult to supervise financial activities. The opening analysis compares the French, Dutch and British cases in terms of combating tax evasion, money laundering and enhancing tax transparency; explores the case of Greenland; and draws conclusions on how the EU could better use its leverage in these overseas territories. The analysis is based on the detailed annexed contributions, written by external experts, which cover in detail the OCTs under French, Dutch, and British rule. This ex-post impact assessment has been produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service at the request of the European Parliament's Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) to assist it in the context of its ongoing work.

External author

Prof. Alexandre Maitrot de la Motte of the University of Paris-Est Creteil, Prof. Dr H.E. Bröring, Prof. Dr O.O. Cherednychenko, Prof. Dr H.G. Hoogers and G. Karapetian LL.M. (Department of Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Public Administration/Groningen Centre for European Financial Services Law (GCEFSL), University of Groningen), Dr Peter Clegg of the University of the West of England