Mongolia vows action to get off EU tax haven blacklist

Damdin Tsogtbaatar [Twitter]

Mongolia needs to take action at “all levels of government” to get itself removed from a European Union blacklist of tax havens, its foreign minister said, following talks with European counterparts.

The landlocked nation located between China and Russia is one of 17 jurisdictions outside the European Union that risk losing access to EU funds or facing other forms of censure, after the bloc this month deemed them to not be cooperative on tax matters.

EU adopts list of 17 tax havens, Panama first to protest

The EU finance ministers adopted yesterday (5 December) a list of “non-cooperative tax jurisdictions”, which is another way to label tax havens.

“We have to implement a series of coordinated measures at all levels of government,” Foreign Minister Damdin Tsogtbaatar said in comments posted on Facebook on Tuesday, without mentioning specifics.

The foreign ministry confirmed the remarks on Wednesday (13 December), but declined to provide details.

Tsogtbaatar said he had discussed the issue last week with officials of each EU member nation at a ministerial meeting in Vienna of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

It is important that Mongolia comply with international standards for tax, said Dendevsambuu Onchinsuren, the country managing partner for tax accountancy Deloitte Onch in Ulaanbaatar, the capital.

“Mongolia needs to cooperate with the EU,” Onchinsuren said. “Also it needs to improve its transparency.”

In 2011, Mongolia took the rare step of cancelling a tax treaty with the Netherlands, saying it would cost the country income from the Oyu Tolgoi mine, jointly owned by mining giant Rio Tinto and the Mongolian government.

Mongolia also cancelled tax treaties with Kuwait, Luxembourg and the UAE.

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