Blacklisted HK: The Italian Case

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Viva Italia! Italy joined Spain recently to keep Hong Kong safe from an EU tax blacklisting by announcing an early removal of Hong Kong from its national list.


More good news for Hong Kong before the end of 2015: Italy decided to remove Hong Kong from its national blacklist on November 30, 2015.

Related: Hong Kong’s Blacklist Saga

Italy ratified a comprehensive agreement for the avoidance of double taxation (CDTA) signed with Hong Kong on June 18, 2015. Facilitating an early removal of Hong Kong from the Italian list means it is now spared from a stricter anti-tax haven regulations introduced in Italy in April this year. Italian counterparties to Hong Kong traders had been required to supply transaction records to the fiscal authorities since 2010.

The agreement was signed in January, 2013, and came into force on August 10, 2015. It is expected to be in effect in respect of Italian and Hong Kong tax in January 1, 2016, and April 1, 2016, respectively.

Mr Fabio De Rosa, President of The Italian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, says Rome’s move is “a great opportunity to improve trade and investments volumes between Italy and Hong Kong”.

The original 10 EU member states blacklisting Hong Kong were Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal and Spain. Among them Spain and Estonia already confirmed Hong Kong’s innocence, retaining the city’s reputation from an EU-wide list of uncooperative tax jurisdictions, of which Hong Kong was on the list briefly between June and October, 2015.