The eight countries - Barbados, Grenada, the Republic of Korea, Macao, Mongolia, Panama, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates - have been moved to a separate category of jurisdictions, as part of which they will be "subject to close monitoring", the EC said in a statement today. "Crossing Panama, one of the world's most prolific tax havens off the blacklist, is a disastrous sign in the fight against tax avoidance".
The EU expects the grey list countries and territories to meet their commitments by the end of the year.
Economic operators also expressed satisfaction.
In 2016 the so-called Panama Papers - high-profile cases of money laundering and tax avoidance - were released followed by 13.4 million new documents, dubbed "Paradise Papers" previous year, which prompted the European Union to put on the blacklist countries accused of providing tax dodging schemes.
The document also notes that the country had not applied the minimum standards of BEPS, a global tax reform project launched in 2015 which ensures that companies are not shifting profits around the world to avoid or decrease their taxes.
"The jurisdictions around the world have worked hard to make a commitment to reforming their tax policy".
"The EU is rushing to take countries off the blacklist without it being clear what they have actually committed to improve", said the NGO's Aurore Chardonnet.
"Our listing process is already proving its worth", Vladislav Goranov, minister for.
Goranov's comments were backed by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who tweeted "European pressure has brought its first results!"
The member states would have had to decide unanimously in order to disclose those details and that wasn't the case, said Chardonnet.
At the time the list was unveiled in December, some critics argued that it was incomplete, as it left out a number of jurisdictions seen to be tax evasion facilitators, including Luxembourg and Malta. They are American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, the Marshall Islands, Namibia, Palau, Saint Lucia, Samoa, and Trinidad and Tobago.
"It is no secret that tax havens remain at the heart of the EU, with four European countries actually failing the EU's own blacklisting criteria".
The EU today officially took out eight countries from its blacklist for tax havens outside the bloc, leaving only nine jurisdictions on the list.
Countries on the greylist can be moved back onto the blacklist of they fail to improve quickly enough, but this has not happened yet.