OECD Secretary-General compliments the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba

In his speech on 21 October 2008, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, addressed the issue of transparency and exchange of tax information in relation to offshore jurisdictions.

The Secretary-General:

“In 2000 we identified over 40 tax havens and between 2000 and 2005 we were able to convince 35 of these tax havens to commit to the OECD standards of transparency and exchange of information. Seven tax havens initially refused to make this political commitment and were placed on a list of uncooperative tax havens. By 2008 this list had been reduced to Andorra, Liechtenstein and Monaco.

Also in 2000 the OECD launched a parallel project to improve access to banking information for tax authorities within the OECD membership. We agreed an ideal standard of access which all 30 Members endorsed. This standard has now been widely implemented both within the OECD and beyond and has been endorsed by the G8, the G20, the EU, and we hope it will be soon by the UN. However, some countries have still not fully reached this standard.

We continue to work on both of these initiatives and are proud to say that there have been interesting achievements. For example, Belgium now has a tax treaty with the US which, for the first time, provides for exchange of bank information for all tax purposes. This is a significant breakthrough. Further, a total of 27 tax information exchange agreements have been signed since 2000 and around 40 more are under negotiation. Most of the progress, however, has been with just six offshore financial centers that are actively negotiating agreements (Aruba, Bermuda, Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey and Netherlands Antilles).”

Karel Frielink
Attorney (Lawyer) / Partner

(Source: Karel's Legal Blog)

24 October, 2008

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