16/07/2009 - In the past two days Belgium has signed protocols to its tax conventions with Luxembourg, Singapore, San Marino, and the Seychelles as well as a tax convention with the Isle of Man and a tax information exchange agreement with Monaco.
These signings mean Belgium now has 12 agreements on exchange of information for tax purposes, crossing the threshold for being considered to have substantially implemented the internationally agreed standard in this area. As a consequence, the Progress Report initially published by the OECD Secretariat on 2 April 2009 in conjunction with the G20 has been updated, and Belgium moves into the category of “Jurisdictions that have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard.”
After withdrawing its reservation to the OECD standard on exchange of information in March 2009, Belgium acted very quickly. In line with the spirit and purpose of this collective effort, Belgium wrote to more than 100 countries to propose the conclusion of protocols to update Article 26 of its existing treaties or to enter into new exchange of information agreements. These efforts are now showing results. More signings are expected shortly.
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría encourages other countries contacted by Belgium to respond quickly to the invitation to update the exchange of information provision of their bilateral arrangements. “Belgium has swiftly translated a commitment into action and I encourage all countries to respond to Belgium with the same speed and efficiency.”
Welcoming the signings, Mr. Gurria said: “Belgium has been very quick to implement the OECD standards on exchange of information. We commend the efforts undertaken by our Belgian colleagues under the leadership and drive of Finance Minister Didier Reynders”.
For further information about Belgium’s tax agreements, journalists are invited to consult the Belgian Finance Ministry’s website: www.minfin.fgov.be or contact Ministry of Finance, Public Relations department, Arie Geens (tel + 32 2576 3369). At the OECD, please contact Jeffrey Owens, Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (tel: + 33 1 45 24 91 08).