Taxation and Customs Union

International developments

EU co-operation with European third countries and cooperation of Member States with the dependent and associated territories of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands

Directive 2014/107/EU implements a single Global Standard which has been developed by the OECD, with the active contributions of the EU and its Member States, for the automatic exchange of financial account information. The standard was adopted by the OECD in July 2014 and endorsed by G20 Finance Ministers in September 2014 for worldwide application. The existing Savings taxation agreements with 5 European third countries (Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and Switzerland) have been updated to take into account the automatic exchange of financial account information based on the Global Standard. This represents a significant step forward for the European Union in its fight to combat tax fraud and evasion, and ensures a level playing field between financial institutions in these European third countries and financial institutions in the EU which are required to implement Directive 2014/107/EU. A common feature of the five revised agreements is reciprocity which was not foreseen in the original Savings taxation agreements.

The table below provides a summary of the current status of these updated agreements.

Jurisdiction

Agreement signed

Agreement enters into force (including due diligence))

Amending Protocol and Council Decisions

Principality of Andorra

12/02/2016

01/01/2017

Amending Protocol attached to Council Decision (EU) 2016/1751  (OJ L268/2016) on conclusion.

Principality of Liechtenstein

28/10/2015

01/01/2016

Amending Protocol attached to Council Decision (EU) 2015/2453 (OJ L339/2015) on conclusion.

Monaco

12/07/2016

01/01/2017 (provisional application pending conclusion – full entry into force on 01/02/2017)

Amending Protocol attached to Council Decision (EU) 2016/1392 on signature and provisional application (OJ L225/2016).
Council Decision 2016/1830 on conclusion adopted on 11/10/2016 (OJ L280/2016).

Republic of San Marino

08/12/2015

01/01/2016 (provisional application pending conclusion - full entry into force on 01/06/2016)

Amending Protocol attached to Council Decision (EU) 2015/2469 on signature and provisional application (OJ L346/2015).
Council Decision 2016/828 on conclusion adopted on 21/04/2016 (OJ L140/2016).

Swiss Confederation

27/05/2015

01/01/2017

Amending Protocol attached to Council Decision (EU) 2015/2400 (OJ L333/2015) on conclusion.

Documents and links

  • Press release on EU-Switzerland agreement on the automatic exchange of financial account information
  • Press release on EU-Liechtenstein agreement on the automatic exchange of financial account information
  • Press release on EU-San Marino agreement on the automatic exchange of financial account information
  • Press release on EU-Andorra agreement on the automatic exchange of financial account information 
  • Press release on the initialling of the EU-Monaco agreement on the automatic exchange of financial account information 

Cooperation between the EU Member States and relevant dependent/ associated territories

Ten relevant Member States' dependent or associated territories (the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey, the Isle of Man and the dependent or associated territories of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in the Caribbean) took a commitment in the form of written agreements or arrangements between each of them and each of the 28 EU Member States in order to provide since 1 July 2005 (1 January 2007 for Bulgaria and Romania, and from 1 July 2013 for Croatia) for the same measures as those in the Directive 2003/48/EC (the Savings Taxation Directive), i.e. they have been applying a system of information reporting or, during the transitional period of this Directive, levying a withholding tax on the same terms as Luxemburg or Austria. Four of these territories (Aruba, Anguilla, the Cayman Islands and Montserrat) have provided automatic exchange of information from the date of the start of application of the relevant agreements on 1 July 2005. Since that date the following UK dependent or associated territories have also moved to automatic exchange of information: Guernsey as from 1 July 2011; Isle of Man as from 1 July 2011; the British Virgin Islands as from 1 January 2012, and Turks and Caicos Islands as from 01 July 2012. Jersey has moved to automatic exchange of information as from 01 January 2015.

The dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010 resulted in two new constituent countries (Curaçao and Sint Maarten), which were continuing until 2015 to levy a withholding tax on the same terms applied at the time by Austria, and three special municipalities which are part of the Netherlands (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba) and provide automatic exchange of information.
The models used for the Savings agreements between the Member States and the associated and dependent territories are provided as follows: UK Crown dependencies (Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey); Netherlands Antilles and Aruba ; UK Caribbean Territories of Montserrat ; British Virgin Islands ; Cayman Islands; Turks and Caicos Islands ; and Anguilla. Please check the Council website for possible corrigendum.

As almost all these territories and almost all the Member States are parties to the multilateral instruments set at the OECD and Global Forum level for implementing the Global Standard for the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information, the conditions are met for ensuring a continuing cooperation in tax matters.

Agreement signed on 17 February 2014 between the European Union and France acting on behalf of Saint-Barthélemy ensuring the continuing application by the island of the EU current and future acquis in the field of taxation of savings and administrative cooperation between tax authorities.

By virtue of a Decision taken by the European Council on 27 October 2010, the European Union acknowledged the changing institutional position of the island of Saint-Barthélemy in its relationships with the French Republic and also amended the status of this island with regard to the European Union. With effect from 1 January 2012, the island ceased to be an outermost region within the territory of the European Union and is now a dependent/associated territory of France, covered by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union only to the limited extent provided for the other above mentioned territories included in Annex II to the Treaty. An agreement signed on 17 February 2014 between the European Union and France acting on behalf of Saint-Barthélemy ensures the continuing application by the island of the EU current and future acquis in the field of taxation of savings and administrative cooperation between tax authorities.