Exchange of Information
(1) The competent authorities of the Contracting States shall exchange such information, as is necessary for carrying out the provisions of this Agreement or for the administration or application of the domestic laws concerning taxes of every kind and description imposed on behalf of the Contracting States or one of its political sub-divisions, insofar as the taxation there under is not contrary to this Agreement. The exchange of information shall not be limited by the provisions of Article 1 and 2 of this Agreement.
(2) All information, received by a Contracting State under the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article, shall be treated as confidential in the same manner as information obtained under the domestic laws of that State and shall be disclosed only to persons or authorities (including courts and administrative bodies), concerned with the assessment or collection of taxes covered by this Agreement, to which the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article refers, the enforcement or prosecution in respect of such taxes or the determination of appeals in relation to them. Such persons or authorities may use the information only for these purposes. They may disclose the information in public court proceedings or in judicial decisions. Notwithstanding the above mentioned provisions, the information can be used for other purposes, if it can be used according to the laws of the Contracting States for these other purposes and the competent authority of the requested State has agreed to this intended use. Without previous consent of the competent authority of the requested State a use for other purposes is permissible only if it is essential for the defense against threat to life apparent in an individual case, for the physical safety or for personal freedom of a person or for important assets and if there is a risk in delay. In such a case, the competent authority of the requested State shall immediately seek retroactive approval of the change of purpose. If consent is refused, then the use of information for such other purpose shall be prohibited; compensation shall be provided for any damage caused due to the use of such information with change of purpose.
(3) In no case shall the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Article be construed so as to impose upon a Contracting State, the obligation:
- (a) to take administrative measures at variance with the laws or administrative practices of either of the Contracting States;
- (b) To supply information, that is prohibited under the laws or in the normal course of administration of either of the Contracting States;
- (c) to supply information, that would disclose any trade, business, industrial, commercial or professional secret or trade process or information, the disclosure of which would be contrary to public policy.
(4) Where a Contracting State requests information in accordance with the provisions of this Article, the other Contracting State shall endeavour to obtain the information pertaining to such request in the same manner as if its own taxes were at stake, even if the information is not needed by such Contracting State at that time for its own tax purposes. The previous requirement shall be restricted for the provisions of paragraph (3) of this Article, except when such limitations hinder a Contracting State from providing information solely in the absence of national interest.
(5) In no case shall the provisions of paragraph (3) of this Article be interpreted to allow a Contracting State to deny the supply of information that solely operates in the power of banks, other financial institutions or any person who acts in a representative or fiduciary capacity or that is related to the property rights of a person.