Exchange of Information
(1) The Competent Authorities of the Member States shall exchange such information, including documents and public documents or certified copies thereof, as is necessary for carrying out the provisions of this Agreement or of the domestic laws of the Member States concerning taxes covered by this agreement insofar as the taxation thereunder is not contrary to the Agreement. Any information received by a Member State shall be treated as secret in the same manner as information obtained under the domestic laws of that Member State and shall be disclosed only to persons or authorities (including courts and administrative bodies) concerned with the assessment or collection of, the enforcement or prosecution in respect of, or the determination of appeals in relation to the taxes covered by the agreement. Such persons or authorities shall use the information only for such purposes. They may disclose the information in public court proceedings or in judicial decisions.
(2) In no case shall the provisions of paragraph (1) be construed so as to impose on a Member State the obligation:
- (a) to carry out administrative measures at variance with the laws and administrative practices of that or of the other Member State;
- (b) to supply information, including documents and public documents or certified copies thereof, which are not obtainable under the laws or in the normal course of the administration of that or of the other Member State;
- (c) to supply information which 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 (ordre public).