Exchange of Information
(1) The competent authorities of the Contracting States shall exchange such information (including documents or certified copies of the documents) as is foreseeably relevant for carrying out the provisions of this Agreement or to the administration or enforcement of the domestic laws concerning taxes of every kind and description imposed on behalf of the Contracting States, or of their political subdivisions or local authorities, insofar as the taxation thereunder is not contrary to the Agreement. The exchange of information is not restricted by Articles 1 and 2.
(2) Any information received under paragraph (1) by a Contracting State shall be treated as secret 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, the enforcement or prosecution in respect of, the determination of appeals in relation to the taxes referred to in paragraph (1), or the oversight of the above. 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. Notwithstanding the foregoing, information received by a Contracting State may be used for other purposes when such information may be used for such other purposes under the laws of both States and the competent authority of the supplying State authorises such use.
(3) In no case shall the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) be construed so as to impose on a Contracting State the obligation:
- (a) to carry out administrative measures at variance with the laws and administrative practice of that or of the other Contracting State;
- (b) to supply information which is not obtainable under the laws or in the normal course of the administration of that or of the other Contracting 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).
(4) If information is requested by a Contracting State in accordance with this Article, the other Contracting State shall use its information gathering measures to obtain the requested information, even though that other State may not need such information for its own tax purposes. The obligation contained in the preceding sentence is subject to the limitations of paragraph (3) but in no case shall such limitations be construed to permit a Contracting State to decline to supply information solely because it has no domestic interest in such information.
(5) In no case shall the provisions of paragraph (3) be construed to permit a Contracting State to decline to supply information solely because the information is held by a bank, other financial institution, nominee or person acting in an agency or a fiduciary capacity or because it relates to ownership interests in a person.
(6) A Contracting State may allow representatives of the competent authority of the other Contracting State to enter the territory of the first-mentioned Contracting State to interview individuals and examine records with the written consent of the persons concerned. The competent authority of the second-mentioned Contracting State shall notify the competent authority of the first-mentioned Contracting State of the time and place of the meeting with the individuals concerned.
(7) At the request of the competent authority of one Contracting State, the competent authority of the other Contracting State may allow representatives of the competent authority of the first-mentioned Contracting State to be present at the appropriate part of a tax examination in the second-mentioned Contracting State.
(8) If the request referred to in paragraph (7) is acceded to, the competent authority of the Contracting State conducting the examination shall, as soon as possible, notify the competent authority of the other Contracting State about the time and place of the examination, the authority or official designated to carry out the examination and the procedures and conditions required by the first-mentioned Contracting State for the conduct of the examination. All decisions with respect to the conduct of the tax examination shall be made by the Contracting State conducting the examination.