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 of the domestic laws of the Contracting States concerning taxes covered by the Agreement, in so far as the taxation thereunder is not contrary to the Agreement, in particular for the prevention of fraud or evasion of such taxes. The exchange of information is not restricted by Articles 1 and 2.
(2) Any information received by a Contracting State shall be treated as secret in the same manner as information obtained under the domestic laws of that Contracting State. However, if the information is originally regarded as secret in the transmitting State it 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 which are the subject of the Agreement. Such persons or authorities shall use the information only for such purposes but may disclose the information in public court proceedings or in judicial decisions. The competent authorities shall, through consultation, develop appropriate conditions, methods and techniques concerning the matters in respect of which such exchanges of information shall be made, including, where appropriate, exchanges of information regarding tax avoidance.
(3) In no case shall the provisions of paragraph 1 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 Contracting 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 fiduciary capacity or because it relates to ownership interests in a person.