Exchange of Information
(1) The competent authorities of the countries shall exchange such information as is foreseeably relevant for carrying out the provisions of this Arrangement or to the administration or enforcement of the domestic laws concerning taxes of every kind and description imposed on behalf of a country or of its political subdivisions or local authorities, insofar as the taxation thereunder is not contrary to this Arrangement. The exchange of information is not restricted by Articles 1 and 2.
(2) Any information received under paragraph (1) by a country shall be treated as secret in the same manner as information obtained under the domestic laws of that country 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 may be used for other purposes when such information may be used for such other purposes under the laws of both countries and the competent authority of the supplying country authorises such use.
(3) The countries may release to the arbitration board, established under the provisions of paragraph (5) of Article 24, such information as is necessary for carrying out the arbitration procedure. The members of the arbitration board shall be subject to the limitations on disclosure described in paragraph (2) with respect to any information so released.
(4) In no case shall the provisions of the preceding paragraphs be construed so as to impose on a country the obligation:
- (a) to carry out administrative measures at variance with the laws and administrative practice of that or of the other country;
- (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 country;
- (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).
(5) If information is requested by a country in accordance with this Article, the other country shall use its information gathering measures to obtain the requested information, even though that other country may not need such information for its own tax purposes. The obligation contained in the preceding sentence is subject to the limitations of paragraph (4) but in no case shall such limitations be construed to permit a country to decline to supply information solely because it has no domestic interest in such information.
(6) In no case shall the provisions of paragraph (4) be construed to permit a country 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.
(7) The provisions of this Article shall apply accordingly to income-related regulations (inkomensafhankelijke regelingen) under the General Act on Income-Related Regulations (Algemene wet inkomensafhankelijke regelingen) and to the contributions charged under the social security system of a country.