EU, Monaco sign landmark information exchange agreement

The European Union and Monaco today signed an automatic exchange of information agreement, in what is seen as a landmark move in a global march in the direction of ever-greater tax information transparency.

The signing of the agreement was said to represent the culmination of almost two-and-a-half years’ worth of negotiations between Monaco and the EU.

The agreement now must be ratified by Monaco by 2018. After that date, the principality and the 28 member nations of the EU will begin to automatically exchange information on the financial accounts of all the citizens living in Monaco and in those 28 EU member states, International Investment understands.

Last week, Andorra signed a similar deal with the EU, following automatic information exchange agreements with the EU that were signed in 2015 by Switzerland, Liechtenstein and San Marino.

Further details of the agreement are to be released soon, sources in Monaco told International Investment.

European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, taxation and customs Pierre Moscovici said the deal “strengthens Monaco’s international reputation”, and that it opens a new chapter in the relationship between the EU and Monaco.

After the signing, Monaco noted that it will need help if it is to be able to implement the agreement in time to meet the 2018 deadline, and that it is currently in the process of recruiting for a company to help with setting up the information reporting infrastructure.

Jean Castellini,  Monaco’s minister of finance and economy, said that the EU member countries still blacklisting Monaco for non-cooperation on financial matters would now have to remove the country from their “discriminative lists”, in order to support the progress being made by the principality in its fight against tax fraud and evasion.

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James Fernyhough
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