Bahamas hustling to meet OECD deadline

NASSAU, Bahamas, December 31, 2009 – The Bahamas still hasn’t met the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines on tax information sharing, but it says it has a few agreements lined up and will exceed the minimum requirements by the March 2010 deadline.

The OECD requires countries to sign at least 12 Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA) to meet the internationally accepted standards.

The Bahamas has successfully concluded negotiations with 23 countries so far, signing 10 of them with the United States, Monaco, San Marino, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the Netherlands, China, Argentina, Belgium, and France.  

The other agreements with Germany, Canada, Spain, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, South Korea, and the seven Nordiccountries of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland and Faroe Islands will be sealed following the completion of relevant internal procedures required for the signing of treaty instruments.

Those procedures, which have been fast tracked by some countries, include the added requirement of translating the agreement into relevant native languages, an important element of negotiations that is often a fundamental constitutional requirement for the validity of treaty instruments.

“The Bahamas is actively participating in the international dialogue concerning the regulation of international financial services,” a statement from the government said.

“The government is committed to safeguarding this important segment of the Bahamian economy by ensuring that The Bahamas remains a well regulated jurisdiction which meets evolving standards for offering international financial services.”