Agreement Concerning the Interpretation of Article 25 of the Convention between the Government of Canada and the Swiss Federal Council for the avoidance of double Taxation with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital, done at Berne on 5 May 1997, As Amended by the Protocol Done at Berne on 22 October 2010


This electronic version is provided for ease of reference only and has no official sanction.


The Honorable John Baird
Minister of Foreign Affairs    
125 Sussex Drive       
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2

Ottawa, 28 June 2012

Dear Minister,

I have the honour of referring to the Protocol amending the Convention between the Swiss Federal Council and the Government of Canada for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital, done at Berne on 5 May 1997, done at Berne on 22 October 2010 (hereinafter “Amending Protocol”), and of proposing, on behalf of the Swiss Federal Council, the following clarification regarding its interpretation:

Subparagraph (b) of paragraph 2 of the Interpretative Protocol, added to the Convention between the Swiss Federal Council and the Government of Canada for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital, done at Berne on 5 May 1997, (hereinafter “Convention”), by Article XII of the Amending Protocol, sets forth the information that the competent authority of the requesting State shall provide to the competent authority of the requested State when making a request for information under Article 25 of the Convention. Clause (i) of subparagraph (b) of paragraph 2 of the Interpretative Protocol requires that the requesting State provide the name and, to the extent known, other information, such as address, account number or date of birth, in order to identify the person(s) under examination or investigation.   Clause (v) of subparagraph (b) of paragraph 2 of the Interpretative Protocol requires that the requesting State provide the name and, to the extent known, the address of any person believed to be in possession of the requested information. Subparagraph (c) of paragraph 2 of the Interpretative Protocol clarifies that, while these are important procedural requirements that are intended to ensure that fishing expeditions do not occur, these requirements nevertheless are to be interpreted in order not to frustrate effective exchange of information.

Therefore, notwithstanding the provisions of clauses (i) and (v) of subparagraph (b) of paragraph 2 of the Interpretative Protocol to the Convention, a requested State shall comply with a request for administrative assistance if the requesting State, in addition to providing the information required by clauses (ii) to (iv) of subparagraph (b) of the above mentioned paragraph:

(a) identifies the person under examination or investigation (such identification may be provided by other means than by indicating the name and address of the person concerned); and

(b) indicates, to the extent known, the name and address of any person believed to be in possession of the requested information.

If the above proposal is acceptable to the Government of Canada, I further propose that this Letter and your Letter in reply, the English and French versions of each Letter being equally authentic, shall constitute an Agreement between our Governments on the interpretation of  Article 25 of the Convention, which shall enter into force on the date of the second note by which the Government of Canada and the Swiss Federal Council notify each other that they have completed their internal measures necessary for entry into force, and shall have effect from the date of entry into force of the Amending Protocol.

Please accept, Dear Minister, the assurances of my highest consideration.

The Ambassador of Switzerland
Ulrich Lehner


Ottawa, 23 July 2012

His Excellency Ulrich Lehner
Ambassador of Switzerland to Canada
Embassy of Switzerland
5 Marlborough Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1N 8E6

Excellency,

I have the honour of confirming the receipt of your letter of 28 June 2012, in the English and French languages, reading as follows:

“Dear Minister,

I have the honour of referring to the Protocol amending the Convention between the Swiss Federal Council and the Government of Canada for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital, done at Berne on 5 May 1997, done at Berne on 22 October 2010 (hereinafter “Amending Protocol”), and of proposing, on behalf of the Swiss Federal Council, the following clarification regarding its interpretation:

Subparagraph (b) of paragraph 2 of the Interpretative Protocol, added to the Convention between the Swiss Federal Council and the Government of Canada for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital, done at Berne on 5 May 1997, (hereinafter “Convention”), by Article XII of the Amending Protocol, sets forth the information that the competent authority of the requesting State shall provide to the competent authority of the requested State when making a request for information under Article 25 of the Convention. Clause (i) of subparagraph (b) of paragraph 2 of the Interpretative Protocol requires that the requesting State provide the name and, to the extent known, other information, such as address, account number or date of birth, in order to identify the person(s) under examination or investigation.   Clause (v) of subparagraph (b) of paragraph 2 of the Interpretative Protocol requires that the requesting State provide the name and, to the extent known, the address of any person believed to be in possession of the requested information. Subparagraph (c) of paragraph 2 of the Interpretative Protocol clarifies that, while these are important procedural requirements that are intended to ensure that fishing expeditions do not occur, these requirements nevertheless are to be interpreted in order not to frustrate effective exchange of information.

Therefore, notwithstanding the provisions of clauses (i) and (v) of subparagraph (b) of paragraph 2 of the Interpretative Protocol to the Convention, a requested State shall comply with a request for administrative assistance if the requesting State, in addition to providing the information required by clauses (ii) to (iv) of subparagraph (b) of the above mentioned paragraph:

(a) identifies the person under examination or investigation (such identification may be provided by other means than by indicating the name and address of the person concerned); and

(b) indicates, to the extent known, the name and address of any person believed to be in possession of the requested information.

If the above proposal is acceptable to the Government of Canada, I further propose that this Letter and your Letter in reply, the English and French versions of each Letter being equally authentic, shall constitute an Agreement between our Governments on the interpretation of  Article 25 of the Convention, which shall enter into force on the date of the second note by which the Government of Canada and the Swiss Federal Council notify each other that they have completed their internal measures necessary for entry into force, and shall have effect from the date of entry into force of the Amending Protocol.

Please accept, Dear Minister, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

I have the honour of confirming, on behalf of the Government of Canada, that the proposal in the above-mentioned letter is acceptable to the Government of Canada. Therefore, your Letter, together with this reply, the English and French versions of each Letter being equally authentic, shall constitute an Agreement between our Governments, and shall enter into force on the date of the second note by which the Government of Canada and the Swiss Federal Council notify each other that they have completed their internal measures necessary for entry into force, and shall have effect from the date of entry into force of the Amending Protocol.

Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.

John Baird
Minister of Foreign Affairs