Exchange of Notes Concerning the Automatic Exchange of Information between Canada and Switzerland

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The Honourable William Francis Morneau
Minister of Finance

Bern, 9 December 2016

Your Excellency,

I have the honour to refer to the Joint Declaration signed on 4 February 2016, declaring the intention of Switzerland and Canada to introduce on a reciprocal basis automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters based on the OECD Common Reporting Standard and the Commentaries thereon between each other, beginning in the year 2017 (first transmission of data in 2018), as well as to the Convention of 25 January 1988 on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters as amended by the Protocol of 27 May 2010 amending the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (hereafter "amended Convention").

This automatic exchange of information shall be based on Article 6 of the amended Convention and the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement of 29 October 2014 on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (thereafter "CRS MCAA"). Pursuant to its Article 28 paragraph 6, the amended Convention shall have effect for administrative assistance related to taxable periods beginning on or after 1 January of the year following the one in which the amended Convention entered into force in respect of a Party, or where there is no taxable period, for administrative assistance related to charges to tax arising on or after 1 January of the year following the one in which the amended Convention entered into force in respect of a Party.

Considering that Article 28 paragraph 6 of the amended Convention provides that any two or more Parties may mutually agree that the amended Convention shall have effect for administrative assistance to earlier taxable periods or charges to tax, I have the honour to propose, on behalf of the Swiss Federal Council, that Switzerland and Canada mutually agree that Article 6 of the amended Convention and the CRS MCAA shall have effect to taxable periods beginning on or after 1 January 2017.

If the above proposal is acceptable to the Government of Canada, I have the honour to suggest that the present letter and Your Excellency's reply reflecting such acceptance should constitute an Agreement between our two Governments in this matter. This Agreement shall enter into force on the later of January 1, 2017 and the date of the notification by which the Government of Canada informs the Swiss Federal Council that the domestic procedures in Canada for its entry into force have been completed. If the entry into force is after January 1, 2017, this Agreement shall be applied provisionally as of January 1, 2017.

Yours sincerely
Ueli Maurer Federal Councillor


Ueli Maurer
Federal Councillor

December 22, 2016

Your Excellency,

I have the honour to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated December 9, 2016 which states in its entirety as follows:

"Your Excellency:

I have the honour to refer to the Joint Declaration signed on 4 February 2016, declaring the intention of Switzerland and Canada to introduce on a reciprocal basis automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters based on the OECD Common Reporting Standard and the Commentaries thereon between each other, beginning in the year 2017 (first transmission of data in 2018), as well as to the Convention of 25 January 1988 on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters as amended by the Protocol of 27 May 2010 amending the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (hereafter "amended Convention").

This automatic exchange of information shall be based on Article 6 of the amended Convention and the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement of 29 October 2014 on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (thereafter "CRS MCAA"). Pursuant to its Article 28 paragraph 6, the amended Convention shall have effect for administrative assistance related to taxable periods beginning on or after 1 January of the year following the one in which the amended Convention entered into force in respect of a Party, or where there is no taxable period, for administrative assistance related to charges to tax arising on or after 1 January of the year following the one in which the amended Convention entered into force in respect of a Party.  Considering that Article 28 paragraph 6 of the amended Convention provides that any two or more Parties may mutually agree that the amended Convention shall have effect for administrative assistance to earlier taxable periods or charges to tax, I have the honour to propose, on behalf of the Swiss Federal Council, that Switzerland and Canada mutually agree that Article 6 of the amended Convention and the CRS MCAA shall have effect to taxable periods beginning on or after 1 January 2017.

If the above proposal is acceptable to the Government of Canada, I have the honour to suggest that the present letter and Your Excellency's reply reflecting such acceptance should constitute an Agreement between our two Governments in this matter. This Agreement shall enter into force on the later of January 1, 2017 and the date of the notification by which the Government of Canada informs the Swiss Federal Council that the domestic procedures in Canada for its entry into force have been completed. If the entry into force is after January 1, 2017, this Agreement  shall be applied provisionally as of January 1, 2017.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurance of my highest consideration,

Ueli Maurer
Federal Councillor"

I am pleased to inform you that the Government of Canada accepts the proposal set forth in your letter. The Government of Canada further agrees that your letter, which is authentic in English and in French, together with this reply, shall constitute an Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Switzerland, which will enter into force on the later of January 1, 2017 and the date of the notification by which the Government of Canada informs the Swiss Federal Council that the domestic procedures in Canada for its entry into force have been completed. If the entry into force is after January 1, 2017, this Agreement shall be applied provisionally as of January 1, 2017.

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

Yours sincerely,
The Honourable William Francis Morneau, P.C., M.P.