The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, a subsidiary of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has published peer review reports on information exchange mechanisms in 13 jurisdictions. The reports are part of an ongoing process to bolster efforts by G20 countries to eliminate cross-border tax evasion.

Among the jurisdictions under review were a number favoured for superyacht business activity: British Virgin Islands, Luxembourg, Malta and Monaco.

Each of these jurisdictions was awarded a rating encompassing ‘compliant’, ‘largely compliant’, ‘partially compliant’ or non-compliant’. Both Monaco and Malta achieved full compliance for their information exchange programmes.

The report stated that, Monaco's legal framework and its practical implementation ensure that ownership, accounting and bank information is available and tax authorities have the required access powers to obtain the requested information.

Monaco has become synonymous with yachting culture, and has become the location of choice for many front-end service providers, as well as the end-users. With it hosting the superyacht industry’s premier event, the Monaco Yacht Show, in September the show’s communications and media manager, Johan Pizzardini said “[Monaco] has achieved the status of the international superyacht hub for all industry professionals.” The relative success of the show itself, he added, “will [generate] tangible indicators for the real state of the market.”

Likewise, feedback from its exchange of information partners attests to the high quality responses provided by Malta in a timely manner, in particular since the introduction of internal administrative guidance to streamline the process and shorten response times.

However, nascent superyacht jurisdictions BVI and Luxembourg came in for criticism for their failure to provide adequate information upon request. In the case of BVI, Its exchange of information partners indicated that in a significant proportion of cases the responses to EOI requests were incomplete. Luxembourg meanwhile, has not used its information gathering and enforcement powers to obtain requested information in all instances. contacted both the BVI Tourism Authority and Luxembourg for Business but nobody was available for comment.

Welcoming the reports, the chair of the Global Forum, Kosie Louw of the South African Revenue Service, said: "The Global Forum is applying pressure on all jurisdictions to implement the standard and co-operate effectively in tax information exchange. The publication of the ratings later this year will be a crucial moment for all those committed to fighting cross-border tax evasion".

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