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Switzerland and South Africa sign joint declaration on introduction of AEOI

By Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Switzerland

On 24 November 2016, Switzerland and South Africa signed a joint declaration on the introduction of the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) in tax matters on a reciprocal basis. Both countries intend to start collecting data in accordance with the global AEOI standard in 2018 and to exchange it from 2019 onwards.

The signing of the joint declaration by Switzerland's ambassador in South Africa and the South African finance minister confirms Switzerland's international commitment to implementing the AEOI standard. Switzerland is thus strengthening its network of AEOI partner states. South Africa meets in particular the high demands in terms of adherence to the principle of speciality and the safeguarding of confidentiality for the data delivered, which are prerequisites for the introduction of the AEOI.

From a legal viewpoint, the automatic exchange of information with South Africa will be implemented based on the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (MCAA). The MCAA is based on the international standard for the exchange of information developed by the OECD.

The Federal Council has authorised the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) to conduct a consultation for the introduction of the AEOI with South Africa and other countries. It will be initiated soon. Thereafter, the corresponding federal decrees will be submitted to Parliament for approval.