Jersey: Jersey Reaches Agreement With the OECD

Last Updated: 18 July 2002
Article by Robert Christensen

Originally published on 28 February 2002

It was announced on 27 February 2002 that both Jersey and Guernsey have entered into identical agreements with the OECD in relation to the OECD’s harmful tax practices initiative¹, in consequence of which neither Island will be listed by the OECD as an uncooperative tax haven.

The agreements commit the Islands to adopt the OECD’s principles of exchange of information and transparency with the operation of legal entities, both in a general political commitment and in tax information exchange agreements that may be negotiated with individual jurisdictions. For its part, the OECD appears to have acknowledged the importance of maintaining a ‘level playing field’ between international financial services centres, a point that is emphasised within the commitment letters.

The letters note that the two Islands have an extremely good track record of compliance with international standards for, and of international co-operation in, financial regulation and in the fight against all crimes money laundering, and this has been recognised by the FATF, the FSF, and by individual countries. In respect of exchange of information, Jersey already exchanges information with respect to criminal tax matters, which includes some matters that in some jurisdictions may be regarded as civil tax issues.

The agreements are based on the assumption that if other jurisdictions, including OECD member states, fail to adopt equivalent commitments or to satisfy the standards of the 1998 report, they will be subject to the "common framework of defensive measures" to which the OECD has referred in its publications.

It has been widely reported that the Jersey representatives in the negotiations with the OECD took a strong, perhaps even aggressive approach so as to protect the economic interests of the Island. However, there was strong support from the Island’s finance industry for the manner in which the negotiations were conducted and a firm belief that the OECD was at least as keen for the Islands to be included within its initiative, as the Islands were not to be classified as uncooperative. In consequence, the general view is that the agreements reached by the Channel Islands with the OECD are much tighter and perhaps more favourable than those that have been entered into by other jurisdictions. There doesn’t appear to be any truth to the reports in some media that the UK Treasury put pressure on the Channel Island authorities to conclude these agreements; however, there is no doubt that the UK government will have welcomed the satisfactory conclusion to these negotiations. One Treasury official is reported to have noted that the commitments are "seen as important to the credibility of British efforts to help lead worldwide efforts to improve financial supervision".

Some specific issues included within Jersey's general political commitment to the OECD, which will also serve as the basis for bilateral negotiations on tax information exchange agreements, are to:


  • maintain legal mechanisms permitting information to be given to tax authorities in other jurisdictions, upon specific request for the investigation and prosecution of criminal tax matters. Such information will be provided on a reciprocal basis and in accordance with the legal procedures for handling such requests, such procedures to be set out in tax information exchange, or mutual legal assistance, agreements to be negotiated with individual jurisdictions;
  • maintain administrative arrangements and provide sufficient resources to ensure effective exchange of information;
  • provide information whether or not the conduct being investigated would constitute a crime under Jersey laws, if it occurred in Jersey;
  • provide to tax authorities upon specific request, and in accordance with tax information exchange agreements to be negotiated with individual countries, information that may be relevant to civil tax matters;
  • allow (subject to tax information exchange agreements) information to be exchanged through administrative means with tax authorities (including courts and duly authorised administrative bodies);
  • negotiate tax information exchange agreements, subject to there being full reciprocity (i.e. the other jurisdiction has the same or equivalent provisions for the relevant exchange of information) including adequate protection against the unauthorised disclosure of information by the receiving jurisdiction and taking fully into account privacy obligations arising out of Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights and similar obligations;


  • "ensure that information on beneficial ownership of companies, partnerships and other legal entities established in Jersey, including managers of collective investment funds, and trustees and beneficiaries of trusts, is available to its tax or regulatory authorities. This will include companies which, being incorporated elsewhere, have a place of business in the Island;
  • "ensure that the Jersey authorities have access to bank information relevant to tax matters of both resident and non-resident business enterprises, individuals and other entities, including trusts;
  • "require that accounts are kept by companies, partnerships, trusts and other legal entities established in Jersey or having a place of business in the Island. The requirement to audit accounts will follow accepted international standards and accounts will be required to be filed in support of tax returns; and
  • "allow for the information gathered in accordance with the preceding three paragraphs to be subject to exchange in accordance with negotiated tax information exchange agreements.

"The full text of the commitment letters can be found on the OECD’s web-site at,,EN-document-103-nodirectorate-no-21-4393-22,FF.html.

"It should be noted that the agreements do not provide for automatic or spontaneous exchange of information; the agreement simply provides that Jersey will maintain in place mechanisms that allow information to be provided to tax authorities upon specific request for the investigation and prosecution of civil and criminal tax actions.

"The agreement contemplates that Jersey will now participate on an equal basis with other jurisdictions in discussions in the Global Forum of OECD member countries and representative non-member countries and jurisdictions on the design of internationally accepted standards for the implementation of information exchange agreements and transparency of operations."

The content of this article does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on in that way. Specific advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions