Friday, 29 July 2016

Panama moves toward adoption of CRS

Panama has taken significant steps toward adopting the OECD’s common reporting standards (CRS):

  • On 19 April 2016, the Minister of the Presidency announced that Panama will begin to adopt the CRS so that it can begin exchanging financial account information on a bilateral basis with other jurisdictions starting in 2018.
  • On 29 April 2016, the government established an independent committee of national and international experts, as a first step to make sure that Panama takes the appropriate measures to build relationships and transparency with other countries. The committee is responsible for evaluating Panama´s current legal framework and the practices of the country´s financial services industry, to identify any vulnerabilities that may exist and that can be improved upon, as well as developing Panama´s global financial policies.
  • On 17 May 2016, Panamanian government officials met with the OECD in Paris to develop a framework to help guide the implementation of the CRS in Panama. The OECD has agreed to support Panama with any technical assistance that may be required for the implementation of the new legislation and the technological systems that would be required under the CRS.

Panama also has begun negotiations with other countries to adopt bilateral agreements on the automatic exchange of information that is required to be reported under the CRS. On 20 May 2016, representatives from Japan met with Panamanian officials to negotiate such an agreement. Although the negotiations are complete, the agreement is awaiting revisions from each of the governments and, therefore, it has yet to be signed. Panama also has agreed to begin negotiations with Germany and Singapore to adopt automatic exchange of information agreements in line with the CRS.
Source: Deloitte