Gabon

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Overall Phase 2 Rating is Largely Compliant

Table of Determinations and Ratings of the Phase 2 Review

Jurisdictions should ensure that ownership and identity information for all relevant entities and arrangements is available to their competent authorities. (ToR A.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   The new version of the OHADA Uniform Act on commercial companies and economic interest groupings provides for the dematerialisation of securities and allows companies a two-year period in which to comply. However, it does not precisely define the status of bearer shares which are not dematerialised on expiry of the transition period. There is no currently other provision in Gabonese law clarifying the terms and conditions of dematerialisation. Only 16 SA registered with the DGI may issue bearer shares under their articles of association, and only one SA has effectively issued bearer shares.  Gabon should take appropriate steps to implement the new version of the OHADA Uniform Act to ensure the dematerialisation of all bearer shares on expiry of the two-year transition period allowed to companies for that purpose. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Partially Compliant.  Although there have been efforts made to monitor ownership obligations in Gabon by the tax authorities, this monitoring has not been systematically applied during the accounting and tax inspections of the taxpayer. In addition, over the peer review period, the RCCM did not have a system in place for monitoring the compliance with ownership obligations.  It is recommended that Gabon improves its system for monitoring obligations to provide ownership information under both tax law and OHADA law, in order to ensure that information is up to date for all companies in Gabon. 
Although during the peer review period, no sanctions were applicable regarding the obligations of SA, SAS and assimilated companies to maintain a register of shareholders, Gabon recently adopted a tax provision that requires SA, SAS and assimilated companies to maintain a register of registered shares at their registered office, subject to penalties for non-compliance. However, it was not possible to test the implementation of this measure in practice  The Gabonese authorities must ensure effective monitoring of the tax obligation applicable to SA, SAS and assimilated entities to maintain an up-to-date register of nominative shareholders at their registered office and apply the appropriate sanction in case of non-compliance. 
Jurisdictions should ensure that reliable accounting records are kept for all relevant entities and arrangements. (ToR A.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
Competent authorities should have the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under an exchange of information arrangement from any person within their territorial jurisdiction who is in possession or control of such information (irrespective of any legal obligation on such person to maintain the secrecy of the information). (ToR B.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
The rights and safeguards (e.g. notification, appeal rights) that apply to persons in the requested jurisdiction should be compatible with effective exchange of information. (ToR B.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.     Gabon should continue to develop its exchange of information network with all relevant partners. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
The jurisdictions' mechanisms for exchange of information should have adequate provisions to ensure the confidentiality of information received. (ToR C.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
The exchange of information mechanisms should respect the rights and safeguards of taxpayers and third parties. (ToR C.4)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
The jurisdiction should provide information under its network of agreements in a timely manner. (ToR C.5)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The assessment team is not in a position to evaluate whether this element is in place, as it involves issues of practice that are dealt with in the Phase 2 review.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.  Gabon did not actually respond to an EOI request as it did not receive any request during the peer review period. However, it appeared that the current resources and the organisational process put in place to deal with requests for information at the end of the peer review period are adequate given the low number of demands received after the peer review period.  Gabon must monitor the operation of this new organisation for processing EOI requests, including the new EOI unit, in order to ensure that requests are processed quickly and efficiently. 

Earlier self-assessment based annual reports entitled Tax Co-operation 2010: Towards a Level Playing Field are also available.