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The Exchange of Tax Information Portal is an initiative of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The Global Forum conducts peer reviews of its member jurisdictions' ability to co-operate with other tax administrations in accordance with the internationally agreed standard. The standard provides for exchange of information on request where it is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic tax laws of the requesting jurisdiction. Effective exchange of information requires that jurisdictions ensure information is available, that it can be obtained by the tax authorities and that there are mechanisms in place allowing for the exchange of that information. The Global Forum's peer review process examines both the legal and regulatory aspects of exchange (Phase 1 reviews) and the exchange of information in practice (Phase 2). The EOI Portal will track the development of these peer reviews, including changes that jurisdictions make in response to the Global Forum's recommendations.

Peer Review: Peer Review Report Phase 1 Legal and Regulatory Framework - Vanuatu

This report for Vanuatu has been published on 26 Oct 2011. You can buy this report, or browse it online below.

Skip directly to the Executive Summary. You may also want to view the tables of determinations and ratings.


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Determinations and Recommendations

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.   Although Vanuatu’s AML laws cover most trustees and require a trustee to know the identity of the “customer”, there is no express requirement that the trustee know the settlor or beneficiaries of the trust.  Vanuatu should ensure that information is available to their competent authority that identifies the settlor and beneficiaries of a trust. 
Jurisdictions should ensure that reliable accounting records are kept for all relevant entities and arrangements. (ToR A.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   There are no clear requirements in Vanuatu’s laws that require partnerships (general, limited and offshore limited partnerships), international companies or trusts that are not unit trusts to maintain accounting records in line with the Terms of Reference.  Vanuatu should establish clear accounting requirements for all relevant entities in line with the Terms of Reference. 
Obligations to maintain underlying documents are not consistently in place for entities in Vanuatu.  Introduce consistent obligations on all types of entities to retain relevant accounting records, including underlying documentation for a minimum period of five years. 
In the case of international companies, partnerships (general, limited and offshore) and trusts, there is no requirement to maintain documents for a minimum of five years in line with the Terms of Reference.  Vanuatu should establish clear requirements that all relevant entities maintain accounting records for a minimum of five years, in line with the Terms of Reference. 
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
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 not in place.   Vanuatu’s authorities do not have the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under an exchange of information agreement from any person.  Vanuatu should enact legislation that would give the government powers to access information pursuant to a request from a treaty partner. 
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 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.      
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   Although Vanuatu’s TIEAs are nearly identical to the Model TIEA, it has not enacted legislation necessary to comply with the terms of its TIEAs, in particular, it has not access powers, and therefore they do not provide for effective exchange of information.  Vanuatu should enact legislation that would make its TIEAs effective. 
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   Because Vanuatu does not have the power to access information pursuant to an EOI request, none of its TIEAs are effective.  Vanuatu should enact legislation that would make its TIEAs effective. 
  Vanuatu should continue to develop its EOI network with all relevant partners. 
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.      
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.      
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.