Monaco: Double Tax Treaties
Other International Treaties
This page was last updated on 27 February 2021.
Monaco has tax information exchange agreements in force 22 countries: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, San Marino, Samoa, South Africa, Sweden, the UK and the USA.
Monaco has mutual legal assistance treaties with Spain, Belgium, Portugal, and Luxembourg.
Under Article 308 of the Monégasque Commercial Code and Article 57 of the French Banking Law, criminal sanctions are imposed on anyone who makes an unauthorized disclosure relating to matters governed by banking secrecy laws unless a specified exception applies by law. Disclosure can be made pursuant to criminal proceedings, requests for information from various government bodies such as customs and excise, pursuant to a court order in certain civil proceedings and where the provisions of a specific treaty apply as in the cases of the Hague Convention on Taking of Evidence Abroad on Civil or Commercial Matters 1927, the Vienna Convention against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances 1988 and the Treaty on Assistance in Judicial Matters between France and Monaco 1949.
Banking secrecy does not apply in regard to a request for information from an account holder's heirs and legatees, the account holder's authorized representative, against a spouse who has the appropriate court order, where one of the joint account holders wishes to release the bank from its secrecy obligation and the other account holders are not unduly prejudiced thereby, in the face of a request by a minor's representatives and in the face of a request by the legal representatives of a corporate body.
In December, 2005, Monaco's Prince Albert II and French President Jacques Chirac signed new agreements regulating the Franco-Monégasque relationship. The agreements include:
- A Convention which is designed to adapt and to strengthen administrative co-operation between the Principality of Monaco and the French Republic. It replaces the previous 1930 convention and has already undergone a preliminary application phase by means of Government expansion, with the nomination of a Government Counsellor for Social Affairs and Health and an External Relations Delegate.
- The Convention of judicial assistance between the Monégasque and French Governments with regard to criminal matters;
- Exchange of letters relating to investor securities, with the aim of completing the pre-existing exchange of letters concerning banking affairs in Monaco, as well as enabling banking establishments within the Principality to accede to the French investor security system.
The revision normalises Monaco's relationship with its larger neighbour, putting the two states on equal footing, updating the 1930 convention, and giving the Principality the autonomy promised in the build up to its entry into the Council of Europe. The agreement removes the restriction whereby French civil servants are appointed to many important positions in Monaco.
Given so many exemptions, it can be seen that the strict banking confidentiality which one associates with offshore financial havens does not apply in Monaco.
French nationals are in a particularly compromised position. The bank of France has considerable control over the Monaco banking system. Bankers in the Principality must respond to inquiries from the Bank of France and information communicated may be passed on to the French tax authorities and used either in the context of French criminal proceedings or in accordance with French law on international judicial assistance in criminal matters and in this way information may even be passed on to the appropriate authorities in a third country.
Monaco has also undertaken to increase its cooperation with the Financial Oversight Commission to revise the rules governing investment management companies and improve upon regulation and transparency in general.
The statement also stressed that the OECD and the FATF have 'noted progress by Monaco in the fight against money laundering.'