SopS 65-66/1978

Convention between the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Belgium for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital

SYNTHESISED TEXT OF THE MLI AND THE CONVENTION BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF FINLAND AND THE KINGDOM OF BELGIUM FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF DOUBLE TAXATION AND THE PREVENTION OF FISCAL EVASION WITH RESPECT TO TAXES ON INCOME AND ON CAPITAL

This document presents the synthesised text for the application of the Convention between the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Belgium for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital signed on 18 May 1976 and the Supplementary Agreement signed on 13 March 1991 and the Protocol signed on 15 September 2009 (the “Convention”), as modified by the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting signed by the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Belgium on 7 June 2017 (the “MLI”).

This document was prepared in consultation with the competent authority of the Kingdom of Belgium and represents a shared understanding of the modifications made to the Convention by the MLI.

The document was prepared on the basis of the MLI position of the Republic of Finland submitted to the Depositary upon acceptance on 25 February 2019 and of the MLI position of the Kingdom of Belgium submitted to the Depositary upon ratification on 26 June 2019. These MLI positions are subject to modifications as provided in the MLI. Modifications made to MLI positions could modify the effects of the MLI on the Convention.

The authentic legal texts of the Convention and the MLI take precedence and remain the legal texts applicable. Whereas the Convention as presented in this synthesised text incorporates changes contained in the Supplementary Agreement and the Protocol (signed on 13 March 1991 and 15 September 2009) into the original 1976 Convention for readability, the 1976 Convention, and the Supplementary Agreement and the Protocol (signed on 13 March 1991 and 15 September 2009) remain the legal texts applicable.

The provisions of the MLI that are applicable with respect to the provisions of the Convention are included in boxes throughout the text of this document in the context of the relevant provisions of the Convention. The boxes containing the provisions of the MLI have generally been inserted in accordance with the ordering of the provisions of the 2017 OECD Model Tax Convention.

Changes to the text of the provisions of the MLI have been made to conform the terminology used in the MLI to the terminology used in the Convention (such as “Covered Tax Agreement” and “Convention”, “Contracting Jurisdictions” and “Contracting States”), to ease the comprehension of the provisions of the MLI. The changes in terminology are intended to increase the readability of the document and are not intended to change the substance of the provisions of the MLI. Similarly, changes have been made to parts of provisions of the MLI that describe existing provisions of the Convention: descriptive language has been replaced by legal references of the existing provisions to ease the readability.

In all cases, references made to the provisions of the Convention or to the Convention must be understood as referring to the Convention as modified by the provisions of the MLI, provided such provisions of the MLI have taken effect.

Entry into Effect of the MLI Provisions

The provisions of the MLI applicable to this Convention do not take effect on the same dates as the original provisions of the Convention. Each of provisions of the MLI could take effect on different dates, depending on the types of taxes involved (taxes withheld at source or other taxes levied) and on the choices made by the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Belgium in their MLI positions.

Dates of the deposit of instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval: 25 February 2019 for the Republic of Finland and 26 June 2019 for the Kingdom of Belgium.

Entry into force of the MLI: 1 June 2019 for the Republic of Finland and 1 October 2019 for the Kingdom of Belgium.

This document provides specific information on the dates on or after which each of the provisions of the MLI has effect with respect to the Convention throughout this document.

References

The authentic legal texts of the MLI can be found on the MLI Depositary (OECD) webpage:

– in English: http://www.oecd.org/tax/treaties/multilateral-convention-to-implement-tax-treaty-related-measures-to-prevent-BEPS.pdf and

– in French: http://www.oecd.org/fr/fiscalite/conventions/convention-multilaterale-pour-la-mise-en-oeuvre-des-mesures-relatives-aux-conventions-fiscales-pour-prevenir-le-BEPS.pdf

The MLI position of the Republic of Finland submitted to the Depositary upon acceptance on 25 February 2019 and the MLI position of the Kingdom of Belgium submitted to the Depositary upon ratification on 26 June 2019 can be found on the MLI Depositary (OECD) webpage: http://www.oecd.org/tax/treaties/beps-mli-signatories-and-parties.pdf

The MLI Matching Database is publicly available on the OECD webpage: http://www.oecd.org/tax/treaties/mli-matching-database.htm

The Act on Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting is published in Statute Book of Finland 231/2019. Link to Finnish language version https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2019/20190231 Link to Swedish language version https://www.finlex.fi/sv/laki/alkup/2019/20190231

The Government´s Statute on the entry into force of the MLI and the Act and the Finnish text (translation) of the MLI is published in the Treaty Series of the Statute Book of Finland SopS 21-22/2019. Links to Finnish language versions https://www.finlex.fi/fi/sopimukset/sopsteksti/2019/20190021 and https://www.finlex.fi/fi/sopimukset/sopsteksti/2019/20190022

Links to Swedish language versions https://www.finlex.fi/sv/sopimukset/sopimussarja/2019/fds20190021.pdf and

https://www.finlex.fi/sv/sopimukset/sopimussarja/2019/fds20190022.pdf

The Announcement of the Ministry of Finance on the entry into force of the MLI in the Kingdom of Belgium is published in the Treaty Series of the Statute Book of Finland SopS 63/2019. Link to Finnish language version https://finlex.fi/fi/sopimukset/sopsteksti/2019/20190063 Link to Swedish language version

https://finlex.fi/sv/sopimukset/sopimussarja/2019/fds20190063.pdf

Convention between the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Belgium for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital signed on 18 May 1976 is published in the Treaty Series of the Statute Book of Finland SopS 66/1978. Link to Finnish language version: https://www.finlex.fi/fi/sopimukset/sopsteksti/1978/19780066

Supplementary Agreement to amend the Convention between the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Belgium for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital signed on 13 March 1991 is published in the Treaty Series of the Statute Book of Finland SopS 54/1997. Link to Finnish language version

https://www.finlex.fi/fi/sopimukset/sopsteksti/1997/19970054/19970054_2

Protocol Amending the Convention between the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Belgium for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and On Capital Signed on 18 May 1976, as Amended by the Supplementary Agreement Signed on 13 March 1991 signed on 15 September 2009 is published in the Treaty Series of the Statute Book of Finland SopS 13/2014. Link to Finnish language version

https://www.finlex.fi/fi/sopimukset/sopsteksti/2014/20140013 Link to Swedish language version https://finlex.fi/sv/sopimukset/sopimussarja/2014/20140013.pdf

Exchange of Notes on 9 February and 2 March 2011 SopS 65/2014. Link to Finnish language version https://www.finlex.fi/fi/sopimukset/sopsteksti/2014/20140065 Link to Swedish language version https://finlex.fi/sv/sopimukset/sopimussarja/2014/20140065.pdf

Convention between the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Belgium for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital

The Government of the Republic of Finland and the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium,

[REPLACED by paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the MLI]

[desiring to conclude a new Convention for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and on capital,]

Thefollowing paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the MLI replaces the text referring to an intent to eliminate double taxation in the preamble of this Convention:1
ARTICLE 6 OF THE MLI – PURPOSE OF A COVERED TAX AGREEMENT

Intending to eliminate double taxation with respect to the taxes covered by [this Convention] without creating opportunities for non-taxation or reduced taxation through tax evasion or avoidance (including through treaty-shopping arrangements aimed at obtaining reliefs provided in [the Convention] for the indirect benefit of residents of third jurisdictions),

have agreed as follows:

Article 1
Personal scope

This Convention shall apply to persons who are residents of one or both of the Contracting States.

Article 2
Taxes covered

1. This Convention shall apply to taxes on income and on capital imposed on behalf of each Contracting State or of its public communities or local authorities, irrespective of the manner in which they are levied.

2. There shall be regarded as taxes on income and on capital all taxes imposed on total income, on total capital, or on elements of income or of capital, including taxes on gains from the alienation of movable or immovable property, as well as taxes on capital appreciation.

3. The existing taxes to which the Convention shall apply are, in particular:

a) in Belgium:

(i) the individual income tax (impôt des personnes physiques – personenbelasting);

(ii) the corporate income tax (impôt des sociétés – vennootschapsbelasting);

(iii) the income tax on legal entities (impôt des personnes morales – rechtspersonenbelasting);

(iv) the income tax on non-residents (impôt des non-résidents – belasting van de niet-verblijfhouders);

including the prepayments, the surcharges on these taxes and prepayments, and the communal supplement to the individual income tax;

(hereinafter referred to as "Belgian tax");

b) in Finland:

(i) the state income and capital tax (tulo- ja varallisuusvero – inkomst- och förmögenhetsskatten);

(ii) the communal tax (kunnallisvero – kommunalskatten);

(iii) the church tax (kirkollisvero – kyrkoskatten);

(iv) the sailors’ tax (merimiesvero – sjömansskatten);

(hereinafter referred to as "Finnish tax").

4. The Convention shall apply also to any identical or substantially similar taxes which are imposed after the date of signature of this Convention in addition to, or in place of, the existing taxes. The competent authorities of the Contracting States shall notify to each other any significant changes which have been made in their respective taxation laws.

Article 3
General definitions

1. In this Convention, unless the context otherwise requires:

a) the term "Belgium" means the Kingdom of Belgium; when used in a geographical sense, it includes any area outside the Belgian national sovereignty which has been or may hereafter be designated, under the Belgian laws concerning the continental shelf and in accordance with international law, as an area within which the rights of Belgium with respect to the seabed and subsoil and their natural resources may be exercised;

b) the term "Finland" means the Republic of Finland and, when used in a geographical sense, means the territory of the Republic of Finland, and any area adjacent to the territorial waters of the Republic of Finland within which, under the laws of Finland and in accordance with international law, the rights of Finland with respect to the exploration and exploitation of the natural resources of the seabed and its subsoil may be exercised; as regards the communal tax the term does not include the County of Aland;

c) the term "person" comprises an individual, a company and any other body of persons;

d) the term "company" means any body corporate or any entity which is treated as a body corporate for tax purposes in the Contracting State of which it is a resident;

e) the terms "enterprise of a Contracting State" and "enterprise of the other Contracting State" mean respectively an enterprise carried on by a resident of a Contracting State and an enterprise carried on by a resident of the other Contracting State;

f) the term "national" means:

(i) any individual possessing the nationality of a Contracting State;

(ii) any legal person, partnership and association deriving its status as such from the law in force in a Contracting State;

g) the term "international traffic" means any transport by a ship or aircraft operated by an enterprise which has its place of effective management in a Contracting State, except when the ship or aircraft is operated solely between places in the other Contracting State;

h) the term "competent authority" means:

(i) in the case of Belgium, the Minister responsible for finance or his authorised representative;

(ii) in the case of Finland, the Ministry of Finance or its authorised representative.

2. As regards the application of the Convention by a Contracting State any term not otherwise defined shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have the meaning which it has under the laws of that Contracting State relating to the taxes which are the subject of the Convention.

Article 4
Fiscal domicile

1. For the purposes of this Convention, the term "resident of a Contracting State" means any person whose income or capital, under the law of that State, is subject to tax therein by reason of his domicile, residence, place of management or any other criterion of a similar nature. But this term does not include any person who is liable to tax in that Contracting State in respect only of income from sources therein or capital situated in that State. An undivided estate shall be deemed to be a resident of the Contracting State of which the deceased was a resident at the time of his death according to the provisions of this paragraph or the provisions of paragraph 2.

2. Where by reason of the provisions of paragraph 1 an individual is a resident of both Contracting States, then his status shall be determined as follows:

a) He shall be deemed to be a resident of the Contracting State in which he has a permanent home available to him. If he has a permanent home available to him in both Contracting States, he shall be deemed to be a resident of the Contracting State with which his personal and economic relations are the closer (centre of vital interests);

b) If the Contracting State in which he has his centre of vital interests cannot be determined, or if he has not a permanent home available to him in either Contracting State, he shall be deemed to be a resident of the Contracting State in which he has an habitual abode;

c) If he has an habitual abode in both Contracting States or in neither of them, he shall be deemed to be a resident of the Contracting State of which he is a national;

d) If he is a national of both Contracting States or of neither of them, the competent authorities of the Contracting States shall settle the question by mutual agreement.

3. Where by reason of the provisions of paragraph 1 a person other than an individual is a resident of both Contracting States, then it shall be deemed to be a resident of the Contracting State in which its place of effective management is situated.

Article 5
Permanent establishment

1. For the purposes of this Convention the term "permanent establishment" means a fixed place of business in which the business of the enterprise is wholly or partly carried on.

2. The term "permanent establishment" shall include especially:

a) a place of management;

b) a branch;

c) an office;

d) a factory;

e) a workshop;

f) a mine, quarry or other place of extraction of natural resources;

g) a building site or construction or assembly project which exists for more than twelve months.

3. The term "permanent establishment" shall be deemed not to include:

a) the use of facilities solely for the purpose of storage, display or delivery of goods or merchandise belonging to the enterprise;

b) the maintenance of a stock of goods or merchandise belonging to the enterprise solely for the purpose of storage, display or delivery;

c) the maintenance of a stock of goods or merchandise belonging to the enterprise solely for the purpose of processing by another enterprise;

d) the maintenance of a fixed place of business solely for the purpose of purchasing goods or merchandise, or for collecting information, for the enterprise;

e) the maintenance of a fixed place of business solely for the purpose of advertising, for the supply of information, for scientific research or for similar activities which have a preparatory or auxiliary character, for the enterprise.

4. A person acting in a Contracting State on behalf of an enterprise of the other Contracting State – other than an agent of an independent status to whom paragraph 5 applies – shall be deemed to be a permanent establishment in the first-mentioned State if he has, and habitually exercises in that State, an authority to conclude contracts in the name of the enterprise, unless his activities are limited to the purchase of goods or merchandise for the enterprise.

5. An enterprise of a Contracting State shall not be deemed to have a permanent establishment in the other Contracting State merely because it carries on business in that other State through a broker, general commission agent or any other agent of an independent status, where such persons are acting in the ordinary course of their business.

6. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs 4 and 5, an insurance enterprise of one of the Contracting States shall be deemed to have a permanent establishment in the other State if it collects premiums in that other State or insures risks situated therein through an agent as is mentioned in paragraph 4 or an agent of an independent status who has and habitually exercises an authority to conclude contracts in the name of the enterprise.

7. The fact that a company which is a resident of a Contracting State controls or is controlled by a company which is a resident of the other Contracting State, or which carries on business in that other State (whether through a permanent establishment or otherwise), shall not of itself make either company a permanent establishment of the other.

Article 6
Income from immovable property

1. Income from immovable property including income from agriculture or forestry may be taxed in the Contracting State in which such property is situated.

2. The term "immovable property" shall be defined in accordance with the law of the Contracting State in which the property in question is situated. The term shall in any case include property accessory to immovable property, livestock and equipment used in agriculture and forestry, rights to which the provisions of general law respecting landed property apply usufruct of immovable property and rights to variable or fixed payments as consideration for the working of, or the right to work, mineral deposits, sources and other natural resources; ships and aircraft shall not be regarded as immovable property.

3. The provisions of paragraph 1 shall apply to income derived from the direct use, letting, or use in any other form of immovable property.

4. Where the ownership of shares or other corporate rights in a company, being a resident of Finland, entitles the owner of such shares or corporate rights to the enjoyment of immovable property owned by the company, the income from the direct use, letting, or use in any other form of such right to enjoyment may be taxed in the Contracting State in which the immovable property is situated.

5. The provisions of paragraphs 1, 3 and 4 shall also apply to the income from immovable property of an enterprise and to income from immovable property used for the performance of professional services.

Article 7
Business profits

1. The profits of an enterprise of a Contracting State shall be taxable only in that State unless the enterprise carries on business in the other Contracting State through a permanent establishment situated therein. If the enterprise carries on business as aforesaid, the profits of the enterprise may be taxed in the other State but only so much of them as is attributable to that permanent establishment.

2. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 3, where an enterprise of a Contracting State carries on business in the other Contracting State through a permanent establishment situated therein, there shall in each Contracting State be attributed to that permanent establishment the profits which it might be expected to make if it were a distinct and separate enterprise engaged in the same or similar activities under the same or similar conditions and dealing wholly independently with the enterprise of which it is a permanent establishment.

3. In the determination of the profits of a permanent establishment, there shall be allowed as deductions, expenses which are incurred for the purposes of the permanent establishment including executive and general administrative expenses so incurred, whether in the State in which the permanent establishment is situated or elsewhere.

4. Insofar as it has been customary in a Contracting State to determine the profits to be attributed to a permanent establishment on the basis of an apportionment of the total profits of the enterprise to its various parts, nothing in paragraph 2 shall preclude that Contracting State from determining the profits to be taxed by such an apportionment as may be customary; the method of apportionment adopted shall, however, be such that the result shall be in accordance with the principles embodied in this Article.

5. No profits shall be attributed to a permanent establishment by reason of the mere purchase by that permanent establishment of goods or merchandise for the enterprise.

6. For the purposes of the preceding paragraphs, the profits to be attributed to the permanent establishment shall be determined by the same method year by year unless there is good and sufficient reason to the contrary.

7. Where profits include items of income which are dealt with separately in other Articles of this Convention, then the provisions of these Articles shall not be affected by the provisions of this Article.

Article 8
Shipping and air transport

1. Profits from the operation of ships or aircraft in international traffic shall be taxable only in the Contracting State in which the place of effective management of the enterprise is situated.

2. If the place of effective management of a shipping enterprise is aboard a ship, then it shall be deemed to be situated in the Contracting State in which the home harbour of the ship is situated or, if there is no such home harbour, in the Contracting State of which the operator of the ship is a resident.

3. The provisions of paragraph 1 shall also apply to profits derived from the participation in a pool, a joint business or in an international operating agency.

Article 9
Associated Enterprises

1. Where

a) an enterprise of a Contracting State participates directly or indirectly in the management, control or capital of an enterprise of the other Contracting State, or

b) the same persons participate directly or indirectly in the management, control or capital of an enterprise of a Contracting State and an enterprise of the other Contracting State,

and in either case conditions are made or imposed between the two enterprises in their commercial or financial relations which differ from those which would be made between independent enterprises, then any profits which would, but for those conditions, have accrued to one of the enterprises, but by reason of those conditions, have not so accrued, may be included in the profits of that enterprise and taxed accordingly.

2. Where profits on which an enterprise of a Contracting State has been charged to tax in that State are also included, by virtue of paragraph 1, in the profits of an enterprise of the other Contracting State and taxed accordingly, and the profits so included are profits which might have been expected to have accrued to the enterprise of the other State if the conditions operative between the enterprises had been those which might have been expected to have operated between independent enterprises dealing wholly independently with one another, then the first-mentioned State shall make such adjustment as it considers appropriate to the amount of tax charged on those profits in the first-mentioned State. In determining any adjustment, due regard shall be had to the other provisions of this Convention, and for this purpose the competent authorities of the Contracting States shall if necessary consult each other.

Article 10
Dividends

1. Dividends paid by a company which is a resident of a Contracting State to a resident of the other Contracting State may be taxed in that other State.

2. However, such dividends may be taxed in the Contracting State of which the company paying the dividends is a resident, and according to the law of that State, but if the recipient is the beneficial owner of the dividends, the tax so charged shall not exceed:

a) 5 per cent of the gross amount of the dividends if the recipient is a company which holds directly at least 25 per cent of the capital of the company paying the dividends;

b) 15 per cent of the gross amount of the dividends in all other cases.

This paragraph shall not affect the taxation of the company in respect of the profits out of which the dividends are paid. (SopS 53–54/1997)

3. The term "dividends" as used in this Article means income from shares or other rights, not being debt-claims participating in profits, as well as income from other corporate rights which is subjected to the same taxation treatment as income from shares by the taxation law of the State of which the company making the distribution is a resident. The term includes income, even when paid in the form of interest, which is taxable as income from capital invested by the members of a company other than a company with share capital, which is a resident of Belgium.

4. The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply if the recipient of the dividends, being a resident of a Contracting State, carries on business in the other Contracting State of which the company paying the dividends is a resident, through a permanent establishment situated therein, or performs in that other State professional services from a fixed base situated therein, and the holding in respect of which the dividends are paid is effectively connected with such permanent establishment or fixed base. In such a case the provisions of Article 7 or Article 14, as the case may be, shall apply.

5. Where a company which is a resident of a Contracting State derives profits or income from the other Contracting State, that other State may not impose any tax on the dividends paid by the company to a resident of that first-mentioned State, nor subject the company's undistributed profits to a tax on the company's undistributed profits, even if the dividends paid or the undistributed profits consist wholly or partly of profits or income arising in such other State; this provision shall not prevent that other State from taxing dividends relating to a holding which is effectively connected with a permanent establishment or a fixed base situated in that other State.

See also Protocol to this Agreement.

Article 11
Interest

1. Interest arising in a Contracting State and paid to a resident of the other Contracting State may be taxed in that other State.

2. However, such interest may be taxed in the Contracting State in which it arises, and according to the law of that State, but if the recipient is the beneficial owner of the interest, the tax so charged shall not exceed 10 per cent of the amount of the interest.

3. The term "interest" as used in this Article means income from debt-claims of every kind, whether or not secured by mortgage, and whether or not carrying a right to participate in the debtor's profits, and in particular, income from government securities and income from bonds or debentures, including premiums and prizes attaching to bonds or debentures.

This term shall not include:

a) interest taxable under the Belgian law as income from capital invested by the members of a company other than a company with share capital which is a resident of Belgium, such interest being assimilated to dividends under paragraph 3 of Article 10;

b) penalty charges for late payment;

c) interest from commercial debt-claims – including debt-claims represented by commercial paper – resulting from deferred payments for goods or merchandise or services supplied by an enterprise;

d) interest on current accounts or on advance payments between banks of the Contracting States;

e) interest on deposits of sums of money – not represented by bearer bonds – with banks including public credit institutions.

The interest mentioned under c) and d) of the preceding subsection is subject to the provisions of Article 7 and the interest mentioned under b) and e) is subject to the provisions of Article 7 or Article 21, as the case may be.

4. The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply if the recipient of the interest, being a resident of a Contracting State, carries on business in the other Contracting State in which the interest arises, through a permanent establishment situated therein, or performs in that other State professional services from a fixed base situated therein, and the debt-claim in respect of which the interest is paid is effectively connected with such permanent establishment or fixed base. In such a case, the provisions of Article 7 or Article 14, as the case may be, shall apply.

5. Interest shall be deemed to arise in a Contracting State when the payer is that State itself, a public community, a local authority or a resident of that State. Where, however, the person paying the interest, whether he is a resident of a Contracting State or not, has in a Contracting State a permanent establishment in connection with which the indebtedness on which the interest is paid was incurred, and such interest is borne by such permanent establishment, then such interest shall be deemed to arise in the Contracting State in which the permanent establishment is situated.

6. Where, owing to a special relationship between the payer and the recipient or between both of them and some other person, the amount of the interest paid, having regard to the debt-claim for which it is paid, exceeds the amount which would have been agreed upon by the payer and the recipient in the absence of such relationship, the provisions of this Article shall apply only to the last-mentioned amount. In that case, the excess part of the interest may be taxed in the Contracting State in which the interest arises according to the law of that State.

Article 12
Royalties

1. Royalties arising in a Contracting State and paid to a resident of the other Contracting State may be taxed in that other State.

2. However, royalties of the kind referred to in sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph 3 may be taxed in the Contracting State in which they arise, and according to the law of that State, but if the recipient is the beneficial owner of the royalties, the tax so charged shall not exceed 5 per cent of the gross amount of the royalties.

3. The term "royalties" as used in this Article means payments of any kind received as a consideration for the use of, or the right to use:

a) any copyright of literary, artistic or scientific work including cinematograph films, and films or tapes for television or radio broadcasting;

b) any patent, trade mark, design or model, plan, secret formula or process, or any industrial, commercial, or scientific equipment, or for information concerning industrial, commercial or scientific experience.

4. The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply if the recipient of the royalties, being a resident of a Contracting State, carries on business in the other Contracting State in which the royalties arise, through a permanent establishment situated therein, or performs in that other State professional services from a fixed base situated therein, and the right or property in respect of which the royalties are paid is effectively connected with such permanent establishment or fixed base. In such a case, the provisions of Article 7 or Article 14, as the case may be, shall apply.

5. Royalties shall be deemed to arise in a Contracting State when the payer is that Contracting State itself, a public community, a local authority or a resident of that State. Where, however, the person paying the royalties, whether he is a resident of a Contracting State or not, has in a Contracting State a permanent establishment in connection with which the liability to pay the royalties was incurred, and such royalties are borne by such permanent establishment, then such royalties shall be deemed to arise in the Contracting State in which the permanent establishment is situated.

6. Where, owing to a special relationship between the payer and the recipient or between both of them and some other person, the amount of the royalties paid, having regard to the use, right or information for which they are paid, exceeds the amount which would have been agreed upon by the payer and the recipient in the absence of such relationship, the provisions of this Article shall apply only to the last-mentioned amount. In that case, the excess part of the royalties may be taxed in the Contracting State in which the royalties arise, according to the law of that State.

Article 13
Capital gains

1. Gains from the alienation of immovable property, as defined in paragraph 2 of Article 6, may be taxed in the Contracting State in which such property is situated.

2. Gains from the alienation of movable property forming part of the business property of a permanent establishment which an enterprise of a Contracting State has in the other Contracting State or of movable property pertaining to a fixed base available to a resident of a Contracting State in the other Contracting State for the purpose of performing professional services, including such gains from the alienation of such a permanent establishment (alone or together with the whole enterprise) or of such a fixed base, may be taxed in the other State. However, gains from the alienation of movable property of the kind referred to in paragraph 3 of Article 23 shall be taxable only in the Contracting State in which such movable property is taxable according to the said Article.

3. Gains from the alienation of corporate rights referred to in paragraph 4 of Article 6 may be taxed in the Contracting State in which the immovable property owned by the company is situated.

4. Gains from the alienation of any property other than those mentioned in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3, shall be taxable only in the Contracting State of which the alienator is a resident.

Article 14
Independent personal services

1. Income derived by a resident of a Contracting State in respect of professional services or other independent activities of a similar character shall be taxable only in that State unless he has a fixed base regularly available to him in the other Contracting State for the purpose of performing his activities. If he has such a fixed base, the income may be taxed in the other Contracting State but only so much of it as is attributable to that fixed base.

2. The term "professional services" includes especially independent scientific, literary, artistic, educational or teaching activities as well as the independent activities of physicians, lawyers, engineers, architects, dentists and accountants.

Article 15
Dependent personal services

1. Subject to the provisions of Articles 16, 18, 19 and 20, salaries, wages and other similar remuneration derived by a resident of a Contracting State in respect of an employment shall be taxable only in that State unless the employment is exercised in the other Contracting State. If the employment is so exercised, such remuneration as is derived therefrom may be taxed in that other State.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1, remuneration derived by a resident of a Contracting State in respect of an employment exercised in the other Contracting State shall be taxable only in the first-mentioned State if:

a) the recipient is present in the other State for a period or periods not exceeding in the aggregate 183 days in the calendar year concerned, and

b) the remuneration is paid by, or on behalf of, an employer who is not a resident of the other State, and

c) the remuneration is not borne by a permanent establishment or a fixed base which the employer has in the other State.

3. Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this Article, remuneration in respect of an employment exercised aboard a ship or aircraft in international traffic, may be taxed in the Contracting State in which the place of effective management of the enterprise is situated.

Article 16 (SopS 53–54/1997)
Directors' fees

1. Directors' fees and other similar payments derived by a resident of a Contracting State in his capacity as a member of the board of directors or a similar organ of a company which is a resident of the other Contracting State may be taxed in that other State. This provision shall also apply to payments derived in respect of services rendered in the discharge of functions which under the laws of the Contracting State of which the company is a resident are treated as functions similar to those stated hereinbefore.

2. Remuneration paid by a company to any of its directors in respect of services rendered in the discharge of day-to-day functions of a managerial or technical nature and remuneration paid by a company, other than a company with share capital, to any of its members in respect of his personal activity as such member may be taxed in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of Article 15, as if the remuneration were paid in respect of an employment.

Article 17
Artistes and athletes

1. Notwithstanding the provisions of Articles 14 and 15, income derived by entertainers, such as theatre, motion picture, radio or television artistes, and musicians, and by athletes, from their personal activities as such may be taxed in the Contracting State in which these activities are exercised.

2. Where income in respect of personal activities as such of an entertainer or athlete accrues not to that entertainer or athlete himself but to another person that income may, notwithstanding the provisions of Articles 7, 14 and 15, be taxed in the Contracting State in which the activities of the entertainer or athlete are exercised.

Article 18 (SopS 53–54/1997)
Pensions and annuities

1. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 19, pensions and other similar remuneration paid in consideration of past employment to a resident of a Contracting State shall be taxable only in that State.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1, and subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 19, pensions and other allowances, periodic or non-periodic, paid under the social security legislation of a Contracting State or under a public scheme organised by a Contracting State for social welfare purposes, and any annuity arising in that State may be taxed in that State.

3. The term "annuity" as used in this Article means a stated sum payable periodically at stated times during life, or during a specified or ascertainable period of time, under an obligation to make the payments in return for adequate and full consideration in money or money's worth (other than services rendered).

Article 19
Government service

1. a) Remuneration, other than a pension, paid by a Contracting State or a public community or a local authority thereof to any individual in respect of services rendered to that State or public community or local authority thereof shall be taxable only in that State.

b) However, such remuneration shall be taxable only in the Contracting State of which the recipient is a resident if the services are rendered in that State and the recipient

(i) is a national of that State; or

(ii) did not become a resident of that State solely for the purpose of performing the services.

2. a) Any pension paid by, or out of funds created by, a Contracting State or a public community or a local authority thereof to any individual in respect of services rendered to that State or public community or local authority thereof shall be taxable only in that State.

b) However, such pension shall be taxable only in the Contracting State of which the recipient is a resident if he is a national of that State.

3. The provisions of Articles 15, 16 and 18 shall apply to remuneration and pensions in respect of services rendered in connection with any business carried on by one of the Contracting States or a public community or a local authority thereof.

Article 20
Students

1. Payments which a student or business, technical, agricultural or forestry apprentice who is present in a Contracting State solely for the purpose of his education or training and who is or was immediately before such visit a resident of the other Contracting State receives for the purpose of his maintenance, education or training shall not be taxed in the first-mentioned Contracting State, provided that such payments are made to him from sources outside that State.

2. A student at a university or other institution for higher education in a Contracting State, or a business, technical, agricultural or forestry apprentice who is present in the other Contracting State for a period or periods not exceeding in the aggregate 183 days in the calendar year concerned and who is or was immediately before such visit a resident of the first-mentioned State, shall not be taxed in the other Contracting State in respect of remuneration for services rendered in that other State, provided that the services are in connection with his studies or training and the remuneration constitutes earnings necessary for his maintenance.

Article 21
Other income

1. Items of income of a resident of a Contracting State, wherever arising, not dealt with in the foregoing Articles of this Convention shall be taxable only in that State.

2. The provisions of paragraph 1 shall not apply if the recipient of the income, being a resident of a Contracting State, carries on business in the other Contracting State through a permanent establishment situated therein, or performs in that other State professional services from a fixed base situated therein, and the right or property in respect of which the income is paid is effectively connected with such permanent establishment or fixed base. In such a case the provisions of Article 7 or Article 14, as the case may be, shall apply.

Article 22
Undivided estates

Where under the provisions of this Convention a resident of Belgium is exempt or entitled to relief from Finnish tax, similar exemption or relief shall be applied to undivided estates in so far as one or more of the beneficiaries is a resident of Belgium.

Article 23
Capital

1. Capital represented by immovable property, as defined in paragraph 2 of Article 6, may be taxed in the Contracting State in which such property is situated.

2. Capital represented by movable property forming part of the business property of a permanent establishment of an enterprise, or by movable property pertaining to a fixed base used for the performance of professional services, may be taxed in the Contracting State in which the permanent establishment or fixed base is situated.

3. Ships and aircraft operated in international traffic, and movable property pertaining to the operation of such ships and aircraft, shall be taxable only in the Contracting State in which the place of effective management of the enterprise is situated.

4. Corporate rights referred to in paragraph 4 of Article 6 may be taxed in the Contracting State in which the immovable property owned by the company is situated.

5. All other elements of capital of a resident of a Contracting State shall be taxable only in that State.

Article 24 (SopS 53–54/1997)
Elimination of double taxation

1. In the case of Belgium, double taxation shall be avoided as follows:

a) Where a resident of Belgium derives income or owns capital which may be taxed in Finland in accordance with the provisions of this Convention, other than those of paragraph 2 of Article 10, of paragraphs 2 and 6 of Article 11 and of paragraphs 2 and 6 of Article 12, Belgium shall exempt such income or capital from tax but may, in calculating the amount of tax on the remaining income or capital of that resident, apply the rate of tax which would have been applicable if such income or capital had not been exempted.

b) Where a resident of Belgium derives items of his aggregate income for Belgian tax purposes which are dividends taxable in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 10, and not exempt from Belgian tax according to sub-paragraph e) below, interest taxable in accordance with paragraph 2 or 6 of Article 11, or royalties taxable in accordance with paragraph 2 or 6 of Article 12, the fixed proportion in respect of the foreign tax for which provision is made under Belgian law shall, under the conditions and at the rate provided for by such law, be allowed as a credit against Belgian tax relating to such income.

c) Where a resident of Belgium derives income which has been taxed in Finland in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 3 of Article 13, the amount of Belgian tax proportionately attributable to such income shall not exceed the amount which would be charged according to Belgian law if such income were taxed as earned income derived from sources outside Belgium and subject to foreign tax.

d) Where a resident of Belgium derives income from an undivided estate which is a resident of Finland, and such income may be taxed in Finland in accordance with the Convention, the provisions of sub-paragraph a) or sub-paragraph b), as the case may be, shall apply according to the nature of the income.

e) Where a company which is a resident of Belgium owns shares in a company which is a resident of Finland, the dividends which are paid to it by the latter company shall be exempt from the corporate income tax in Belgium under the conditions and within the limits provided for in Belgian law.

f) Where, in accordance with Belgian law, losses of an enterprise carried on by a resident of Belgium which are attributable to a permanent establishment situated in Finland have been effectively deducted from the profits of that enterprise for its taxation in Belgium, the exemption provided for in sub-paragraph a) shall not apply in Belgium to the profits of other taxable periods attributable to that establishment to the extent that those profits have also been exempted from tax in Finland by reason of compensation for the said losses.

2. In the case of Finland, double taxation shall be avoided as follows:

a) Where a resident of Finland derives income or owns capital which, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention, may be taxed in Belgium, Finland shall, subject to the provisions of sub-paragraph b), allow:

(i) as a deduction from the tax on income of that person, an amount equal to the tax on income paid in Belgium;

(ii) as a deduction from the tax on capital of that person, an amount equal to the tax on capital paid in Belgium.

Such deduction in either case shall not, however, exceed that part of the tax on income or on capital, as computed before the deduction is given, which is attributable, as the case may be, to the income or the capital which may be taxed in Belgium.

b) Dividends paid by a company which is a resident of Belgium to a company which is a resident of Finland and controls directly at least 10 per cent of the voting power in the company paying the dividends shall be exempt from Finnish tax.

c) Where in accordance with any provisions of the Convention income derived or capital owned by a resident of Finland is exempt from tax in Finland, Finland may nevertheless, in calculating the amount of tax on the remaining income or capital of such resident, take into account the exempted income or capital.

Article 25
Non-discrimination

1. The nationals of a Contracting State, whether or not they are residents of one of the Contracting States, shall not be subjected in the other Contracting State to any taxation or any requirement connected therewith, which is other or more burdensome than the taxation and connected requirements to which nationals of that other State in the same circumstances are or may be subjected.

2. The taxation on a permanent establishment which an enterprise of a Contracting State has in the other Contracting State shall not be less favourably levied in that other State than the taxation levied on enterprises of that other State carrying on the same activities.

This provision shall not be construed as obliging a Contracting State to grant to residents of the other Contracting State any personal allowances, reliefs and reductions for taxation purposes on account of civil status or family responsibilities which it grants to its own residents.

3. Except where the provisions of paragraph 1 of Article 9, paragraph 6 of Article 11, or paragraph 6 of Article 12, apply, interest, royalties and other disbursements paid by an enterprise of a Contracting State to a resident of the other Contracting State shall, for the purpose of determining the taxable profits or such enterprise, be deductible under the same condition as if they had been paid to a resident of the first-mentioned State.

Similarly, any debts of an enterprise of a Contracting State to a resident of the other Contracting State shall, for the purpose of determining the taxable capital of such enterprise, be deductible as if they had been contracted to a resident of the first-mentioned State.

4. Enterprises of a Contracting State, the capital of which is wholly or partly owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by one or more residents of the other Contracting State, shall not be subjected in the first-mentioned Contracting State to any taxation or any requirement connected therewith which is other or more burdensome than the taxation and connected requirements to which other similar enterprises of that first-mentioned State are or may be subjected.

5. Nothing in this Article shall be construed so as to prevent Belgium from imposing the movable property prepayment on dividends derived from a holding which is effectively connected with a permanent establishment or a fixed base maintained in Belgium by a company which is a resident of Finland or by an association which has its place of effective management in Finland and is taxable as a body corporate in Belgium.

6. In this Article the term "taxation" means taxes of every kind and description.

Article 26
Mutual agreement procedure

1.

[The first sentence of paragraph 1 of Article 26 of this Convention is REPLACED by the first sentence of paragraph 1 of Article 16 of the MLI]

[Where a resident of a Contracting State considers that the actions of one or both of the Contracting States result or will result for him in taxation not in accordance with this Convention, he may, notwithstanding the remedies provided by the national laws of those States, present his case to the competent authority of the Contracting State of which he is a resident or, if his case comes under paragraph 1 of Article 25, to that of the Contracting State of which he is a national.]

The following first sentence of paragraph 1 of Article 16 of the MLI replaces the first sentence of paragraph 1 of Article 26 of this Convention:2
ARTICLE 16 OF THE MLI – MUTUAL AGREEMENT PROCEDURE

Where a person considers that the actions of one or both of the [Contracting States] result or will result for that person in taxation not in accordance with the provisions of [this Convention], that person may, irrespective of the remedies provided by the domestic law of those [Contracting States], present the case to the competent authority of either [Contracting State].

This case must be presented within three years from the first notification of the action giving rise to taxation not in accordance with the Convention.

2. The competent authority shall endeavour, if the objection appears to it to be justified and if it is not itself able to arrive at an appropriate solution, to resolve the case by mutual agreement with the competent authority of the other Contracting State, with a view to the avoidance of taxation which is not in accordance with the Convention.

The following second sentence of paragraph 2 of Article 16 of the MLI applies to this Convention:3
ARTICLE 16 OF THE MLI – MUTUAL AGREEMENT PROCEDURE

Any agreement reached shall be implemented notwithstanding any time limits in the domestic law of the [Contracting States].

3. The competent authorities of the Contracting States shall endeavour to resolve by mutual agreement any difficulties or doubts arising as to the application of the Convention.

The following first sentence of paragraph 3 of Article 16 of the MLI applies to this Convention:4
ARTICLE 16 OF THE MLI – MUTUAL AGREEMENT PROCEDURE

The competent authorities of the [Contracting States] shall endeavour to resolve by mutual agreement any difficulties or doubts arising as to the interpretation or application of [the Convention].

The following second sentence of paragraph 3 of Article 16 of the MLI applies to this Convention:5
ARTICLE 16 OF THE MLI – MUTUAL AGREEMENT PROCEDURE

They may also consult together for the elimination of double taxation in cases not provided for in [the Convention].

4. The competent authorities of the Contracting States shall agree on administrative measures necessary to carry out the provisions of the Convention, particularly on the proofs to be furnished by residents of either Contracting State in order to benefit in the other Contracting State from the exemptions and reductions in tax provided for in the Convention. When it seems advisable in order to reach agreement to have an oral exchange of opinions, such exchange may take place through a Commission consisting of representatives of the competent authorities of the Contracting States.

The following Part VI of the MLI applies to this Convention:6

PART VI. ARBITRATION

Article 19 (Mandatory Binding Arbitration) of the MLI

1. Where:

a) under [paragraph 1 of Article 26 of this Convention], a person has presented a case to the competent authority of a [Contracting State] on the basis that the actions of one or both of the [Contracting States] have resulted for that person in taxation not in accordance with the provisions of [the Convention]; and

b) the competent authorities are unable to reach an agreement to resolve that case pursuant to [paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Convention], within a period of two years beginning on the start date referred to in paragraph 8 or 9 [of Article 19 of the MLI], as the case may be (unless, prior to the expiration of that period the competent authorities of the [Contracting States] have agreed to a different time period with respect to that case and have notified the person who presented the case of such agreement),

any unresolved issues arising from the case shall, if the person so requests in writing, be submitted to arbitration in the manner described in [Part VI of the MLI], according to any rules or procedures agreed upon by the competent authorities of the [Contracting States] pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 10 [of Article 19 of the MLI].

2. Where a competent authority has suspended the mutual agreement procedure referred to in paragraph 1 [of Article 19 of the MLI] because a case with respect to one or more of the same issues is pending before court or administrative tribunal, the period provided in subparagraph b) of paragraph 1 [of Article 19 of the MLI] will stop running until either a final decision has been rendered by the court or administrative tribunal or the case has been suspended or withdrawn. In addition, where a person who presented a case and a competent authority have agreed to suspend the mutual agreement procedure, the period provided in subparagraph b) of paragraph 1 [of Article 19 of the MLI] will stop running until the suspension has been lifted.

3. Where both competent authorities agree that a person directly affected by the case has failed to provide in a timely manner any additional material information requested by either competent authority after the start of the period provided in subparagraph b) of paragraph 1 [of Article 19 of the MLI], the period provided in subparagraph b) of paragraph 1 [of Article 19 of the MLI] shall be extended for an amount of time equal to the period beginning on the date by which the information was requested and ending on the date on which that information was provided.

4. a) The arbitration decision with respect to the issues submitted to arbitration shall be implemented through the mutual agreement concerning the case referred to in paragraph 1 [of Article 19 of the MLI]. The arbitration decision shall be final.

b) The arbitration decision shall be binding on both [Contracting States] except in the following cases:

i) if a person directly affected by the case does not accept the mutual agreement that implements the arbitration decision. In such a case, the case shall not be eligible for any further consideration by the competent authorities. The mutual agreement that implements the arbitration decision on the case shall be considered not to be accepted by a person directly affected by the case if any person directly affected by the case does not, within 60 days after the date on which notification of the mutual agreement is sent to the person, withdraw all issues resolved in the mutual agreement implementing the arbitration decision from consideration by any court or administrative tribunal or otherwise terminate any pending court or administrative proceedings with respect to such issues in a manner consistent with that mutual agreement.

ii) if a final decision of the courts of one of the [Contracting States] holds that the arbitration decision is invalid. In such a case, the request for arbitration under paragraph 1 [of Article 19 of the MLI] shall be considered not to have been made, and the arbitration process shall be considered not to have taken place (except for the purposes of Articles 21 (Confidentiality of Arbitration Proceedings) and 25 (Costs of Arbitration Proceedings) [of the MLI]). In such a case, a new request for arbitration may be made unless the competent authorities agree that such a new request should not be permitted.

iii) if a person directly affected by the case pursues litigation on the issues which were resolved in the mutual agreement implementing the arbitration decision in any court or administrative tribunal.

5. The competent authority that received the initial request for a mutual agreement procedure as described in subparagraph a) of paragraph 1 [of Article 19 of the MLI] shall, within two calendar months of receiving the request:

a) send a notification to the person who presented the case that it has received the request; and

b) send a notification of that request, along with a copy of the request, to the competent authority of the other [Contracting State].

6. Within three calendar months after a competent authority receives the request for a mutual agreement procedure (or a copy thereof from the competent authority of the other [Contracting State]) it shall either:

a) notify the person who has presented the case and the other competent authority that it has received the information necessary to undertake substantive consideration of the case; or

b) request additional information from that person for that purpose.

7. Where pursuant to subparagraph b) of paragraph 6 [of Article 19 of the MLI], one or both of the competent authorities have requested from the person who presented the case additional information necessary to undertake substantive consideration of the case, the competent authority that requested the additional information shall, within three calendar months of receiving the additional information from that person, notify that person and the other competent authority either:

a) that it has received the requested information; or

b) that some of the requested information is still missing.

8. Where neither competent authority has requested additional information pursuant to subparagraph b) of paragraph 6 [of Article 19 of the MLI], the start date referred to in paragraph 1 [of Article 19 of the MLI] shall be the earlier of:

a) the date on which both competent authorities have notified the person who presented the case pursuant to subparagraph a) of paragraph 6 [of Article 19 of the MLI]; and

b) the date that is three calendar months after the notification to the competent authority of the other [Contracting State] pursuant to subparagraph b) of paragraph 5 [of Article 19 of the MLI].

9. Where additional information has been requested pursuant to subparagraph b) of paragraph 6 [of Article 19 of the MLI], the start date referred to in paragraph 1 [of Article 19 of the MLI] shall be the earlier of:

a) the latest date on which the competent authorities that requested additional information have notified the person who presented the case and the other competent authority pursuant to subparagraph a) of paragraph 7 [of Article 19 of the MLI]; and

b) the date that is three calendar months after both competent authorities have received all information requested by either competent authority from the person who presented the case.

If, however, one or both of the competent authorities send the notification referred to in subparagraph b) of paragraph 7 [of Article 19 of the MLI], such notification shall be treated as a request for additional information under subparagraph b) of paragraph 6 [of Article 19 of the MLI].

10. The competent authorities of the [Contracting States] shall by mutual agreement pursuant to [Article 26 of the Convention] settle the mode of application of the provisions contained in [Part VI of the MLI], including the minimum information necessary for each competent authority to undertake substantive consideration of the case. Such an agreement shall be concluded before the date on which unresolved issues in a case are first eligible to be submitted to arbitration and may be modified from time to time thereafter.

12. [Notwithstanding] the other provisions of [Article 19 of the MLI]:

a) any unresolved issue arising from a mutual agreement procedure case otherwise within the scope of the arbitration process provided for by [the MLI] shall not be submitted to arbitration, if a decision on this issue has already been rendered by a court or administrative tribunal of either [Contracting State];

b) if, at any time after a request for arbitration has been made and before the arbitration panel has delivered its decision to the competent authorities of the [Contracting States], a decision concerning the issue is rendered by a court or administrative tribunal of one of the [Contracting States], the arbitration process shall terminate.

Article 20 (Appointment of Arbitrators) of the MLI

1. Except to the extent that the competent authorities of the [Contracting States] mutually agree on different rules, paragraphs 2 through 4 [of Article 20 of the MLI] shall apply for the purposes of [Part VI of the MLI].

2. The following rules shall govern the appointment of the members of an arbitration panel:

a) The arbitration panel shall consist of three individual members with expertise or experience in international tax matters.

b) Each competent authority shall appoint one panel member within 60 days of the date of the request for arbitration under paragraph 1 of Article 19 [of the MLI]. The two panel members so appointed shall, within 60 days of the latter of their appointments, appoint a third member who shall serve as Chair of the arbitration panel. The Chair shall not be a national or resident of either [Contracting State].

c) Each member appointed to the arbitration panel must be impartial and independent of the competent authorities, tax administrations, and ministries of finance of the [Contracting States] and of all persons directly affected by the case (as well as their advisors) at the time of accepting an appointment, maintain his or her impartiality and independence throughout the proceedings, and avoid any conduct for a reasonable period of time thereafter which may damage the appearance of impartiality and independence of the arbitrators with respect to the proceedings.

3. In the event that the competent authority of a [Contracting State] fails to appoint a member of the arbitration panel in the manner and within the time periods specified in paragraph 2 [of Article 20 of the MLI] or agreed to by the competent authorities of the [Contracting States], a member shall be appointed on behalf of that competent authority by the highest ranking official of the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that is not a national of either [Contracting State].

4. If the two initial members of the arbitration panel fail to appoint the Chair in the manner and within the time periods specified in paragraph 2 [of Article 20 of the MLI] or agreed to by the competent authorities of the [Contracting States], the Chair shall be appointed by the highest ranking official of the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that is not a national of either [Contracting State].

Article 21 (Confidentiality of Arbitration Proceedings) of the MLI

1. Solely for the purposes of the application of the provisions of [Part VI of the MLI] and of the provisions of [the Convention] and of the domestic laws of the [Contracting States] related to the exchange of information, confidentiality, and administrative assistance, members of the arbitration panel and a maximum of three staff per member (and prospective arbitrators solely to the extent necessary to verify their ability to fulfil the requirements of arbitrators) shall be considered to be persons or authorities to whom information may be disclosed. Information received by the arbitration panel or prospective arbitrators and information that the competent authorities receive from the arbitration panel shall be considered information that is exchanged under the provisions of [the Convention] related to the exchange of information and administrative assistance.

2. The competent authorities of the [Contracting States] shall ensure that members of the arbitration panel and their staff agree in writing, prior to their acting in an arbitration proceeding, to treat any information relating to the arbitration proceeding consistently with the confidentiality and nondisclosure obligations described in the provisions of [the Convention] related to exchange of information and administrative assistance and under the applicable laws of the [Contracting States].

Article 22 (Resolution of a Case Prior to the Conclusion of the Arbitration) of the MLI

For the purposes of [Part VI of the MLI] and the provisions of [the Convention] that provide for resolution of cases through mutual agreement, the mutual agreement procedure, as well as the arbitration proceeding, with respect to a case shall terminate if, at any time after a request for arbitration has been made and before the arbitration panel has delivered its decision to the competent authorities of the [Contracting States]:

a) the competent authorities of the [Contracting States] reach a mutual agreement to resolve the case; or

b) the person who presented the case withdraws the request for arbitration or the request for a mutual agreement procedure.

Article 23 (Type of Arbitration Process) of the MLI

1. Except to the extent that the competent authorities of the [Contracting States] mutually agree on different rules, the following rules shall apply with respect to an arbitration proceeding pursuant to [Part VI of the MLI]:

a) After a case is submitted to arbitration, the competent authority of each [Contracting State] shall submit to the arbitration panel, by a date set by agreement, a proposed resolution which addresses all unresolved issue(s) in the case (taking into account all agreements previously reached in that case between the competent authorities of the [Contracting States]). The proposed resolution shall be limited to a disposition of specific monetary amounts (for example, of income or expense) or, where specified, the maximum rate of tax charged pursuant to [the Convention], for each adjustment or similar issue in the case. In a case in which the competent authorities of the [Contracting States] have been unable to reach agreement on an issue regarding the conditions for application of a provision of [the Convention] (hereinafter referred to as a “threshold question”), such as whether an individual is a resident or whether a permanent establishment exists, the competent authorities may submit alternative proposed resolutions with respect to issues the determination of which is contingent on resolution of such threshold questions.

b) The competent authority of each [Contracting State] may also submit a supporting position paper for consideration by the arbitration panel. Each competent authority that submits a proposed resolution or supporting position paper shall provide a copy to the other competent authority by the date on which the proposed resolution and supporting position paper were due. Each competent authority may also submit to the arbitration panel, by a date set by agreement, a reply submission with respect to the proposed resolution and supporting position paper submitted by the other competent authority. A copy of any reply submission shall be provided to the other competent authority by the date on which the reply submission was due.

c) The arbitration panel shall select as its decision one of the proposed resolutions for the case submitted by the competent authorities with respect to each issue and any threshold questions, and shall not include a rationale or any other explanation of the decision. The arbitration decision will be adopted by a simple majority of the panel members. The arbitration panel shall deliver its decision in writing to the competent authorities of the [Contracting States]. The arbitration decision shall have no precedential value.

5. Prior to the beginning of arbitration proceedings, the competent authorities of the [Contracting States] shall ensure that each person that presented the case and their advisors agree in writing not to disclose to any other person any information received during the course of the arbitration proceedings from either competent authority or the arbitration panel. The mutual agreement procedure under [the Convention], as well as the arbitration proceeding under [Part VI of the MLI], with respect to the case shall terminate if, at any time after a request for arbitration has been made and before the arbitration panel has delivered its decision to the competent authorities of the [Contracting States], a person that presented the case or one of that person’s advisors materially breaches that agreement.

Article 25 (Costs of Arbitration Proceedings) of the MLI

In an arbitration proceeding under [Part VI of the MLI], the fees and expenses of the members of the arbitration panel, as well as any costs incurred in connection with the arbitration proceedings by the [Contracting States], shall be borne by the [Contracting States] in a manner to be settled by mutual agreement between the competent authorities of the [Contracting States]. In the absence of such agreement, each [Contracting State] shall bear its own expenses and those of its appointed panel member. The cost of the chair of the arbitration panel and other expenses associated with the conduct of the arbitration proceedings shall be borne by the [Contracting States] in equal shares.

Article 26 (Compatibility) of the MLI

2. Any unresolved issue arising from a mutual agreement procedure case otherwise within the scope of the arbitration process provided for in [Part VI of the MLI] shall not be submitted to arbitration if the issue falls within the scope of a case with respect to which an arbitration panel or similar body has previously been set up in accordance with a bilateral or multilateral convention that provides for mandatory binding arbitration of unresolved issues arising from a mutual agreement procedure case.

3. [Nothing] in [Part VI of the MLI] shall affect the fulfilment of wider obligations with respect to the arbitration of unresolved issues arising in the context of a mutual agreement procedure resulting from other conventions to which the [Contracting States] are or will become parties.

Subparagraph a) of paragraph 2 of Article 28 (Cases eligible to arbitration) of the MLI

Pursuant to subparagraph a) of paragraph 2 of Article 28 of the MLI, the Republic of Finland formulates the following reservations with respect to the scope of cases that shall be eligible for arbitration under the provisions of Part VI of the MLI:

1. Finland reserves the right to exclude from the scope of [Part VI of the MLI] cases involving the application of domestic anti-avoidance rules of either [Contracting State]. For this purpose, Finland's domestic anti-avoidance rules shall include Act on Assessment Procedure (verotusmenettelystä annettu laki (1558/1995)) sections 27 - 30, Act on the Taxation of Business Profits and Income from Professional Activities (elinkeinotulon verottamisesta annettu laki (360/1968)) section 6 a, subsection 9 and section 52 h and Act on the Taxation of Shareholders in Controlled Foreign Companies (ulkomaisten väliyhteisöjen osakkaiden verotuksesta annetun laki (1217/1994)). Any subsequent provisions replacing, amending or updating these anti-avoidance rules would also be included in this reservation. Finland shall notify the Depositary of any such subsequent provisions.

2. Finland reserves the right to exclude from the scope of [Part VI of the MLI] cases involving conduct for which the taxpayer or a person acting on the taxpayer’s behalf has been found guilty by a court of tax fraud or other tax related criminal offence in either[Contracting State]. For this purpose, Finland's domestic rules shall include the Criminal Code (rikoslaki (39/1889)) chapter 29 sections 1-4. Any subsequent provisions replacing, amending or updating these rules would also be included in this reservation. Finland shall notify the Depositary of any such subsequent provisions.

3. Finland reserves the right to exclude from the scope of [Part VI of the MLI] cases concerning items of income or capital where there is no double taxation. Double taxation means that both [Contracting States] have imposed taxes in respect of the same taxable income or capital giving rise to either additional tax charge, increase in tax liabilities or cancellation or reduction of losses, which could be used to offset taxable profits.

4. Finland reserves the right to exclude from the scope of [Part VI of the MLI]:

a) with respect to taxes withheld at source on amounts paid or credited to non-residents, cases which concern taxable events giving rise to such taxes that occur before the reference date;

b) with respect to all other taxes, cases which concern taxes levied with respect to taxable periods that begin before the reference date.

For the purposes of this reservation, “the reference date” is the latest of:

i) the date of entry into effect of [the MLI] in both [Contracting States] with respect to such taxes;

ii) the first day of January of the calendar year next following the expiration of a period of six calendar months beginning on the date of the communication by the Depositary of the latest definitive reservation withdrawal or notification which results in the application of [Part VI of the MLI] between both [Contracting States]; and

iii) where the case is a type of case that would be potentially eligible for arbitration as a result of the withdrawal, subsequent to the entry into effect of [Part VI of the MLI] as between both [Contracting States], of [Contracting State´s] reservation made pursuant to Article 28(2) or Article 19(12) [of the MLI], the first day of January of the calendar year next following the expiration of a period of six calendar months beginning on the date of the communication of the Depositary of the withdrawal of the reservation.

5. Finland reserves the right to exclude from the scope of [Part VI of the MLI] all cases where an application has been filed under the Convention on the Elimination of Double Taxation in Connection with the Adjustment of Profits of Associated Enterprises (90/436/EEC) - as amended, or under other instruments agreed by the member states of the European Union or under domestic rules which implement such instruments.

Article 27 (SopS 12–13/2014)
Exchange of information

1. The competent authorities of the Contracting States shall exchange such information as is foreseeably relevant for carrying out the provisions of this Convention or to the administration or enforcement of the domestic laws concerning taxes of every kind and description imposed by or on behalf of the Contracting States, or the local authorities of Finland, insofar as the taxation thereunder is not contrary to the Convention. The exchange of information is not restricted by Articles 1 and 2.

2. Any information received under paragraph 1 by a Contracting State shall be treated as secret in the same manner as information obtained under the domestic laws of that State and shall be disclosed only to persons or authorities (including courts and administrative bodies) concerned with the assessment or collection of, the enforcement or prosecution in respect of, the determination of appeals in relation to the taxes referred to in paragraph 1, or the oversight of the above. Such persons or authorities shall use the information only for such purposes. They may disclose the information in public court proceedings or in judicial decisions. Notwithstanding the foregoing, information received by a Contracting State may be used for other purposes when such information may be used for such other purposes under the laws of both States and the competent authority of the supplying State authorises such use.

3. In no case shall the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 be construed so as to impose on a Contracting State the obligation:

a) to carry out administrative measures at variance with the laws and administrative practice of that or of the other Contracting State;

b) to supply information which is not obtainable under the laws or in the normal course of the administration of that or of the other Contracting State;

c) to supply information which would disclose any trade, business, industrial, commercial or professional secret or trade process, or information, the disclosure of which would be contrary to public policy (ordre public).

4. If information is requested by a Contracting State in accordance with the provisions of this Article, the other Contracting State shall use its information gathering measures to obtain the requested information, even though that other State may not need such information for its own tax purposes. The obligation contained in the preceding sentence is subject to the limitations of paragraph 3 of this Article but in no case shall such limitations be construed to permit a Contracting State to decline to supply information solely because it has no domestic interest in such information.

5. In no case shall the provisions of paragraph 3 of this Article be construed to permit a Contracting State to decline to supply information solely because the information is held by a bank, other financial institution, trust, foundation, nominee or person acting in an agency or a fiduciary capacity or because it relates to ownership interests in a person. In order to obtain such information the tax administration of the requested Contracting State shall have the power to ask for the disclosure of information and to conduct investigations and hearings notwithstanding any contrary provisions in its domestic tax laws.

See SopS 65/2014.

Article 28
Aid in recovery of taxes

1. The Contracting States shall lend aid and assistance to each other in order to notify and recover taxes mentioned in Article 2, and prepayments, surcharges and additions on those taxes, as well as interest, costs and fines of a non-penal nature.

2. On the request of a Contracting State, the other Contracting State shall secure, in accordance with the legal provisions and regulations applicable to the notification and recovery of its own taxes, the notification and recovery of fiscal debt-claims referred to in paragraph 1 which are due in the requesting State. Such debt-claims shall not be considered as preferential claims in the requested State and that State shall not be obliged to apply any means of enforcement which are not authorised by the legal provisions and regulations of the requesting State.

3. The Contracting State making a recovery under the provisions of paragraph 2 shall be responsible to the requesting State for the amounts thus recovered.

4. With regard to fiscal debt-claims referred to in paragraph 1 which are open to appeal a Contracting State may, in order to safeguard its rights, request the other Contracting State to take the protective measures provided for in the law of that other State. The provisions of paragraph 2 shall apply accordingly to such measures.

5. The provisions of paragraph 1 of Article 27 shall apply also to any information which under this Article is supplied to the requested State.

Article 29 (SopS 53–54/1997)
Miscellaneous

1. Nothing in this Convention shall affect the fiscal privileges of diplomatic or consular officials under the general rules of international law or under the provisions of special agreements.

2. For the purposes of this Convention, persons who are members of a diplomatic or consular mission of a Contracting State in the other Contracting State or in a third State and who are nationals of the sending State, shall be deemed to be residents of the sending State if they are subjected therein to the same obligations in respect of taxes on income and on capital as are residents of that State.

3. This Convention shall not apply to international organisations, to organs or officials thereof and to persons who are members of a diplomatic or consular mission of a third State, being present in a Contracting State and who are not liable in either Contracting State to the same obligations in respect of taxes on income and on capital as are residents of that State.

4. The competent authorities of the Contracting States shall communicate directly with each other for the application of this Convention.

The following paragraph 1 of Article 7 of the MLI applies and supersedes the provisions of this Convention:7
ARTICLE 7 OF THE MLI – PREVENTION OF TREATY ABUSE (Principal purposes test provision)

Notwithstanding any provisions of [the Convention], a benefit under [the Convention] shall not be granted in respect of an item of income or capital if it is reasonable to conclude, having regard to all relevant facts and circumstances, that obtaining that benefit was one of the principal purposes of any arrangement or transaction that resulted directly or indirectly in that benefit, unless it is established that granting that benefit in these circumstances would be in accordance with the object and purpose of the relevant provisions of [the Convention].

Article 30
Territorial extension

1. This Convention may be extended, either in its entirety or with any necessary modifications, to the County of Aland as regards the communal tax. Such extension shall take effect from such date and subject to such modifications and conditions, including conditions as to termination, as may be specified and agreed between the Contracting States in notes to be exchanged through diplomatic channels.

2. Unless otherwise agreed by both Contracting States, the termination of the Convention by one of them under Article 32 shall terminate, in the manner provided for in that Article, the application of the Convention to the County of Aland as regards also the communal tax.

Article 31
Entry into force

1. The Governments of the Contracting States shall notify to each other that the constitutional requirements for the entry into force of this Convention have been complied with.

2. The Convention shall enter into force thirty days after the date of the later of the notifications referred to in paragraph 1 and its provisions shall have effect:

a) in respect of taxes due at source, on income derived on or after 1 January in the calendar year next following the year in which the Convention enters into force;

b) in respect of other taxes on income, and taxes on capital, to taxes chargeable for any taxable year beginning on or after 1 January in the calendar year next following the year in which the Convention enters into force.

3. The Convention between Belgium and Finland for the avoidance of double taxation and the settlement of certain questions with respect to taxes on income and on capital, signed at Helsinki on 11 February 1954, and the Final Protocol, as amended by the Supplementary Convention signed at Brussels on 21 May 1970, shall cease to have effect at the time that the provisions of this Convention shall be effective.

4. The Convention between Belgium and Finland for the avoidance of double taxation with respect to taxes on profits of shipping enterprises, signed at Brussels on 19 February 1929, shall not have effect for any period for which Article 8 of the present Convention has effect.

Article 32
Termination

This Convention shall remain in force until terminated by one of the Contracting States. Either Contracting State may terminate the Convention, through diplomatic channels, by giving notice of termination at least six months before the end of any calendar year following after the period of five years from the date on which the Convention enters into force. In such event, the Convention shall cease to have effect:

a) in respect of taxes due at source, on income derived on or after 1 January in the calendar year next following the year in which the notice is given;

b) in respect of other taxes on income, and taxes on capital, to taxes chargeable for any taxable year beginning on or after 1 January in the calendar year next following the year in which the notice is given.

In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto by their respective Governments, have signed this Convention.

Done at Brussels this 18th day of May 1976 in duplicate, in the English language.

Protocol (SopS 53–54/1997)

Article 10 of the Convention, as modified by the Supplementary Agreement, signed at Brussels on 13 March 1991, is consequential on the taxation laws in force in either Contracting State at that date. Those laws do not enable the Contracting States to work out a more integrated treatment of dividends paid by a company which is a resident of a Contracting State to a resident of the other Contracting State.

However, it is understood that where in any double taxation convention concluded by Finland with a third State, being a European State, Finland agrees to refund without the condition of reciprocity the Finnish compensatory tax in respect of dividends paid by a company which is a resident of Finland to residents of the third State, the Government of Finland shall without undue delay inform the Government of Belgium and shall enter into negotiations with the Government of Belgium with a view to providing the same treatment for residents of Belgium as that provided for residents of the third State.

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