Economy and Banking Sector of Curacao

Curacao is a constituent country of the Netherlands situated in the southern Caribbean Sea.

The economy of Curacao is well developed having international trade and financial services, tourism, petroleum refining and transshipment as the most important sectors.

There are more than 60 credit institutions operating in Curacao, including over 30 international banks.

Location Caribbean Sea
Population (2013)152 760
EU Status not part of the EU (OCT)
Dependent Territory Of Netherlands (Constituent country)
Economy
National Currency ANG (Netherlands Antillean guilder)
Credit Ratings (as of Sep 2016)
    Fitch-
    Moody's-
    S&PA- upper medium grade
Taxation
Withholding Tax 0.0 - 0.0%
Double Taxation Agreements 4 signed agreements
Information Exchange 
    Exchange on Request 23 signed agreements
    Automatic Exchange starts in September 2017
FATCA IGA in effect since 16 December 2014, Model 1
Banking Sector
Deposit Guarantee Scheme 
    Maximum Protected Amount 0 ANG
Banking Supervision Central Bank of Curacao and Sint Maartin
Banking Sector Structure 
    Number of Banks55
 List of Banks in Curacao

EU Status

Curacao is one of the OCTs (Overseas Countries and Territories) of the European Union. This means that although its nationals are in principle EU citizens, Curacao is not part of the EU or directly subject to EU law.

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Curacao's Economy

National Currency

Curacao's official currency is the Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG), pegged to the US dollar at a fixed rate: 1 USD = 1.79 ANG.

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Taxation in Curacao

Withholding Tax

Withholding taxes are imposed at source of income and are often applied to dividends, interest, royalties, rent and similar payments. The rates of withholding tax are often reduced by double taxation agreements.

Withholding tax rates applied on payments of interest and dividends in Curacao are shown in Table 1.

Dividends Interest
Natural person, resident 0.00.0
Natural person, non-resident 0.00.0
Table 1. Withholding tax rates in Curacao.
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Double Taxation Agreements

Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) is an agreement between two or more countries for the avoidance of double taxation.

Curacao signed DTAs which already came info force with the following jurisdictions (for agreements which came into force after 01 January 2013 the date of coming into force is given in brackets):

 Aruba
 Netherlands
 Norway
 Sint Maarten (Dutch part)
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Information Exchange

There are 3 ways for jusrisdictions to exchange information on tax matters:

  • spontaneously;
  • on request;
  • automatically.

Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) enable exchange of information on request relating to a specific tax investigation, either criminal or civil.

Curacao signed TIEAs which already came info force with the following jurisdictions (for agreements which came into force after 01 January 2013 the date of coming into force is given in brackets):

 Australia
 Canada
 Denmark
 Faroe Islands
 Finland
 France
 Greenland
 Iceland
 Mexico
 New Zealand
 Saint Vincent and The Grenadines
 Spain
 Sweden
 United States

There are also several agreements between Curacao and other jurisdictions which was signed but haven't yet come into force (for agreements signed after 01 January 2013 of signing the agreement is given in brackets):

 Antigua and Barbuda
 Argentina (May 2014)
 Bermuda
 British Virgin Islands
 Cayman Islands
 Colombia (Feb 2013)
 Saint Kitts and Nevis
 Saint Lucia
 United Kingdom

Automatic information exchange allows jurisdictions to exchange information automatically, without having a specific tax investigation.

Curacao didn't sign the automatic information exchange agreement but made a commitment to start the automatic information exchange in September 2017.

Further Information:
Automatic Exchange of Information on Financial Accounts
Countries Which Will Not Automatically Exchange Account Information

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FATCA

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) which became law in the United States in March 2010, focuses on reporting made by foreign financial institutions about financial accounts held by US taxpayers or foreign entities in which US taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest. The FATCA-reporting is facilitated by Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs).

Curacao has FATCA agreement with the U.S. in effect since 16 December 2014 (Intergovernmental Agreement Model 1). Financial institutions operating in Curacao are required to identify U.S. taxpayers by January 1, 2017 and to report the information for 2017 and the subsequent years. The agreement is reciprocal: Curacao's financial accounts hold in U.S. financial institutions will be reported to Curacao's authorities.

Further Information:
FATCA and European countries

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Curacao's Banking Sector

Deposit Guarantee Scheme

Deposit Guarantee Schemes compensate certain deposits held by depositors of a bank that becomes unable to meet its obligations.

There is no deposit guarantee scheme in Curacao

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Banking Sector Structure

Currently there are 55 credit institutions operating in Curacao.

All the credit institutions operating in Curacao can be classified into several categories. Table 2 summarises the number of banks in each category.

CategoryNumber of Banks
Branches of Foreign Banks1
Central banks1
Consolidated International Banks9
Credit Unions9
Local General Banks5
Non-Consolidated International Banks22
Savings and Credit Funds2
Savings Banks1
Specialized Credit Institutions4
Subsidiaries of Foreign Banks1

Table 2. Number of banks by category in Curacao.

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