Ship's Bow

WFW advises Scandinavian ship financier on FATCA compliance

4 March 2015

Watson Farley & Williams recently advised a Scandinavian shipping finance provider on its compliance with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or “FATCA,” a tax withholding and reporting regime enacted by the United States that applies to financial institutions worldwide.  Although FATCA was passed into law in 2010, it only went into effect in July 2014.  Furthermore, the US has entered into intergovernmental agreements or “IGAs” with several countries, which have not yet released FATCA legal or administrative guidance.  As a result, there remains some uncertainty amongst financial institutions in implementing the processes and procedures necessary to comply with FATCA.

WFW provided advice explaining how the FATCA rules apply to the Scandinavian institution.  The advice also addressed how the international loan markets have dealt with allocation of FATCA risk, and other practical issues in dealing with FATCA.  WFW also provided a detailed “Q&A” list in response to the company’s specific questions about FATCA.

WFW New York tax associate Daniel Pilarski worked alongside partner Richard Stephens and associate Rob Firth in the WFW London tax department to provide advice and support to the Scandinavian shipping financier.

Partner Richard Stephens, said: “This was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate WFW’s tax expertise to a key maritime client. We enjoyed working with the client’s team and demonstrating our ability to co-ordinate work between the firm’s New York and London offices.”