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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Debt and return pursuit: foreign cases: Mutual Assistance in the Recovery of Debt (MARD) (non-EU countries): disclosing information

Requests for assistance from a foreign country

Strict confidentiality provisions apply to all information received from foreign countries, whether as part of their request or in response to ours. This means that information and documents sent to us a part of a request for assistance from a foreign country can only be provided to

  • the person mentioned in the request for assistance
  • those persons and authorities responsible for the recovery of the claims and solely for that purpose or
  • the judicial authorities dealing with issues concerning the recovery of claims.

The person mentioned in the request for assistance

The person mentioned is

  • the debtor
  • a person liable for settlement of the debt under the law of the applicant country or
  • a third party holding assets belonging to either or both of the persons mentioned above.

Sharing incoming information within the Department

You can share incoming information with others in the Department provided it is to be used solely for the purposes of recovering the claim.

Sharing incoming information with others outside the Department

You can only share information with

  • someone responsible for recovering the claim (and must only use the information for that purpose) such as an insolvency practitioner in the case of a bankrupt or
  • the courts (where the courts are dealing with the recovery of the claim) - such as hearing the bankruptcy order of an individual
  • a debtor’s representative - provided the debtor has authorised us to do so by correctly completing and signing a 64-8 (Agent authorisation form).

You cannot share the information with others who are not dealing with recovery of the claim.

Requests for assistance to a foreign country

Where we request assistance from a foreign country, the information and documents are subject to the normal rules of confidentiality.

We can share UK information within the Department provided there is good business reason for doing so and there is no prohibition imposed by another enactment such as the Data Protection Act (DPA), the Human Rights Act (HRA) or any international agreement.

Information sent to a foreign country

Under these agreements, foreign countries are required to treat the information and documents we send them in the same way that we would treat the information and documents that they send us, regardless of whether we send the information to them as part of our request or in response to a request from them.

Security of information

Follow the guidance on Data Handling to identify which protective markings should be used and how the information should be handled.