The Bribery Act was introduced in 2010 as a way of strengthening the existing bribery and corruption laws in the UK.
(The OECD had repeatedly criticized the UK for the weakness of its anti-bribery system, which it considered weak and ineffectual in comparison to tougher regimes in other countries, for example the US Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act.)
After 2010, under the new Bribery Act all senior managers and directors of UK companies can be held personally liable for Bribery offences committed by their company.
Read more about minimizing liability here: Bribery Act How to avoid criminal liability.
This personal liability extends to Bribery offenses committed by their company’s agents, distributors, suppliers and any other third parties with whom it does business.
Fledgling and long established exporters and those considering expansion into new markets must be aware of the risks and how to protect against them.
For example, you, Directors are responsible for what your overseas agents do to obtain export orders for your company.
Whats more, a Director can also be charged with “failure to prevent bribery” if there are inadequate procedures and due diligence in place within his/her company to identify bribery and corruption.
Forward planning, due-dilligence on people you deal with in export markets, and continued training of your workforce and third parties is the way to protect your business from bribery and corruption risks.
This article below contains details of pitfalls, how to avoid them, and should you need it our Anti-Bribery & Corruption Toolkit will help you find the solutions to protect you, your fellow Directors and your business.