Anti-bribery and corruption

German anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws are included in the German Criminal Code, specifically Sections 331 to 336 of the German Criminal Code. These are applicable if the offence is committed either by a German citizen or within the German territory. Under German law, it is a criminal offence to offer, promise or grant any kind of advantage such as money or other gifts to German or EU state officials in relation to the performance of that official’s duty. Such actions are punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment or a monetary fine. If the official is paid/bribed to breach his duties during the performance of his job, there is a minimum sentence of three months’ imprisonment, with a maximum sentence of five years.

Although companies are not themselves subject to criminal proceedings under German law, they can be fined for institutionalising bribery and corruption via their employees. Fines can amount to up to 10 M EUR, depending on the severity of the breach. In order to avoid being levied with such fines, companies have to implement and enforce internal anti-bribery and anti-corruption measures, such as employee awareness training, internal reporting procedures and regular supervision.

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