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SPOTCHECKCOMPLIANCE


consistent expectations can help employees and agents confidently resist pressure to pay for “expedited” clearance.


Customs are likely to be less of a bribery flashpoint for heavy lift projects, with a limited set of border crossings and more eyes on any given transaction. That does not mean compliance efforts become less important, but that they can be concentrated elsewhere.


Sustained oversight Bribery demands can arise at any point in the logistics chain, from permit applications and in-country transit all the way up to high-level contract acquisition. These payments can take many forms, from simple cash handovers to complex kickback schemes involving fraudulent invoices and transfers through offshore shell corporations. Sustained oversight is crucial, with sensitivity to financial irregularities and suspicious circumstances. Particularly when their business crosses borders, transport companies need to be aware of the multiple laws and jurisdictions to which their activities may be subject. While the USA took the lead 40 years ago in prohibiting foreign official bribery, many


other countries have since embraced the agenda. From Germany and France to Canada and Peru, a combination of international conventions and domestic popular pressure has led to an ongoing proliferation of anti-corruption legislation. And these laws are being enforced: the past year saw a record number of transnational bribery investigations worldwide, and countries in which bribery occurs are stepping up their own deterrence measures to demonstrate their hospitability to clean business practices.


Different approaches


These jurisdictions may bring different approaches to their enforcement activities. While we have seen some of them adopt practices (like deferred prosecution agreements) that favour proactive disclosure and cooperation by offending companies, there is no guarantee that leniency will always be forthcoming.


It is important to make sure that your compliance efforts are not unduly driven by the enforcement priorities of any given jurisdiction. Not only can those priorities change, but they will not be universally shared.


Overall, this may be a good thing. A robust anti-bribery programme – including a business culture oriented toward compliance – cannot be created overnight, and it is not easily turned from one direction to another to suit the changing winds. Whatever their industry, companies and the individuals working for them need to internalise the ideals of the anti-corruption agenda, with a commitment to promoting a transnational business environment with fair competition and reliable governance. This internalisation – a key aim of the new DOJ enforcement policy – will help companies stay on track ethically no matter where their business takes them.


The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.


Robert Clark is the manager of legal research at TRACE International, where he oversees a team of lawyers responsible for the production of analytical content, including TRACE’s annual Global Enforcement Report. He is the co-editor of What You Should Know About Anti-Bribery Compliance.


www.traceinternational.org


HLPFI


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Handling of up to 72 t heavylift consignments (single/multi-hook) in our roofed in terminal


Interim storage Industrial packaging in our trimodal transport hub


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The experts for your special transport needs – from the concept through the planning stage to fi nal realisation


www.birsterminal.ch www.heavyliftpfi.com May/June 2018 47


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