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Bermuda’s Bribery Act 2016 (Bribery Act) came into force on 1 September 2017, completely overhauling Bermuda’s anti-bribery legislation by criminalising bribery and creating new offences of bribing a foreign public official or failing to prevent bribery by an associated person.
Further, the new Act goes beyond the United States’ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in a number of ways, so that even companies with robust FCPA compliance programmes must decide whether those programmes would be viewed as adequate for the purposes of the Bribery Act.
Based on the United Kingdom’s Bribery Act 2010, Bermuda’s new legislation abolishes existing anti-corruption laws and replaces them with four offences: bribing (offering, promising or giving a financial or other advantage); being bribed (requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting a financial or other advantage); bribery of foreign public officials; and a corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery.
The first three offences apply to both individuals and corporations. It does not matter whether the advantage offered or promised that constitutes bribing or the bribery of foreign public officials is given directly or through a third party. The Bribery Act applies to both the private and public sectors, and contains no exemption for facilitation payments or for corporate promotional expenditure.
This article was first published in Commercial Dispute Resolution.
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Unveiling Bermuda’s New Bribery Act