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Specific offences and restrictions

Offences
What are the key corruption and bribery offences in your jurisdiction?

The key corruption and bribery offences are regulated in Title 19 of the Criminal Code. It contains the following corruption and bribery offences:

  • Article 322ter (bribery of Swiss public officials) – offering, promising or giving an undue advantage to a Swiss public official or third party in order to cause the public official to carry out or fail to carry out an act in connection with his or her official activity which is contrary to his or her duty or dependent on his or her discretion.
  • Article 322quater (bribery of Swiss public officials or the acceptance of bribes) – demanding, securing the promise of or accepting, as a Swiss public official, an undue benefit personally or for a third party in order to carry out or fail to carry out an act in connection with official activity which is contrary to duty or dependent on discretion.
  • Article 322quinquies (bribery of Swiss public officials or granting a benefit) – offering, promising or providing an undue benefit to a Swiss public official or third party so that he or she carries out official duties.
  • Article 322sexies (bribery of Swiss public officials or acceptance of a benefit) – demanding, securing the promise of or accepting an undue benefit, as a Swiss public official or for a third party, in order to carry out official duties.
  • Article 322septies(1) (bribery of foreign public officials or bribery) – offering, promising or granting an undue benefit to a public official, who is acting for a foreign state or an international organisation, or to a third party in order to cause the public official to carry out or fail to carry out an act in connection with his or her official activity which is contrary to his or her duty or dependent on his or her discretion.
  • Article 322septies(2) (bribery of foreign public officials or acceptance of bribes) – demanding, securing the promise of or accepting an undue benefit, as a public official acting for a foreign state, international organisation or third party, in order to carry out or fail to carry out an act in connection with his or her official activity which is contrary to his or her duty or dependent on his or her discretion.
  • Article 322octies (bribery of private individuals or bribery) – offering, promising or granting an undue benefit to an employee, agent, partner or other auxiliary of a third party, in connection with such person's professional or commercial activity on behalf of the third party, in order to have such person carry out or fail to carry out an act contrary to the activity or within the person's professional discretion (ie, so-called ‘active’ private sector bribery).
  • Article 322novies (bribery of private individuals or accepting bribes) –soliciting or accepting an undue benefit for personal gain or for a third party (ie, so-called ‘passive’ private sector bribery).

Individuals and companies can be held liable for bribery of a foreign official. If a company fails to take all reasonable organisational measures necessary to prevent bribery offences, it can be convicted pursuant to Article 102(2) of the Criminal Code, irrespective of any criminal liability attaching to natural persons.

Hospitality restrictions
Are specific restrictions in place regarding the provision of hospitality (eg, gifts, travel expenses, meals and entertainment)? If so, what are the details?

The Criminal Code expressly stipulates that any advantage which is permitted under public employment law or contractually approved by a relevant third party, and any low value advantage commonly conferred in social practice, does not constitute an undue advantage under Article 322decies. For example, gifting flowers as recognition for a speech given at a seminar is generally considered to be socially accepted and common practice. However, invitations to lunch or dinner at expensive restaurants or offers of any type of entertainment may not be considered to be socially accepted and common practice and thus qualify as bribery or granting an undue advantage.

Facilitation payments
What are the rules relating to facilitation payments?

Facilitation payments (ie, undue payments made to induce public officials to perform acts that they must perform as part of their official duties and which involve no exercise of discretion) made to Swiss public officials fall under the acceptance of an advantage and are therefore prohibited. In contrast, facilitation payments to foreign public officials do not fall within the scope of the Criminal Code’s anti-corruption offences.

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