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Specific offences and restrictions

Offences

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

The primary offences under the Criminal Code are:

  • passive bribery (Article 235);
  • active bribery (Article 236);
  • passive and active bribery involving members of the judiciary (Article 237);
  • trading in influence (Article 237A); and
  • passive bribery of political officers (Article 159). 

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?

Despite the broad wording of the relevant law, anti-bribery legislation does not apply to symbolic gifts or gifts of courtesy; these are determined primarily with regard to the scope of the gift and the openness with which it is given. However, the relevant corruption laws may still apply where such gifts (eg, travel expenses, meals and entertainment) are used systematically in an attempt to influence public officials.

Facilitation payments

What are the rules relating to facilitation payments?

The previous legislation (which was in force for more than 40 years) permitted specific types of company (mainly those exporting goods, as well as the press) to register payments in their financial records without reference to invoices or specific transactions up to approximately 3% of annual gross income. This allowed such companies to facilitate payments without needing to keep supporting documentation (eg, invoices with a description of the supplied service) or justify the need for such expenses. However, this is no longer permitted as of January 1 2004 and all payments and expenses must be duly justified. If not duly registered, such payments fall under the category of receiving or giving a gift or benefits indirectly through third persons. In addition, this type of payment may be questionable in terms of the criminal provisions of tax regulations (eg, Article 19 of Law 2523/1997, concerning the registration of a fictitious or false transaction in tax records).

Rules and regulations on money laundering may also apply if payments are connected to questionable conduct (eg, the proceeds of crime).

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