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Specific offences and restrictions
What are the key corruption and bribery offences in your jurisdiction?
Criminal Law punishes active and passive corruption of foreign and domestic public officials, as well as private commercial corruption. The offence is defined as unlawfully proffering, directly or indirectly, any offer, promise, donation, gift or reward to induce a public official to either carry out or refrain from carrying out any action linked with his or her functions or duties (Article 433-1 of the Criminal Code).
It is also an offence for the public official to directly or indirectly solicit or accept such offers, promises, donations, gifts or rewards (Article 432-11).
The offence is also defined in the private and commercial sector as the act of directly or indirectly making offers, promises, gifts, presents or other advantages to a person who is not a public official but holds or occupies a management position or any occupation for a private person, whether natural or legal, or for any other body, in order to obtain the performance or non-performance of an action in relation with his or her occupation or position.
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 does not provide specific rules on the provision of hospitality, but rather prohibits any kind of offer, promise, gift, present or other advantage that would serve as a bribe. However, there are specific rules for certain industries (eg, the pharmaceutical industry). Article L4113-6 of the Public Health Code prohibits companies which manufacture or market medicinal products from offering any benefits, either directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, to healthcare professionals, medical practitioners, students or associations representing them.
However, the guidelines of the Pharmaceutical Companies Association specify that pharmaceutical companies can offer small benefits for an amount lower than €30 per year and per healthcare practitioner for the purposes of marketing their products.
What are the rules relating to facilitation payments?
There are no specific rules in relation to facilitation payments. Contrary to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, there is no derogation regarding facilitation payments in France, and they are therefore prohibited.
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