The Italian Antitrust Authority has launched a new regulation establishing a new criteria and procedure for the Legality Ratings. The Regulation, which has received a positive opinion of the Ministries of Interior and Justice and shall enter into force at the end of December 2012. The Rating, which can be requested by the interested party, will assign a number of “stars” from a minimum of one to a maximum of three in relation to the reliability of the company according to a cross-checking between the data held by various public authorities. The Rating will be valid for a period of two years from the date of release and shall be renewable at the moment of expiration upon request of the interested corporation.

The Authority shall publish on its website (and shall be responsible in keeping updated) the list of companies whose Legality Rating has been assigned, suspended, or revoked.

Companies which are interested to obtain the Rating must have the following formal requirements:

  • Italian corporation or a foreign corporation operating in the Italian territory;
  • Minimum turnover of 2 million Euro in the year prior to the request;
  • Registration at the Italian company register.

To obtain the minimum score the company must demonstrate that the employer (or its partners, representatives and top executives if it is a collective enterprise) do not have any convictions for tax crimes, crimes against the public administration, and criminal organized crime (mafia affairs). On the other hand, companies shall demonstrate that, in the two years preceding the request for the Rating, they have not been penalized for any serious antitrust offense, for non-compliance with health and safeness in the working place, nor any breaches for salary, contributions, insurance and tax duties in favour of its employees and associates. On the other hand, they should not have any observations nor penalties regarding irregularities with their taxable income declaration.

The regulation provides 6 additional requirements that, if met, will award the party with the maximum score of 3 stars:

  • Compliance with the contents of the national protocol signed by the Ministry of the Interior and by Confindustria, and in the local level, by the Prefectures and associations;
  • Use of traceability systems for payments which below the minimum amount established by law;
  • Adoption of an organizational structure that make compliance checking of business regulations applicable to the company;
  • Adoption of processes dealing with Corporate Social Responsibility;
  • Incorporation of internal ethical codes developed by associations and other entities

Source: AGCM