Use the Lexology Navigator tool to compare the answers in this article with those from other jurisdictions. 

Penalties

Individuals

What penalties are available to the courts for violations of corruption laws by individuals?

Depending on whether the bribe was directed at obtaining an unlawful or lawful act, passive bribery is punishable by a penalty of one to eight years’ imprisonment or, alternatively (in case of lawful act), by a penalty of one to five years' imprisonment.

Active bribery for an unlawful act is punishable by a penalty of one to five years’ imprisonment or, alternatively (in case of bribery for a lawful act), by a penalty of up to three years' imprisonment or a fine of up to 360 days.

Undue receipt of advantage is punishable by up to five years' imprisonment or a fine up to 600 days (on the passive side), while the (active) perpetrator will be punished by up to three years' imprisonment or a fine of up to 360 days.

On the passive side, influence peddling is punishable by one to five years’ imprisonment if the purpose was to obtain an illegitimate favourable decision, or a penalty of up to three years’ imprisonment or a fine if the purpose was to obtain a legitimate favourable decision. On the active side, influence peddling is punishable by a penalty of up to three years’ imprisonment or a fine.

The exact penalty for these crimes may be increased by a quarter if the bribe amounts to a high value (approximately €5,100), or by one-third if the bribe amounts to a considerably high value (approximately €20,400), or if the perpetrator acted in his or her capacity as a representative of a corporate entity or individual.

Companies or organisations

What penalties are available to the courts for violations of corruption laws by companies or organisations?

Corporate entities charged with bribery may be sentenced to pay fines only. In regards to bribery for an illegal act, companies are liable for the payment of a fine of 60 to 600 days, each day ranging from € 100 to € 10,000 depending on their financial situation. In case of influence peddling, the fine may amount to a maximum of 360 days, with each day ranging from € 100 to € 10,000.

Additionally, companies may also be sentenced to further penalties such as the prohibition to enter into agreements or to receive state subsidies, among others.

Click here to view the full article.