US Exporters have some laws and regulations that should be understood and adhered to as part of an Export program. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is certainly one of the laws that Exporters must be aware of. The basics of the Act is that it is unlawful for a US Firm, an officer, employee or an agent of the firm to offer payment or promise of payment, or anything of value to a foreign official. The Act further states that you can’t pay a foreign agent or another person and know that the agent or person is going to provide payment to the foreign official.
As freight forwarders we are not and do not provide legal advice, but we highly recommend that if you have questions and concerns regarding this Act that you seek the counsel of a qualified international attorney. We can make recommendations if you require.
US firms, individuals, officers that are involved in bribery and corrupt practices are subject to very large fines, up to the millions for firms and up to the hundreds of thousands for individuals. If stockholders are involved so will the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Many other countries have been passing Anti Bribery and Anti-corruption policies and laws and this is becoming more standard over the last few decades. The US and foreign governments have been prosecuting these cases .“Willful blindness” and disregarding of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is not in your own or your firm’s interest and must be avoided.