Anti-corruption

Overview

BIMCO's position on "anti-corruption" has been approved by the BIMCO Board of Directors.

Background

Corruption is addressed in the OECD 1997 Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and the 2003 United Nations Convention against Corruption. A number of national laws also deal with corruption, including the UK Bribery Act 2010 and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Corrupt practices include demands for payment in cash or kind from port officials. Such practices add financial burdens to the shipping industry and hamper international trade.

A distinction must be drawn between facilitation payments and bribery, such as making a payment to obtain a contract. Facilitation payments are those made to officials and others, who would otherwise refuse to complete a statutory or contractual task that they are properly required to undertake without payment in cash or kind. Failure to pay facilitation payments often result in intimidation and delays on pre-fabricated charges and/or false claims of regulatory breaches.

BIMCO has developed an Anti-Corruption Clause for Charter Parties, published in November 2015. The purpose of the clause is to provide the industry with a standard wording that encourages a collaborative approach to dealing with demands for facilitation payments and provides a fair allocation of risks and responsibilities between the contractual parties.

BIMCO’s position

  • Bribery is never acceptable. BIMCO supports the aims of the various international and national instruments and other endeavours such as the Maritime Anti Corruption Network (MACN) to fight all forms of bribery and corruption globally.
  • The UK has implemented a zero-tolerance policy regarding facilitation payments.
  • Whilst BIMCO supports the eradication of facilitation payments, we also ecognise that this is difficult in countries where corruption is deeply rooted.
  • Port states must be encouraged to assume the responsibility of establishing and implementing effective anti-corruption control mechanisms and procedures.

 

Rasmus Nord Jorgensen
in Copenhagen, DK

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