New French regulation on corruption
The law on transparency, the fight against corruption, and the modernization of economic life, called “Sapin II “, enacted on 9 December 2016, allows France to reinforce its legislative framework to fight corruption and recover its delay towards Anglo-Saxon legislations.
Sapin Law II (Anti-corruption law), approved by France at the end of 2016, will be effective on June 2017 and affects French groups and their subsidiaries with turnover (aggregate) above 100 M Euros and 500 employees.
This Law indeed establishes several major developments with regards to the existing legislation:
- Important modifications of the Criminal Code in order to ease criminal proceedings and penalties related to corruption.
- The obligation for companies exceeding a given size, and for their directors, to implement appropriate corruption prevention and detection tools.
- The creation of the “Agence Française Anticorruption” (French Anti-Corruption Agency), under the joint authority of the Ministry of Justice and of the Ministry in charge of Budget. The Agency has controlling and penalizing powers.
- The possibility to enter into transactional agreements with authorities, in the case of legal actions for corruption, as in the United States with Deferred Prosecution Agreements. The penalty’s maximum amount shall not exceed 30% of turnover and will be accompanies by a compliance programme, for a maximum of three years (equivalent to the American Monitoring).