August, 2011 – Bribery Act is “minefield for the

Some shipping companies attempting to comply with the requirements of the UK Bribery Act 2010, which came into force on 1 July, could actually be building a case for their own prosecution. The warning comes in an analysis by Ince & Co partner Kevin Cooper posted on the law firm’s website. He notes; “It has been reported that some shipping companies are keeping a record of any gifts or small payments that their employees or agents are obliged to make in order to “get things done” locally. The idea is that if they are open about their procedures, those procedures will be deemed adequate. In truth, they run a risk that those records may well form part of the evidence against them in any subsequent investigation and prosecution.” Mr Cooper’s analysis makes clear that he believes the Act puts the shipping industry in a particularly difficult position. He says that shipping is regarded as being at high risk of having to deal with corruption because of its operation in countries with known corruption risks, its interaction with foreign public officials who may require incentives to perform what is in fact their job and its use of foreign subsidiaries to act as intermediaries.