On 14 March, the UK Export Finance (UKEF) announced the adoption of the revised OECD Council recommendation on Bribery and Officially Supported Export Credits (the Recommendation), to prevent bribery in international business transactions.

The Recommendation, while not legally binding, strengthens anti-bribery and corruption policies and procedures across adherent Export Credit Agencies (ECAs). Current adherents to the Recommendation are: members of the OECD Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees (ECG), Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and the Russian Federation.

Key steps that adherents to the Recommendation should take include:

  • raising awareness on anti-bribery legislation and promoting responsible business among parties involved in international business transactions;
  • undertaking screening and/or due diligence on all applications for official export credit support covered by the Recommendation, with the aim of identifying which applications should be subject to enhanced due diligence for risks associated with bribery;
  • evaluating the information resulting from the screening, due diligence and/or enhanced due diligence of a transaction or of a party involved in a transaction, and decide whether to request further information, decline or provide official support;
  • taking appropriate action and/or inform their law enforcement authorities promptly should they become aware of a credible allegation or evidence that bribery was involved in the award or execution of the export contract;
  • publishing policy statements relevant to the implementation of the Recommendation and continue to enhance and improve procedures at a national level.

The OECD will monitor implementation of the Recommendation through a survey of the measures that ECAs have put in place to tackle bribery, as well as via regular workshops to consider best practices, relevant international developments and evolving business practices.

Full text of the recommendation can be found here.