Happy Thanksgiving from the GCSG Team!

GCSG wishes you and your family a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

This Thanksgiving we are thankful for all our clients and vendors and for the many successes we have achieved together this past year!

We are always here to partner with our clients to solve challenging compliance issues with a strategic, comprehensive, and common sense approach.  We strive to exceed our clients expectations by providing high quality compliance products and services while staying true to our core values of integrity, service and accountability.

Kindest regards,

GCSG Services Team

** *** **

About GCSG

We provide Advisory, Audit, and Due Diligence services for our clients across a range of industries in the areas of Import, Export and Customs compliance, Anti-Bribery and Corruption, Drug Precursor, and Distilled Spirts Plant compliance.  The GCSG service team delivers compliance program assessment, development and implementation support, audit, fraud investigation, and third-party due diligence and risk management services.

Learn more about GCSG by following us online or contacting us directly:

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Contact

Jonathan Mellard

Founder
T   +1 225 229 2984
E   j.mellard@globalcompliancesg.com

Weekly Compliance News - Around the World

GCSG's Weekly Compliance News feature is a compilation of some of the previous weeks interesting trade compliance, anti-bribery and corruption, fraud, and due diligence news bites, from around the world.

Global Executives Cooling on M&A Deals Amid Trade Uncertainty | Industrial Distribution

"Executives around the world are cooling to the idea of mergers and acquisitions in the face of rising trade tensions, notably between the U.S. and China, a leading adviser on international corporate deals said Monday." (Click here for the article) - Global

US Imposes Additional Sanctions on Russia | Thompson Hine

"The United States has announced additional financial sanctions on three individuals and nine entities supporting Russia’s attempt to integrate the Crimea region of Ukraine through private investment and privatization projects or engaging in serious human rights abuses in furtherance of Russia’s occupation or control over parts of Ukraine." (Click here for the article) - EU, US, Russia, Ukraine

Africa church leaders join fight against graft | The FCPA Blog

"Eliud Wabukala, a retired Anglican archbishop, became chairman of Kenya's Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission in 2017. In September, he launched a bible-based anti-graft campaign that includes an anti-corruption bible study." (Click here for the article) - Kenya, Africa

The Growing Menace of Cyber Attacks in the Asia-Pacific region | Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

"Over the past few years, cyber attacks have emerged as one of the biggest global threats to businesses and governments. In September, the largest social networking platform, Facebook announced that data of at least 50 million accounts have been exposed to hackers through a breach." (Click here for the article) - Asia-Pacific region

Top Ten Things to Know About Expanded US Sanctions on Iran | Latham & Watkins

"As reported in the Latham Client Alert dated May 10, 2018, President Trump announced on May 8 that the United States was withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the January 2016 nuclear non-proliferation agreement among China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the US and Iran..." (Click here for the article) - US, Iran

US DOJ Unveils New China Initiative | Thompson Hine

"On November 1, 2018, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the creation of a “China Initiative” aimed at identifying priority Chinese trade theft cases for investigation and enforcement." (Click here for the article) - US, China

Illicit Procurement Network Used Firms in China, Portugal, and Turkey to Supply Iran | Iran Watch

"A recently unsealed indictment provides detail on Iran’s use of deceptive practices to procure export controlled items with military applications from the United States and elsewhere. The indictment details an elaborate, multi-year conspiracy directed by an Iranian-born Canadian to procure such items for an Iranian firm, with help from co-conspirators in China, Portugal, and Turkey." (Click here for the article) - US, Iran, Canada, China, Portugal, Turkey

Romanian anti-corruption prosecutors targeted by new work requirement| Euractiv

"Romanian prosecutors said they feared for their jobs and the rule of law after a new government ordinance increasing the years of professional experience required of them was published...Prosecutors will now need at least 10 years experience to work in the country’s National Anti-corruption Directorate, the anti-mafia bureau or the Public Prosecutor’s office." (Click here for the article) - EU, Romania

Weekly Compliance News - Around the World

GCSG's Weekly Compliance News feature is a compilation of some of the previous weeks interesting trade compliance, anti-bribery/corruption, fraud, and due diligence news bites, from around the world.

EU and Japan to Recognize the Other’s Persona Data Protection System | JDSupra - K&L Gates LLP

"On 17 July 2018, the EU and Japan reached an agreement to recognize each other’s data protections systems as “equivalent”, and each commits to complete internal procedures by fall 2018 (the “Data Agreement”). Once adopted, this will allow businesses to transfer personal data from the European Economic Area to Japan and vice versa without being required to provide further additional safeguards for each transfer." (Click here for the article) - EU, Japan

Chinese Intelligence Officer Charged with Economic Espionage | US DOJ

"A Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) operative, Yanjun Xu, aka Qu Hui, aka Zhang Hui, has been arrested and charged with conspiring and attempting to commit economic espionage and steal trade secrets from multiple U.S. aviation and aerospace companies.  Xu was extradited to the United States yesterday." (Click here for the article) - USA, China

Cyber Tests Showed ‘Nearly All’ New Pentagon Weapons Vulnerable to Attack | NPR

"Passwords that took seconds to guess, or were never changed from their factory settings. Cyber vulnerabilities that were known, but never fixed. Those are two common problems plaguing some of the Department of Defense's newest weapons systems, according to the Government Accountability Office." (Click here for the article) - USA, China

Security firm uncovers new cyber group targeting government and military sectors | The Hill

"A new cyber group appears to have been targeting government and military organizations this past year as part of an espionage campaign, a security firm said on Wednesday." (Click here for the article) - Eastern Europe, Middle East

Oil Industry snubs EU effort to defy US sanctions on Iran | Financial Times

"Big European oil companies are spurning the EU’s attempt to shield Iranian crude from US sanctions because of fears the effort would leave businesses exposed to harsh penalties from the Trump administration." (Click here for the article) - Europe, Iran, USA

Mitigating Compliance Pitfalls in Manufacturing | Manufacturing.net

"The U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission have stepped up efforts recently to enforce the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). For manufacturers, this involves regulations surrounding exports and international conduct, including those related to U.S. economic sanctions and export control laws." (Click here for the article) - USA

French ports planning for ‘No-Deal’ Brexit | freightweek

"Norlink Ports, an association of 25 ports and inland gateways in the northern Hauts-de-France region, is planning measures to reduce the commercial impact of Britain leaving the European Union without a trade agreement." (Click here for the article) - UK, France, EU

Three Audit Employees Investigated in Probe of Vehicle Certifications | WSJ

"German prosecutors have launched an investigation into three employees of Volkswagen AG’s luxury car unit Audi suspected of falsifying documents to obtain roadworthiness certifications needed for vehicles to be exported to South Korea…" (Click here for the article) - Germany, South Korea

Countries Face Rising Exposure to Money Laundering | WSJ

"More countries are showing heightened risks of exposure to money laundering, according to an annual ranking of countries assessing their money-laundering risk." (Click here for the article) - Global

Weekly Compliance News - Around the World

GCSG's Weekly Compliance News feature is a compilation of some of the previous weeks interesting trade compliance, anti-bribery/corruption, fraud, and due diligence news bites, from around the world.

China Tariffs - List 3 Finalized and Taking Effect | Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP

"At the end of the day on September 17, 2018, the U.S. Trade Representative issued notice that List 3 of the China tariffs has been finalized and takes effect with a 10% tariff on September 24, 2018." (Click here for the article) - USA, China

China eases up on winter smog fight as it battles American trade war headwinds  | SCMP

"China will be less severe with its smog curbs this winter as it grapples with slower economic growth and a trade war with the United States, according to a government plan released on Thursday." (Click here for the article) - USA, China

Ferraris, diamond rings: 3 men indicted in massive $364 million Ponzi scheme | USA Today

"Three men have been indicted in an alleged $364 million ponzi scheme that had more than 400 victims who funded their lavish lifestyle, featuring luxury cars, pricey homes and expensive jewelry, federal authorities said." (Click here for the article) - USA

Paris set to triumph as Europe’s post-Brexit trading hub | Financial Times

"Paris is emerging as the favored financial trading hub for continental Europe, as some of the world’s biggest banks and asset managers prepare for life after Brexit by steering their EU operations away from London to the French capital." (Click here for the article) - UK, France, European Union

US reaches trade deal with Canada and Mexico | Politico

"Trade ministers from the U.S., Mexico and Canada have reached a deal to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Trump administration announced late Sunday night." (Click here for the article) - USA, Mexico, Canada

Rules of Origin are too complicated | FOOD navigator

"Complex rules of origin labelling requirements inhibit trade and SMEs pay a particularly heavy price, trade bodies amfori and EuroCommerce warn. Speaking at a conference on rules of origin in Brussels, the heads of both associations argued that unless rules of origin requirements are reformed, they will continue to discourage European companies from taking advantage of ‘hard won concessions’ in free trade agreements." (Click here for the article) - European Union

North Korean hacking group tried to steal over $1Bn | FireEye

"This new FireEye report reveals a North Korean hacking group tried to steal over $1 billion from banks worldwide." (Click here for the article) - North Korea, Global

USMCA Provision Could Deter Trade Agreements with China | ST&R

"A provision in the updated NAFTA concluded this past weekend could make it more difficult for Canada and Mexico to pursue potential free trade agreements with China. Observers say the Trump administration could look to insert a similar provision in possible FTAs with the European Union and Japan as part of its effort to pressure Beijing to advance economic reforms." (Click here for the article) - USA, Mexico, Canada, China

Dubai enacts changes to anti-money laundering rules | The National

"The Dubai government has enacted changes to the Dubai International Financial Centre's anti-money laundering laws following a self-assessment of the free zone’s capacity to fight financial crime." (Click here for the article) - UAE

Hong Kong Freezes Chairman Assets, Alleges $1.3 Billion Con | Bloomberg

"Hong Kong’s securities regulator froze the assets of an unnamed chairman of a public company on suspicion of fraud totaling $1.3 billion. The person may have conducted two suspicious transactions to make significant profits, the Securities and Futures Commission said in a statement..." (Click here for the article) - Hong Kong, China

Weekly Compliance News - Around the World

GCSG's Weekly Compliance News feature is a compilation of some of the previous weeks interesting trade compliance, anti-bribery/corruption, fraud, and due diligence news bites, from around the world.

Europe, Russia and China join forces with a new mechanism to dodge Iran sanctions | CNBC

"In the latest sign of the growing divide between Washington and its allies, the European Union's foreign policy chief announced Monday that the bloc was creating a new payment mechanism to allow countries to transact with Iran while avoiding U.S. sanctions." (Click here for the article) - USA, Russia, China, European Union

China says US trying to force it to submit on trade as new tariffs kick in | Reuters

"The United States and China imposed fresh tariffs on each other’s goods on Monday as the world’s biggest economies showed no signs of backing down from an increasingly bitter trade dispute that is expected to hit global economic growth." (Click here for the article) - USA, China

Novartis links bonuses to ethics in bid to rebuild reputation | GAN Integrity Inc.

"Swiss drug maker Novartis has revealed its employees only get a bonus if they meet or exceed expectations for ethical behavior as it seeks to address past shortcomings that have damaged its reputation." (Click here for the article) - Switzerland, USA, South Korea, China

Japan mulls bilateral trade deal with U.S. | Reuters

"Japan is mulling a bilateral trade agreement with the United States that would lower tariffs on U.S. agriculture imports in exchange for avoiding higher tariffs on Japanese autos, the Nikkei newspaper said on Saturday." (Click here for the article) - Japan, USA

Potential NAFTA collapse poses major risk to Canada | Financial Post

"Canada’s economic growth could be pared by about a quarter next year if the North American Free Trade Agreement collapses, and the drag will be extended if an automobile trade war emerges, according to a new Conference Board forecast." (Click here for the article) - Canada, USA

British inquiry intensifies Danske Bank money laundering scandal | Reuters

"Danske Bank’s money laundering scandal spread on Friday to Britain where the National Crime Agency said it is investigating the use of UK-registered companies." (Click here for the article) - Finland, Denmark, Estonia, Russia, UK

BASF commits to complying with US sanctions on Iran | Politico

"German chemical giant BASF has made a firm commitment to comply with all U.S. sanctions against Iran, becoming the latest in a string of large European companies to back away from ambitious plans to invest in the Islamic Republic following Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal." (Click here for the article) - Germany, Iran, USA

US Sanctions Russia and China-based IT companies for connections to DPRK | WorldECR

"The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (‘OFAC’) has sanctioned a Chinese IT company, its Russian counterpart and its North Korean CEO, targeting revenue repatriated to North Korea (‘DPRK’) through overseas IT workers." (Click here for the article) - Russia, China, North Korea, USA

Weekly Compliance News - Around the World

GCSG's Weekly Compliance News feature is a compilation of some of the previous weeks interesting trade compliance, anti-bribery/corruption, fraud, and due diligence news bites, from around the world.

US President signs miscellaneous tariff bill - eliminates tariffs | crowell moring

"On September 13, 2018, President Trump signed the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) Act of 2018, which temporarily reduces or eliminates import duties on specified raw materials and intermediate products used in manufacturing that are not produced or available domestically." (Click here for the article) - USA

Danske Bank CEO quits over $234 billion money laundering scandal | Reuters

"Danske Bank’s chief executive Thomas Borgen resigned on Wednesday after an investigation revealed payments totaling 200 billion euros ($234 billion) through its small Estonian branch, many of which the bank said were suspicious." (Click here for the article) - Estonia, Russia, Denmark, European Union

U.S.’s Ross says China must decide on trade talks | CNBC

"It is up to Beijing to take the next steps on trade talks, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Tuesday as China vowed to retaliate after U.S. President Donald Trump imposed initial duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods." (Click here for the article) - China, USA

US Legislation Gives BIS Greater Powers | WorldECR

"The US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (‘BIS’) has been given statutory authority under the Export Control Reform Act (‘ECRA’), to control certain exports. The act was signed into law by President Trump on 13 August." (Click here for the article) - USA

Europe Moves to Target Money Laundering in Response to Scandals | WSJ

"Europe threw a one-two punch to fight money laundering on Wednesday, with the European Commission proposing enhanced powers for a regulator and lawmakers passing a package of new rules." (Click here for the article) - European Union

Foreign Bribery Rages Unchecked in over half of Global Trade | Transparency International

"Transparency International’s new report, Exporting Corruption, finds that only 11 major exporting countries - accounting for about a third of world exports - have active or moderate law enforcement against companies bribing abroad in order to gain mining rights, contracts for major construction projects, purchases of planes and other deals." (Click here for the article) - Global

Canada returning to NAFTA talks earlier than expected | CBC

"NAFTA talks are resuming at the decision-maker level sooner than expected, with Canada's foreign affairs minister set to return to Washington on Tuesday." (Click here for the article) - Canada, USA, Mexico

US - South Korea Free Trade Agreement Changes Published

Details on the changes made to the US - Korea free trade agreement have now been published.(1)  The renegotiated agreement covers areas such as automobiles, customs processes, and investment, as well as the recent US steel and aluminum tariffs.  Some of the key new outcomes include(2):

  • Korea will extend the phase out of the 25% US tariff on trucks until 2041
  • Korea will double the number of US automobile exports, to 50,000 cars per manufacturer per year, that can meet US safety standards and enter the Korean market without further modification
  • US gasoline engine vehicle exports will be able to show compliance with Korea's emission standards using the same tests they conduct to show compliance with US regulations
  • Korea will recognize US standards for auto parts necessary to service US vehicles and reduce labeling burdens for parts
  • Agreement was reached on conducting verification of origin of exports under KORUS

Click here for the document that provides the KORUS text change details.  

References

Singapore Makes Changes to their Strategic Goods Control List

On September 4, 2018 Singapore Customs announced they have modified their Strategic Goods Control List.(1)  The changes, when they come into effect, will bring Singapore's strategic goods control list up to date with the 2017 Wassenaar Arrangement's Munitions List (2), and the 2017 European Union's List of Dual-Use Items.(3)  

The amendments include new controls, removal of controls, and other minor editorial changes.  Singapore Customs published a document with the changes noted in detail.(4)

The changes will become effective on November 1, 2018.

References:

Weekly Compliance News - Around the World

GCSG's Weekly Compliance News feature is a compilation of some of the previous weeks interesting trade compliance, anti-bribery/corruption, fraud, and due diligence news bites, from around the world.

Retaliatory tariffs on US chem exports to China threaten $18Bn in economic harm | ICIS

"The $11Bn worth of tariffs on US chemical exports enacted by China put almost $18Bn in domestic activity at risk along with nearly 55,000 US jobs..." (Click here for the article) - USA, China

New Sanctions Against Russia Have Unfavorable Impact on Defense Sector | BakerHostetler

"the U.S. State Department published new sanctions against Russia based on the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 after determining that the government of Russia had used chemical weapons in violation of international law..." (Click here for the article) - USA, Russia

Trump Rejects EU Offer to Remove Tariffs on Industrial Goods | ST&R Trade Report

"President Trump said Aug. 30 that a European Union offer to remove all tariffs on two-way trade in automobiles and other industrial goods is "not good enough."  (Click here for the article) - USA, European Union

'Urgency' for Asia Pacific mega trade deal | CNBC

"While the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is considering slapping another $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, 16 economies in Asia Pacific are racing to conclude a mega trade deal that would become the largest trading bloc in the world." (Click here for the article) - 10 ASEAN nations plus China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, 

EU lifts five-year old restrictions on solar panels from China | South China Morning Post

"The European Union will end its five-year-old restrictions on solar panel imports from China, officials said on Monday, as Brussels and Beijing increase their own trade cooperation in the face of protectionist steps from the United States." (Click here for the article) - EU, China

Kim struggles to revive North Korean economy battered by sanctions | Nikkei Asian Review

"In the two and a half months since his historic summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has temporarily shelved de-nuclearization talks in favor of inspecting farms and factories to underscore his focus on improving an economy hamstrung by years of sanctions." (Click here for the article) - USA, North Korea, South Korea

Trump reportedly wants to hit China with tariffs on $200Bn worth of goods | Business Insider

"Bloomberg reported Thursday that Trump had told aides that he wants to follow through on a threat to impose tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods as early as next week. That would mean more than half of all Chinese imports would be subject to tariffs." (Click here for the article) - USA, China

China may soon regret slapping tariffs on US soybeans | CNN Money

"One of China's major moves in the trade war with the US is in danger of backfiring on its own farmers.  They're facing a potential shortage of soybeans, one of China's biggest imports from the United States, after Beijing slapped a 25% tariff on them last month in retaliation for US tariffs on a swath of Chinese goods." (Click here for the article) - USA, China

Former DP World Manager must pay Dh5 million fine over bribe plot | The National UAE

"A former DP World manager who sought bribes from two companies in exchange for helping them win lucrative construction projects has had her 18-month jail term upheld – and been told she must still pay a fine of nearly Dh5 million." (Click here for the article) - UAE

Wells Fargo bankers fired after falsifying dinner receipts | Fox Business

"Yet another scandal has reportedly broken out at Wells Fargo.  The bank has fired or suspended at least a dozen employees at its investment bank - Wells Fargo Securities - over allegations these individuals doctored after-hours dinner receipts..." (Click here for the article) - USA

An overview of the Danske Bank money laundering scandal | Berlingske Business

"Berlingske has spent more than a year investigating the extensive money laundering at Danske Bank. Here is an overview of the case – with links to the most important articles (some are in Danish)...For years, large and deeply suspicious money flows were channelled unhindered through Danske Bank’s branch in Estonia – in what experts say was in breach of anti-money laundering laws." (Click here for the article) - Denmark, Estonia, Russia

 

US Trade Representative Issues Trade Fact Sheet on US-MX Trade Agreement

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently published a fact sheet detailing the key components of the recently agreed upon US-Mexico Trade Agreement.  Some of the key changes proposed in the rule include:

  • Auto sector: At least 75% of a vehicle must have been built in either the US or Mexico in order for the vehicle to sell in the US without tariffs.  The original NAFTA agreement only required 62.5%.
  • Intellectual property: The agreement extends US copyright protection into Mexico and strengthens the patent protections in the pharmaceutical and agricultural sectors.  It also addresses digital trade, something that was not covered under NAFTA.
  • Labor and Environmental: The agreement requires companies to "prohibit the importation of goods produced by forced labor, to address violence against workers exercising their labor rights, and to ensure that migrant workers are protected under labor laws.".  It also addresses air quality issues.
  • Duty free limits: The agreement raises the "de minimis" level from $50 to $100 for duty free entry from the US into Mexico for Mexican citizens.  U.S. citizens are allowed to import up to $800 worth of goods duty free.
  • Sunset Clause: The pact, if agreed upon would run for 16 years.  After 6 years both sides would met and decide if they wanted to renew for another 16 years.      

The deal requires approval from the US Congress before it can become law.  The Administration intends to submit the paperwork to get the process started in Congress as early as Friday.  This timeline potentially gives Canada only a week to sign-on to the deal.  

Click here for the full Fact Sheet.  

Key Link(s):

Weekly Compliance News - Around the World

GCSG's Weekly Compliance News feature is a compilation of some of the previous weeks interesting trade compliance, anti-bribery/corruption, fraud, and due diligence news bites, from around the world.

Cyber Crooks Hit British Law Firms, Steal Over 20 million pounds of client money | KYC360

"UK law firms are increasingly coming under attack from cyber criminals, with attacks costing law firms millions..." (Click here for the article) - UK

US State Department Imposes Sanctions on Russia for Use of Chemical Weapons | Baker McKenzie

"On August 24, 2018, the US State Department gave notice of new sanctions on Russia under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (the “CBW Act”) after determining that the Russian Government has used chemical weapons in violation of international law or chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals." (Click here for the article) - USA, Russia

Microsoft Hit With US Bribery Probe Over Deals in Hungary | WSJ

"Microsoft Corp. is being investigated by U.S. authorities over potential bribery and corruption related to software sales in Hungary, according to people familiar with the matter." (Click here for the article) - Hungary, USA

Company expelled from program for abuse, non-compliance | The Fiji Times

"A RENOWNED automotive company in Fiji has been stripped off from the Revenue and Customs’ Gold Card Services Program for abuse and non-compliance to Customs laws on numerous occasions." (Click here for the article) - Fiji

Nearly Half of Responding Organizations Plan to Modernize Compliance in Year Ahead | Corporate Compliance Insights

"Almost half (48.3 percent) of risk and compliance, internal audit, C-suite executive and board professionals plan to modernize their compliance functions by changing core compliance execution practices during the next 12 months, according to a recent Deloitte poll." (Click here for the article) - Global

Treasury blacklists firms, individuals accused of violating North Korean sanctions | WSJ

"Three South Koreans illegally imported North Korean coal and iron via Russia in violation of sanctions, South Korean customs officials said, exposing a crack in the US-led campaign to cut off trade with the Pyongyang regime." (Click here for the article) - North Korea, Russia, USA

SEC Charges Citigroup for Internal Controls Failure | CFO

"Citigroup agreed to an SEC enforcement action on Thursday that charged the bank with inadequate controls that failed to detect “fraudulently-induced” loans made by a Mexican subsidiary. The failure ultimately resulted in $475 million of losses reported by Citigroup.." (Click here for the article) - Mexico, USA

Oil giant Total has pulled out of Iran and giant gas project | CNBC

"French oil giant Total has officially left Iran and abandoned its deal to develop a giant natural gas field in the country, Iran's oil minister reportedly told state television Monday, leaving the isolated republic to look for a replacement." (Click here for the article) - France, Iran, USA

UK Government to publish no-deal Brexit advice | BBC News

"Three South Koreans illegally imported North Korean coal and iron via Russia in violation of sanctions, South Korean customs officials said, exposing a crack in the US-led campaign to cut off trade with the Pyongyang regime." (Click here for the article) - UK, EU

India passes amendments to 1988 Prevention of Corruption Act

On July 24, 2018 the Indian Parliament passed the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill 2018 (POCA).(1)  The POCA amends the 1988 Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).  The POCA was necessary to align the existing law with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).(7)  A previous attempt to amend the PCA in 2013 failed.(2)  For the first time, the law now includes a bribery provision for commercial organizations.  

Background

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 1944(3) was the first law in India that dealt with corruption.  The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947(4) was enacted to supplement the provisions of the Indian Penal Code of 1860.(5)  Eventually it was determined that the scope of the 1947 law was too narrow and as a result the PCA was enacted in 1988.(6)  The PCA replaced the 1947 Act, widened the scope of the definition of public servant and increased the potential penalty assessments.  An unsuccessful attempt was made in 2013 to amend the PCA in order to align it with the UNCAC(7), as a result of India's ratification of the UNCAC in May of 2011. 

Key Changes within the 2018 POCA   

The 2018 POCA amends various provisions of the 1988 PCA:

  • The giving of a bribe is now a direct offence - however, if you are compelled to give a bribe you will not be charged with the crime if you report it to the authorities within seven (7) days;
  • Includes provisions for both bribing a public servant and the offering of a bribe by a commercial organization (including commercial organizations is NEW);
  • Allows for the prosecution of former public officials - previously only currently serving public officials could be prosecuted;
  • Removes the provision that protected a person offering a bribe from prosecution based on statements they make during a corruption trial;
  • Provides more stringent punishments for bribery - for both the giver and taker (including up to seven years of imprisonment or a fine or both for the person offering a bribe); and
  • Redefines criminal misconduct to only cover misappropriation of property and possession of disproportionate assets.

Key New Text from the 2018 POCA

  • "8. (1) Any person who gives or promises to give an undue advantage to another person or persons, with intention - (i) to induce a public servant to perform improperly a public duty; or (ii) to reward such public servant for the improper performance of public duty; shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years or with a fine or with both..."
  • "9. (1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a commercial organisation, such organisation shall be punishable with fine, if any person associated with such commercial organisation gives or promises to give any undue advantage to a public servant intending - (a) to obtain or retain business for such commercial organisation; or (b) to obtain or retain an advantage in the conduct of business for such commercial organisation: Provided that it shall be a defence for the commercial organisation to prove that it had in place adequate procedures in compliance of such guidelines as may be prescribed to prevent persons associated with it from undertaking such conduct."
  • "Commercial organisation - means (i) a body which is incorporated in India and which carries on a business, whether in India or outside India; (ii) any other body which is incorporated outside India and which carries on a business, or part of a business, in any part of India; (iii) a partnership firm or any association of persons formed in India and which carries on a business whether in India or outside India; or (iv) any other partnership or association of persons which is formed outside India and which carries on a business, or part of a business, in any part of India..."
  • "(c) a person is said to be associated with the commercial organisation, if such person performs services for or on behalf of the commercial organisation irrespective of any promise to give or giving of any undue advantage which constitutes an offence..."

For more information Contact GCSG's anti-bribery and corruption professionals.

References:

Freight forwarding and logistics firms to withdraw from business with Iran

According to Lloyd's Loading List, some logistics service providers have decided to halt business in Iran as a result of the re-imposition of US sanctions.  Others are taking a wait and see approach.  In addition, several major container lines such as CMA, CGM, Maersk, and MSC have withdrawn from Iran.(2)  

"Thomas Cullen, a senior analyst at logistics consulting firm Transport Intelligence, said the re-imposition of US sanctions “seems likely to be at least as brutal as the sanctions pursued for the decade prior to the JCPOA, with the US now pressing for Iran to be excluded from the SWIFT banking transaction system”."(1)

Cullen noted: “With the announcement last week that Renault was ceasing operations, something that Peugeot-Citroen decided last month, the CKD related container traffic will fall heavily. Possibly the Chinese VMs may increase inputs to compensate, but they are much weaker in this market.”(1)

Cullen added: “The leading western container lines have effectively withdrawn from services into Iran, presumably leaving shippers to arrange their own feeder services from Dubai. Once again, the Chinese carriers may be the only option.”(1)

References:

Changes to U.S. In-Bond Process - Now in Effect

On September, 28, 2017 the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a final rule(1) implementing changes to the In-Bond Process.  The final rule adopts, with changes, proposed amendments originally published on February 22, 2012.  

The in-bond process allows imported merchandise to be entered into the U.S. at one port of entry without payment of duties and then transported by a bonded carrier to another U.S. port of entry.  The merchandise is then either entered or exported.  

The changes to the rule will enhance CBP's ability to track in-bond merchandise and ensure it is properly entered or exported.  The rule became effective on November 27, 2017 but several key changes did not become effective until 2018.  Key changes include:

July 2, 2018

  • All in-bond move requests, by a carrier, must be filed electronically.  The paper 7512 form for truck shipments traveling through the US from Canada is eliminated. 

August 6, 2018

  • Carriers are required to electronically report the arrival and location of the in-bond merchandise within 48 hours of arrival at the port of destination or port of exportation;
  • Carriers are required to electronically report the export of the in-bond merchandise within 48 hours of export; and
  • Carriers are required to electronically request and receive permission from CBP before diverting in-bond merchandise from its intended destination port to another port.

Definitions:

  • Bonded Carrier - a carrier of merchandise whose bond under 113.63 of this title is obligated for the transportation and delivery of merchandise.(1)

References:

Indian Customs makes key arrival and departure manifest changes

On May 11, 2018, India's Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIT) released a notification(1), that outlines new sea cargo manifest and transshipment regulations. 

The new requirements require shipping lines to comply with the timelines and requirements of the cargo manifestation for exports from India and imports arriving in India.  The changes include:

  • Delivery of an Arrival Manifest - all authorised sea carriers carrying imported goods, export goods, or coastal goods, are required to file an electronic (unless it's not possible to file electronically) arrival manifest with Indian Customs prior to the vessel's departure from the last port of call before arriving in India; and
  • Delivery of a Departure Manifest - all authorised sea carriers carrying imported goods, export goods, coastal goods or goods meant for foreign transit or foreign transshipment, are required to file an electronic (unless it's not possible to file electronically) departure manifest Indian Customs prior to the vessel's departure from the Indian port. 

The effective date of the new regulations was August 1, 2018. 

Definitions:

  • Arrival Manifest - means an integrated declaration required to be delivered by an authorised carrier on arrival of the vessel or train or truck carrying imported goods, export goods and coastal goods.(1)  
  • Authorised carrier - means an authorised sea carrier, authorised train operator, shipping line or custodian registered under regulation 3.(1)
  • Authorised sea carrier - means the master of the vessel carrying imported goods, export goods and coastal goods or his agent.(1)
  • Coastal goods transited through a designated foreign route - means (i) coastal goods transported between an Indian port on east coast and another Indian port on west coast or vice versa, by a vessel through the territorial waters of Sri Lanka, whether or not calling any port in Sri Lanka in between and without change of vessel; and (ii) coastal goods transported between an Indian port on east coast and a river port in India or vice versa, by a vessel through a route passing through the Bangladeshi waters and without change of vessel.(1)
  • Departure Manifest - means integrated declaration required to be delivered by an authorised carrier before departure of a vessel or train or truck for imported goods, export goods and coastal goods.(1)

References:

Weekly Compliance News - Around the World

GCSG's Weekly Compliance News feature is a compilation of some of the previous weeks interesting trade compliance, anti-bribery/corruption, fraud, and due diligence news bites, from around the world.

Sanctions Busters Smuggled North Korean Coal, Iron to the South via Russia | WSJ

"Three South Koreans illegally imported North Korean coal and iron via Russia in violation of sanctions, South Korean customs officials said, exposing a crack in the US-led campaign to cut off trade with the Pyongyang regime." (Click here for the article) - North Korea, South Korea, Russia, USA

Iran Sanctions Wind-Down Period Ends and New Iran Executive Order | Baker McKenzie

"In conjunction with the New Iran EO, the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control issued extensive new guidance on the New Iran EO..." (Click here for the article) - Iran, USA, European Union

FIFA eliminates "corruption" from Code of Ethics | NBC Sports

"FIFA eliminated the word "corruption" from its revised code of ethics during "secret meetings"..." (Click here for the article) - Global

Petrobras recovers $274 million from corruption scandal | Yahoo News

"Brazil's state-owned oil major Petrobras said Thursday that it has recovered 1.034 billion reais ($274 million) in funds embezzled during a giant corruption scandal that badly damaged the company and upended Brazilian politics." (Click here for the article) - Brazil

Customs of Ukraine and Serbia will work together to fight corruption | The Bobr Times

"Ukraine and Serbia signed a document that concerns data interchange between the customs authorities of the two countries and should increase the efficiency of the fight against corruption." (Click here for the article) - Serbia, Ukraine

The Long-Term Impact of Brexit on the European Union | Seeking Alpha

"When the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, higher barriers to trade, capital flows, and labor mobility will affect output and jobs not only in the UK but also in the remaining 27 EU member states." (Click here for the article) - UK, European Union

There's a good chance to reach a NAFTA deal this month | BDP International

"The U.S., Mexico and Canada have a good opportunity to reach a NAFTA agreement this month, and getting there will depend on the political flexibility of the Trump administration, according to the top representative for Mexico's private sector." (Click here for the article) - Mexico, Canada, USA

US, China to resume Trade Talks as Tariffs Bite | WSJ

"The US and China reached a modest breakthrough in their trade dispute, saying they would hold lower-level talks later this month on the spiraling dispute." (Click here for the article) - China, USA

Venezuelan President implicated in US investigation of money laundering | Malta Independent

"Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has been implicated in an American investigation for having laundered some 160 million euros through an unnamed Maltese private investment firm..." (Click here for the article) - Malta, Venezuela, USA

Weekly Compliance News - Around the World

GCSG's Weekly Compliance News feature is a compilation of some of the previous weeks interesting trade compliance, anti-bribery/corruption, fraud, and due diligence news bites, from around the world.

An illusion of choice: the conflicts that mire the audit world | Financial Times

"Most listed companies in Britain and the US use one of the Big Four auditing firms.  No fewer than 98 percent of FTSE 350 consituents have their books vetted by one of KPMG, EY, Deloitte or PwC...Conflicts are often hidden discreetly beneath the surface." (Click here for the article) - Global

Deutsche Bank reports show chinks in money laundering armor | Reuters

"Most listed companies in Britain and the US use one of the Big Four auditing firms.  No fewer than 98 percent of FTSE 350 consituents have their books vetted by one of KPMG, EY, Deloitte or PwC...Conflicts are often hidden discreetly beneath the surface." (Click here for the article) - Germany, European Union, Russia, Ireland, Spain, Italy, South Africa

US unveils next round of Chinese imports to face tariffs | BDP International

"The Trump administration on Tuesday unveiled a list of roughly $16 billion worth of imports from China that will be hit with 25% tariffs." (Click here for the article) - China, USA

US guidance on trade sanctions being reimposed on Iran | KPMG

"The US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control today announced the following guidance concerning an executive order reimposing sanctions with respect to Iran..." (Click here for the article) - Iran, USA

Fourth Circuit Agrees with Walmart on Privilege Issue Relevant to FCPA Inquiry | FCPA Professor

"Walmart and the government seem to be at an impasse regarding resolution of Walmar'ts FCPA scrutiny first disclosed in late 2011...In late June 2018 the Fourth Circuit, in this decision, agreed with Walmart's position." (Click here for the article) - USA

US slaps export controls on dozens of Chinese firms over threat to national security | South China Morning Post

"Washington has slapped restrictions on dozens of key Chinese companies - including state-owned developers of military-use technologies such as air defence and satellite systems - for reasons of national security." (Click here for the article) - China, USA

 

Saturday Compliance News - Around the World

GCSG's Weekly Compliance News feature is a compilation of some of the previous weeks interesting trade compliance, anti-bribery/corruption, fraud, and due diligence news bites, from around the world.

Are CEOs Less Ethical Than in the Past? | Strategy + Business

"The job of a CEO at a large publicly held company may seem to be quite comfortable - high pay, excellent benefits, elevated social status, and access to private jets.  But the comfortable perch is increasingly becoming a hot seat, especially when CEOs and their employees cross red lines." (Click here for the article) - Global

What if BREXIT Happened Without an Exit Deal? | Stratfor

"Negotiators for the UK and the EU are racing the clock to reach agreements on a long list of remaining issues before the UK formally leaves the bloc..." (Click here for the article) - UK, European Union

Texas jury indicts Arkema, two executives over chemical releases | Reuters

"A Texas grand jury on Friday indicted chemicals manufacturer Arkema North America and two of its executives for releasing emissions that allegedly endangered the public after a 2017 hurricane." (Click here for the article) - USA

OFAC Sanctions Russian Bank for Moving North Korean Cash | RegTech Post

"The Office of Foreign Assets Control has named Russia's Commercial Bank Agrosoyuz as a Specially Designated National, for moving funds for a DPRK bank, and for two front companies acting for the North Korean Government." (Click here for the article) - Russia, North KoreaUSA

US elevates India to most-important allies list  | The Economic Times

"In a big boost to India, the US has eased the export restrictions for high-technology product sales to India by designating it as a Strategic Trade Authorization-1 country, the only South Asian nation to be on the 36 countries list." (Click here for the article) - IndiaUSA

EU Privacy Becomes Excuse to Withhold in US Bribery Probes | Bloomberg Law

"Companies are improperly using the European Union's fairly new privacy standards as the scapegoat for why they can't disclose documents to the US government during foreign bribery investigations..." (Click here for the article) - European Union, USA

CNPC refutes subsidiary's role in 1MDB money-laundering scandal | South China Morning Post

"China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering, a unit of China's state-owned oil and gas giant China National Petroleum Corp, had refuted a media report that money paid for its pipeline projects in Malaysia was diverted to third-party Cayman Islands companies involved in money laundering." (Click here for the article) - China, Malaysia, Cayman Islands, UAE

OECD Publishes Phase 4 Anti-Bribery Implementation Report on Germany

In June, the OECD published their Phase 4 report (the "Report") on Germany's implementation of the 1997 OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.  The OECD published their Phase 3 report on Germany in March 2011.

The Report describes Germany's achievements, challenges, and enforcement practices related to its foreign bribery laws.  Since 1999, there have been 67 bribery cases in Germany that have resulted in 328 individuals and 18 entities being sanctioned.  A majority of these having occurred in the last 5 years.  This rate places Germany among the highest enforcers of the Anti-Bribery Convention in the world.  

The Working Group commended Germany for holding individuals responsible, but noted a concern that there appeared to be insufficient enforcement against companies.  The Report noted that Germany has demonstrated an ability to detect bribery allegations through multiple sources including Mutual Legal Assistance, self-reporting by companies, coordination with tax authorities, and joint investigative teams in multi-jurisdiction investigations.    

Bribery Risks in Light of Trade Profile

Germany is the largest European economy and the 4th largest economy in the world.  It accounted for 7.85% of the world's exports in 2016.(1)  The German economy is very strongly oriented towards exports. Exports accounted for almost half of Germany's GDP in 2016.(2)  47% of German foreign direct investment is in the United States, UK, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.(3)  Many of the bribery allegations involving German companies and nationals related to projects in Central, Eastern, and South-Eastern Europe.  

Germany's trading with China has increased substantially recently.  German imports from and exports to China rose to 180 billion USD in 2016 and Germany became the largest recipient of Chinese foreign direct investment in 2017.(4)

Germany has a high exposure to the risk of bribery of foreign officials due to its dependency on exports and its trading in high-risk industrial sectors in high-risk jurisdictions.(5

Bribery Cases        

Since 2011 there have been 121 foreign bribery cases being investigated, with 35 still under investigation and 42 cases terminated due to insufficient grounds.  47 cases have resulted in sanctions on individuals and/or companies.  In the last five years the rate of enforcement has increased significantly over the previous ten years.  

Report Conclusions and Recommendations

  • German tax authorities have played a large role in detecting foreign bribery cases.
  • There is strong cooperation between tax authorities, prosecutors, and the Police.
  • OECD commends Germany's efforts to investigate, prosecute, and sanction individuals.
  • Germany plays a leading role in enforcing the Anti-Bribery Convention.
  • A couple of the many recommendations included that they provide clear guidance to companies about self-reporting procedures and that they amend legislation to provide clear protections for whistle-blowers.

Case Examples from the Report

Aviation company: "A subsidiary of a German aviation company paid bribes amounting to EUR 100 000 between 2007 and 2011 to responsible persons of an aviation authority in a central African state to facilitate the securing more consulting service contracts for the privatisation of the African state run airports. The benefits resulting from the concluded consulting service contract were estimated to equal the paid bribes. The investigation proceedings were initiated in 2013 based on information self-reported by the company and received from foreign authorities. In the course of the investigation, MLA requests were sent to three Parties to the Convention in 2014 and 2017. Informal contacts were established with one Party prior to the execution of one of the MLA requests. The German aviation company was held liable by Cologne Local Court in 2014 and received a EUR 100 000 regulatory fine. No individual was held liable in this case."(6)

DB Schenker (Russia): "DB Schenker, a German logistics provider of the state-owned German rail company Deutsche Bahn, was commissioned to deliver car parts to Russia. Bribes amounting to EUR 1.7 million were paid to customs officers in order to get these officers to forego the customs controls and to accelerate customs clearance. The Cologne Public Prosecutor office opened an investigation in 2013 based on an anonymous report which led Schenker’s parent company DB Deutsche Bahn to self-report to law enforcement authorities. In total, seven individuals, including the former chief executive, entered into a resolution pursuant to section 153a CCP. In turn, DB Schenker was held liable by the Cologne Local Court in 2016 and received an overall regulatory fine of EUR 2 million. The punitive component of the fine is EUR 300°000 and the confiscatory component EUR 1.7 million.186 The prosecutors indicate that the amount of the confiscatory component is equal to the amount of the bribe payments because the proceeds of bribery could not be estimated."

References and Key Links:

Wednesday Compliance News - Around the World

GCSG's Wednesday Compliance News is a compilation of some of the previous weeks interesting trade compliance, anti-bribery/corruption, fraud, and due diligence news bites, from around the world.

Texas Instruments CEO Resigns after Code of Conduct Violations | WSJ

"Texas Instruments Inc.'s Chief Executive Brian Crutcher has resigned over violations of the company's code of conduct..." (Click here for the article) - USA

US Tariffs are taxing for the whole world, not just China | South China Morning Post

"The United States' unilateral imposition of 25 per cent tariffs on Chinese products worth US$34 billion damages the global economy in the short term, and strategically threatens the economic well-being of numerous other countries." (Click here for the article) - China, USA

Japan's first corporate plea deal resolves overseas bribery case | The FCPA Blog

"Prosecutors in Tokyo used a plea bargain to resolve an overseas bribery case with a power plant maker under a new law adopted in June..." (Click here for the article) - Japan, Thailand

Lativia's Corruption Scandal is Getting Even Weirder | Bloomberg

"It's central bank chief has been charged with bribery.  A lawyer liquidating the bank that was accused of bribing him was killed in a hail of machine-gun fire.  And one of the banks' biggest lenders was shut down after U.S. allegations of money laundering and violations of sanctions on North Korea." (Click here for the article) - Latvia, USA, North Korea, Russia, Luxembourg, EU

Terrorists slipping through net thanks to anti-money laundering unit delays | Handelsblatt Global

"The Financial Intelligence Unit is overworked and understaffed, say police and prosecutors.  Staff only pass on tips six months after crimes are committed..." (Click here for the article) - Germany