Brazil’s new anti-corruption law

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Until recently, Brazil’s anti-corruption statute, which implemented the 1997 OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, only imposed liability on natural persons and lacked the element of corporate liability that is a cornerstone of anti-bribery enforcement in other jurisdictions.

This lack of an effective anti-corruption law created compliance difficulties for international companies operating in Brazil, given the potential for corruption in private and public sector transactions and the strict enforcement of anti-bribery rules by US and UK authorities. These factors also posed challenges for Brazilian companies adapting to operations in the international market.

On 1 August 2013, president Dilma Rousseff approved the new Brazilian anti-corruption law and took an important step in putting Brazil on par with other jurisdictions with modern and effective anti-corruption laws, such as the UK Bribery Act and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The law was published in the Brazilian official journal on 2 August 2013 and will become effective on 28 January 2014. This new anti-corruption law is much more comprehensive in scope and establishes harsher sanctions for violations than under the existing regime…

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