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International Regulatory Enforcement

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Bill That Would Impose “Mini-Embargo” and Disclosure of Goods from Xinjiang
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives considered two bills that would place broad restrictions on products from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (“XUAR”) of China, and would require publicly listed companies to disclose if they trade in products manufactured using forced labor from the region.
A Cooperation Agreement Concluded Between the French Financial Market Agency (AMF) and the French Anti-corruption Agency (AFA)
While interagency cooperation agreements are very common in countries like the UK and the United States, they are less so in continental Europe. The Protocol of Cooperation between the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF) and the French Anti-Corruption Agency (AFA), concluded on September 16, 2020, is therefore worth noting.
It's Only the Beginning: COVID-19, Public Procurement, and Corruption
As public money is increasingly used to mitigate the damage of COVID-19 on the world economy, the guidance document issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Corruption (UNDOC) on August 31, 2020, should raise the interest not only of public authorities but also of all companies bidding for public procurements
Where the New Normal Could Be the Old Normal: Addressing Corruption Concerns Relating to Brazil’s Political Turmoil
Brazil has taken a number of steps in its journey to improve its anti-corruption laws and business culture, on the heels of Operation Car Wash. But that journey has not been smooth, nor is it complete. In this alert, we summarize some recent developments that have not been reported extensively outside Brazil or in English, but may nonetheless pose corruption risks or impact compliance programs of companies based or operating in Brazil.
FCPA Opinion Procedure Release 20-01 – Much Ado About Nothing?
The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) posted its first Opinion Procedure Release (“OPR”)[1] since 2014 on Friday, August 14, 2020. While this release will be of interest to the anti-corruption compliance user community and practitioners, it further demonstrates the limited utility of most OPRs to the general public, and the inherent limitations of the process for companies and individuals making formal opinion requests to the Department.
At last…the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) is getting real!
Dreamed of by some for a long time, the creation of the EPPO marks a dramatic shift in the fight against crimes affecting the EU’s budget and an important step towards creating a common criminal justice area in the European Union as a whole. Following the July 27th decision of the European Council, this dream of some (and possibly the nightmare of others) is becoming a reality.
International Chamber of Commerce Releases COVID-19 Recovery Guidance
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), representing more than 45 million companies in over 100 countries has just issued its ICC Guidance on Integrity for a Covid-19 Response and Resilient Rebuild. The Guidance has been finalized under the leadership of the Commission on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-corruption, taking into consideration input and commentary from ICC national committees and members. According to the ICC, “with this Guidance, ICC encourages business and governments to continue to uphold the highest standards for integrity in business transactions during the Covid-19 crisis and for the post-Covid rebuild”.
The Trend Continues: As Outward Bound Investments from Japanese Multinationals Continue to Grow, So Do ABAC Compliance and Other Enforcement Risks
In 2016, we advised Japanese multinationals that their growing significance in the global economy, primarily as a key source of outward bound investment and merger & acquisition (“M&A”) activity, translated into growing anti-bribery, anti-corruption (“ABAC”) compliance and other enforcement risks. In that article, found here, we detailed booming economic activity alongside significant then-recent enforcement activity against Japanese multinationals by the U.S. government, primarily under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) but also the U.S. Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”), for activities in major targets of Japanese outward bound investment—the U.S., China, and emerging Asia markets such as Vietnam. In particular, the May 2016 $646 million mega-resolution with Olympus Corp. for FCPA and AKS violations (to this day still the largest medical device company and AKS resolution of all time) constituted a foreboding example of economic expansion without sufficient compliance controls. Consequently, we advised Japanese multinationals to take a proactive approach to ABAC compliance.
“Lessons Learned” by DOJ Provide Further Guidance on Developing a Dynamic Compliance Program
The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) latest guidance demonstrates that DOJ is listening to its own advice—making adjustments to its own guidance documents based on what its prosecutors have learned from investigations, compliance presentations, and monitorships during the past year. DOJ’s (now periodic) updates to the Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs guidelines sets forth some important modifications.
All Eyes on Me: Practical Tips for Anti-Corruption Compliance In and After a Time of Crisis
Many in-house compliance and legal officers, as well as others in gatekeeper roles with compliance responsibilities, are balancing increasing scrutiny with decreasing resources as they navigate unprecedented crises and find a path toward a new, post-crisis normal. Others may find their resources unchanged, but their compliance programs and plans may no longer be well-tailored to their company’s risk profile if the company has radically changed operations or business models. We offer some practical questions to ask and tips to consider when confronting peak crisis mode and charting the course forward.
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