Fair competition - Prevention of bribery

Bribery is defined as the offering, giving, receiving or soliciting of something having a value for the purpose of influencing the action of a public officer or a business decision.

The Federal Government insists on export business being transacted free of bribery because it considers that to be a very important aspect of sustainability.

On the one hand, the absence of corrupt practices is vital both for exporters and banks and for the Federal Government, as far as it grants export credit guarantees, in view of the risk involved. On the other hand, fair competition creates the business environment needed also by German exporters to be able to offer their high-quality goods and services.

Therefore the Federal Government actively supports all efforts aimed at combating bribery in order to create transparent and fair trading conditions and a level playing field. The framework for the granting of export credit guarantees is mainly based on the OECD
externer LinkPDF-Datei"Recommendation on Bribery and Officially Supported Export Credits"
agreed in 2006.

In connection with the granting of export credit guarantees the Federal Government states:

  • No export credit guarantees will be granted for export transactions or loan agreements the conclusion of which involved any criminal acts such as bribery.
  • If it is proven later that bribery was involved, the Federal Government can invoke relief from liability pursuant to the General Terms and Conditions.

Do you have any questions or do you need additional information? Please do not hesitate to contact us – we will be pleased to assist you.


Recommendations of the OECD

As a member of the OECD the Federal Government was actively involved in the preparation of common principles for the combating of bribery. After it was passed by the Council of the OECD, the Federal Government committed it self to applying the provisions of the "Recommendation on Bribery and Officially Supported Export Credits" of December 2006 when granting export credit guarantees. For this reason the applicants have been required to make a "Declaration regarding Combating Bribery in Respect of Business Transactions covered by Federal Export Credit Guarantees" (73 KB) in the course of the application proceedings as of the beginning of 2007.

More information on recent developments on the subject of combating bribery in officially supported export credits can be found on the Internet page of the OECD under the heading "Bribery and Export Credits" . There you can find, for example, a report on a
survey among the member states on measures taken to implement the OECD recommendations.


Prevention of bribery

The damage caused by bribery not only poses a threat to the economic viability of the individual company but has also repercussions on the reputation of trade and industry as whole. The mutual trust between buyers and suppliers is destroyed. Intransparent and unlawful acts make fair competition impossible.

Within this meaning the prevention of bribery is also risk control. In unison with the big German industrial associations such as BDI and BDA, the Federal Government therefore encourages export companies to actively take up the subject and to set up internal mechanisms designed to prevent corruption. Measures to prevent bribery comprise exemplary behaviour of the companies' managers and regular training of the employees in addition to drawing up a code of conduct.

When looking for suitable preventive measures, above all the publications of BDI and Transparency International ("Self Audit") may be helpful. Additional, supplementary information on the subject of combating bribery can found under the following Web links.

Federation of German Industries (BDI)


Transparency International

Bribery and development cooperation

United Nations