01 August 2016

Anti-bribery and corruption guide: Saudi Arabia

"As foreign investment continues to flow into Saudi Arabia, the risks of corruption will increase. It is important for businesses to have clear anticorruption policies and procedures in place so they are well equipped to deal with challenges that may arise."

Tim Taylor QC
Partner

 

1. What is bribery?

Bribery in Saudi Arabia is a criminal offence which can be committed by public officials or private individuals according to the Combating Bribery Law (the “CBL”).

The CBL penalizes the offering of any promise or gift to a public official to perform or cease to perform or neglect any of the public official’s duties (of his function or claimed to fall within his function), even where the act is lawful, or to use the public official’s powers to obtain from any public authority an order, decision, commitment, authorization, supply contract, job, employment, service or any other kind of privilege, or to use the public official’s powers to follow up on a transaction in any governmental department. The prohibition applies regardless of the intention of the public official not to perform the act.

However, the CBL makes no distinction between foreign and domestic public officials and the Saudi government criminalises the bribery of foreign public officials by Saudi nationals.

For foreign companies, Saudi Arabian courts generally do not accept jurisdiction over a foreign company if the elements of the bribery take place entirely outside Saudi Arabia. Foreign companies doing business in Saudi Arabia, with or without a formal legal presence in the country, are also subject to the CBL with respect to their acts within Saudi Arabia.

2. What are the exceptions/defences?

The briber or any middleman will be exempt from prosecution under the CBL if they voluntarily inform the relevant authorities with respect to a crime before the crime is discovered.

3. What are the sanctions?

Sanctions for individual violators (including public officials and principals of companies) vary depending on the case and may include:

  • up to 10 years imprisonment;
  • ƒƒfines of up to SAR1 million.

 

More from the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Guide:

Australia, Belgium, ChinaFrance, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore, Spain, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom.

A Guide to Doing Business in China

We explore the key issues being considered by clients looking to unlock investment opportunities in the People’s Republic of China.

Doing Business in China

Anti-Bribery and Corruption - An International Guide

The International Anti-Bribery and Corruption Guide is also available as a PDF.

The guide covers the regimes in the following regions: Australia, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, UAE and UK.

Anti-Bribery and Corruption - An International Guide
Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+
    You might also be interested in

    Organized into 19 stand-alone law topics, this article presents perspectives and on-the-ground experience from an experienced legal counsel in China.

    15 November 2017

    An up to date guide to the anti-bribery and corruption policy in Hong Kong.

    01 August 2016

    An up to date guide to the anti-bribery and corruption policy in Singapore.

    01 August 2016

    An up to date guide to the anti-bribery and corruption policy in China.

    01 August 2016

    Legal services for your business

    This site uses cookies to enhance your experience and to help us improve the site. Please see our Privacy Policy for further information. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive these cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

    For more information on which cookies we use then please refer to our Cookie Policy.

    Supported by Cheap Skip Bin Hire Melbourne - Hire Skip Bins Ltd