France: Sapin II

“Sapin II”, the anti-corruption law in France, which was adopted on 10 December 2016 and entered into force in June 2017, obliges companies to introduce a compliance programme and a whistleblowing system. 

The law also requires comprehensive compliance programmes for companies in France with more than 500 employees and companies within groups with a French parent company with at least 500 employees worldwide and annual gross income of more than 100 million euros. Failure to comply may result in criminal prosecution of the management. 

Companies that were previously guilty of corruption may also have to establish compliance programmes.

The compliance programme must contain the following measures:

  • Preparation of an internal Code of Conduct
  • An internal system that makes it easy for whistleblowers to report a suspicion or violation of bribery or corruption
  • Introduction of a corruption risk matrix
  • Establishment of a due diligence procedure for clients, direct suppliers and third parties
  • Use of internal and external auditing to ensure that there are no hidden accounts
  • Compliance training for management and staff in particularly risk-prone areas
  • Regular evaluation of the efficiency of the measures

The anti-corruption authority AFA can impose heavy fines of up to EUR 200,000 for individuals and EUR 1 million for legal entities for non-compliance and/or violations.

See LexisNexis GmbH at: (accessed on 04.06.2020).