RC: Could you provide a brief overview of current anti-bribery provisions in Germany under the Criminal Code?

Kim-Reinartz: In Germany, anti-corruption provisions under the Criminal Code apply to individuals, while companies fall under the Administrative Offences Act. Under the Criminal Code it is a criminal offence for individuals to offer, pay or accept a bribe. However, there is a slight distinction between public officials and individuals in the commercial practice. For individuals in commercial practice, corruptive agreements granting an undue benefit and offering a bribe is covered under the Criminal Code. For public officials, granting benefits whether undue or not in connection with the offering of a bribe is defined as a criminal offence. For companies, the Administrative Offences Act applies to individuals who are held responsible for offences committed on behalf of the company. Meanwhile, executive management can be held responsible for failing to implement adequate supervisory measures that could for prevent criminal offences.

RC: Compared to existing law, how do the contents of the new draft legislation impact the healthcare sector?

Kim-Reinartz: The new draft, which explicitly targets the healthcare sector, contains legislation which aims to close gaps in the German Criminal Code. The draft aims, in particular, to tackle gaps in the legislation which may permit the granting of an undue benefit or the offering of a bribe to healthcare professionals (HCPs) who may not be public officials, which is not covered by the existing Criminal Code. Accordingly, this draft new law, if adopted, may affect German business, in particular companies that interact with German physicians, pharmacists, nurses and many other healthcare professionals.

Jul-Sep 2015 Issue