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Sapin II Compliance

What is Sapin II?

Sapin II requires French companies, and global corporations operating in France, to take measures to prevent and detect acts of corruption or influence peddling, in France and abroad, to meet the expectations of the Agence Française Anticorruption (AFA).

Challenge of Addressing Sapin II Compliance

The French anti-corruption and whistleblower protection law, Sapin II, aligns France with evolving global anti-corruption standards. Largely based on the FCPA and UK Bribery Act laws, Sapin II defines regulations to prevent and detect bribery and corruption through increased corporate transparency, reinforced internal monitoring, and enhanced whistleblower protection. The most stringent standards apply to larger companies based in France with 500 or more employees and an annual turnover of at least €100m, or companies of the same size that are part of a parent company headquartered in France. These companies are required to implement a comprehensive compliance program that includes an anti-corruption code of conduct, a risk assessment mechanism, procedures for conducting third-party due diligence, executive compliance training, a robust internal hotline reporting process to protect the confidentiality of whistleblowers and a procedure for measuring the effectiveness of the program.

Under the law, both companies and individuals can face penalties, including up to €1 million for companies and up to €200,000 for executives who fail to implement measures of prevention and detection, as well as imprisonment. This is also the first time that French law has enforced comprehensive ABC legislation through the creation of a national anti-corruption enforcement agency established by Sapin II known as the Agence Française Anti-Corruption (AFA). All companies that are based in or have ties to France need to review their compliance programs and ensure it is in alignment with Sapin II anti-corruption and anti-bribery standards.

What You Need

Code of Conduct

Prohibited conduct of corruption and influence peddling needs to be defined and illustrated in a clearly written and broadly distributed code of conduct.

Internal Whistleblowing Reporting System

A robust internal reporting mechanism that provides confidentiality for whistleblowers should offer multiple channels for employees to report concerns as well as a centralized database for efficient report processing and investigations.

Compliance Training for Corporate Visibility

Employees at all levels of the organization need to be trained on the specific characteristics of corruption and bribery defined in Sapin II as well as on best practices for reporting infractions that occur. 

Third-Party Due Diligence

Your full third-party network of vendors, clients, supplier, intermediaries, etc., need to be thoroughly reviewed and monitored to ensure proper risk mitigation and risk mapping across the supply chain.

Policy & Procedure Framework

The extensiveness of the French legislation should encourage all applicable companies to assess and update their policy and procedures to ensure compliance with standards.

Awareness Training for Company Leaders

Along with general employee compliance training, Sapin II distinguishes corruption awareness training for company leaders as an additional requirement for compliance.

Steps You Can Take to Meet Sapin II Anti-Corruption Requirements

Step 1

Publish a comprehensive code of conduct that clearly identifies behaviors of corruption and bribery that will not be tolerated at the organization.

Step 2

Update your policy and procedure programme to stay in alignment with evolving laws, guidelines, regulations and standards.

Step 3

Offer multiple whistleblower reporting methods, including a compliance hotline, for reports under the Sapin II regulation.

Step 4

Train employees and executives on their responsibilities and expectations for preventing as well as detecting bribery and corruption.

Step 5

Employ automated, continuous third-party due diligence to ensure your entire supply chain meets the ABC standards of your organization.