Canada repeals facilitation payments exception in Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act

News Release

October 30, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Canada plays a leadership role in fighting corruption and creating a level playing field for Canadian businesses at home and abroad. The Government of Canada expects Canadian organizations operating overseas to act in accordance with Canadian laws and the laws of the countries in which they do business.

Today, Global Affairs Canada announces the removal of the facilitation payments exception from the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA). The facilitation payments exception was repealed by Bill S‑14: An Act to amend the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act. The repeal is to come into force on October 31, 2017.

Facilitation payments, also known as “grease payments,” are payments made to foreign government officials to speed up or facilitate routine transactions such as permits. These payments were not previously covered by the bribery offence in the CFPOA.

Quick Facts

  • In 1998, Canada enacted the CFPOA, which makes it a crime for Canadian businesses and individuals to bribe foreign public officials.

  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that the cost of corruption equals more than 5% of global gross domestic product (US$2.6 trillion), with some US$1 trillion paid in bribes each year.

  • The World Economic Forum reports that corruption increases the cost of doing business by up to 10%, on average.

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