Gifts and hospitality


If you believe that there is an increased risk that your suppliers use gifts and hospitality to achieve illegal business benefits, and you wish to include this topic in the annex to your Code of Conduct, you can add the following requirements to your Code of Conduct by clicking on "Save to clipboard".

In principle, offering gifts or extending hospitality are not corrupt practices. They may be so, however, if the gift or hospitality is offered or extended with the expectation of receiving a financial or other commercial benefit in return.

Gifts and Hospitality

Gifts and Hospitality

a) Is limited to reasonable and bona fide expenditures;

b) Does not improperly affect, or might be perceived as improperly affecting, the recipient’s independence of judgement towards the giver;

c) Is neither offered nor received too frequently or at an inappropriate time.

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Below there is further information on various aspects of gifts and hospitality with regard to anti-corruption.

When are gifts and hospitality considered to be bribery?

In recent years, there has been greater focus on how gifts and hospitality can be used as a form of bribery. For example, the pharmaceutical industry and its methods to promote products to physicians have been in the spotlight.

Yet most companies use gifts or other tokens of appreciation in their business relations. A meal with a supplier can help to build a sound business relationship. A ballpoint pen carrying the company's name may serve to remind a potential customer of the company the next time the customer requires a quote.

Gifts and hospitality that are offered or extended in good faith, as well as sales promotion and other expenses to improve the company's reputation and facilitate the presentation of products and services, are usually considered to be a well-established, important element of doing business.

As long as this takes place on a reasonable basis, and the token of appreciation is of limited financial value, and is not given or received too often, and is always given without expecting benefits in return, this is not considered to be bribery.

Giving and receiving gifts

Gifts and hospitality are considered to be bribery if the intention behind the gifts or hospitality is to affect a person's judgement or other parties' decision-making processes, in order to achieve a financial or other commercial benefit.

Receiving gifts and hospitality can also put companies in a vulnerable position with regard to accusations of unfairness, bias, deception, or even unlawful conduct. Companies that operate outside their domestic market must pay particular attention to cross-cultural differences in what is considered appropriate in terms of giving and accepting gifts and hospitality.

Even though gifts and hospitality are a common and fundamental element of business activities, especially in certain markets, the extraterritorial range of the British anti-corruption legislation (the UK Bribery Act from 2010) means that giving and receiving gifts and hospitality has become a relevant concern for most companies and their employees all over the world.

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