Compliance and gifts and invitation in a business environment: What is allowed? Are there clearly defined value limits for gifts in business transactions?
The national and international anti-corruption laws do not standardise clearly defined value limits with regard to the permissibility of accepting or granting benefits in business transactions. Therefore, many companies set limits in their compliance guidelines with regard to the permissibility of gifts, invitations or other benefits in dealings with business partners.
The spectrum ranges from “zero tolerance limits”, i.e. that no benefits may be accepted or granted at all, to value limits that are linked to the tax exemption limits for non-cash benefits, to individual value limits, the exceeding of which requires the approval of superiors or compliance officers. Another common approach is to completely dispense with quantified value limits and instead focus on the “appropriateness” or “social adequacy” of the benefit. Since such a waiver of quantified value limits can make it difficult for employees who are not compliance experts to independently classify such benefits, the following explanations serve in particular as guidance for companies that have opted for this approach.
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