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Corruption Scandal Also Influences Hermes - Export Credit Insurance

Transparency International demands the tightening of guidelines

The practice of bribing foreign public officials in international bussiness transactions is prohibted by law since the beginning of 1999. Bribes are also no longer tax deductable. Transparency International (TI) an International NGO which fights corruption globally, demands therefore that export contracts which have been obtained through bribes, should no longer be insured by the heavily-subsidised Hermes Credit Insurance AG.

TI-Germany, the German Chapter of TI, has been persistant in its efforts to ensure that the German authorities combat corruption - the "cancer of the economy" - more effectively.

TI-Germany has for some time targetted the Hermes-Credit Export Insurance AG with the objective that export credit should become invalid when the insured contracts have been entered into through corruption. Having commercial banks act as intermediaries between Hermes AG and the exporter does not relieve Hermes AG from its obligation, in the event of suspected corruption, to investigate the circumstances and possibly to deny insurance coverage. Every year hundreds of millions of DM are spent covering such risks. Companies exporting to countries where corruption is most prevalant, make particularly frequent use of export credit insurance.

After official discussion in Bonn, Brussels (EU) and Paris (OECD) TI -Germany has developed a set of reform proposals which reflect the legal situation following the coming into force of the anti-bribary laws earlier this year. TI-Germany's reccomendations have been submitted to the Federal Minister of Commerce, whos ministry has overall charge of this subject, as well as the Ministers of Finance, Justice and Economic Cooperation and Development. Copies were sent to the leadership of all political parties represented in the Bundestag as well.

Ti-Germany does not demand unilateral action by Germany but urges the Federal Government to bring about, in concert with its partners in the OECD and the EU, co-ordinated changes in the rules governing the Export Credit Institutions.

The Document entitled, "The role of the Hermes Credit Insurance AG in preventing and fighting corruption in international business transactions with public partners" which outlines the reform proposals, can be found on the internet under

For any press enquiries please contact

Dr.Michael Wiehen
Chairperson, TI Germany,
Tel: +49 89 4895 4440

Dr. Anke Martiny
Executive Director, TI Germany,
Tel: +49 89 4895 4440 or 08752/1000