VM MARINE INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy
The VM Marine Board believes that business success should depend on a fair and open assessment of the Group’s products and services rather than being partly or wholly reliant on bribes.
This policy applies to all employees of VM Marine and its affiliates (all of which for purposes of this policy are included in the term VM Marine) regardless of their place of work or residence.
Any breach of this policy must be disclosed to an appropriate VM Marine Business Unit executive. If circumstances require, the breach should be reported to the relevant VM Marine Director. Employees should be aware that the Company will not tolerate bribery or corruption in any form and has a zero tolerance approach to the breach of this policy.
This statement applies to VM Marine Group and all of its subsidiaries.
All VM Marine employees do not directly or indirectly offer, promise, give, accept, or demand a bribe or other undue advantage (including excessive gifts and hospitality) to obtain or retain business, or gain any other improper advantage.
All employees do not offer or give in to demands, to make illicit or illegal payments to agents, public officials, or the employees of business partners, or anyone else that the Company does business with.
All employees do not make illegal or inappropriate contributions to candidates for public office or to any political organisations.
VM Marine engages and remunerates agents and third parties only for legitimate services and adopts appropriate transparency in the approach.
GIFTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
VM Marine recognizes that on certain occasions exchanging courtesies such as gifts, meals and entertainment is a common business practice designed to create goodwill and establish trust in a business relationship. Courtesies consistent with the customary business practices in the culture where they are offered and/or accepted are unobjectionable provided they are in line with all applicable laws.
All employees must use their judgment to distinguish between appropriate situations that build relationships and situations that create an unlawful conflict of interest or suspected bribery situations.
Invitations, offers and related communications regarding gifts, entertainment and other courtesies for business contacts must be made openly, through normal channels of business communication.
Do not offer or give to a business contact anything which he/she ought not to accept because of, for example, rules of his/her employer, be it a commercial enterprise or a government, which you have reason to believe would be contravened by such offer or gift.
Regardless of the situation, the following rules apply:
Any gift, entertainment or other expenditures covered discussed in this Policy must be for a proper VM Marine business purpose, as defined and guided by the following clauses.
VM Marine employees may never give or accept, either directly or indirectly, in the course of their employment:
-any personal gifts in cash, including any form of expense allowance or cash equivalents (e.g. retail vouchers or credit).
-a gift of any value (including the provision of entertainment or the payment of any travel or other expenses) to any political party or its officers, agents or employees unless approved in writing by an VM Marine Executive Directors.
-a personal gift in excess of US$500without the prior written approval of an VM Marine Executive Directors (you should seek such approval via your Head of Department if you do not report directly to an VM Marine Executive Directors). In cases of doubt about whether the value of a gift being given or received exceeds US$500, such approval should be obtained.
- remember that most jurisdictions have laws concerning the giving and receiving of gifts in the context of a business relationship, and what may be acceptable and legal in one territory/state may be unacceptable or illegal in another. If in doubt, consult local lawyers or a corporate lawyer at VM Marine HQ before giving or receiving any gift.
-for avoidance of doubt, employees are strongly encouraged to report to their superior of any gift, regardless of any value.
-The term “entertainment” includes public or private events such as sporting or cultural events, including golf, fishing, parties, plays and concerts.
-Hospitality or entertainment may only be accepted if:-
- Employees or personnel from the supplier are in attendance.
- The supplier does not pay any accommodation or (more than trivial) travel expenses for VM Marine employees
- The entertainment and/or acceptance of it could not be interpreted as a reward, inducement, or encouragement for a favor or preferential treatment
- It is not unduly lavish or extravagant
-The value of any entertainment given or received must not exceed US$500, otherwise such approval from Head of Department should be obtained.
-In cases where prior approval is not feasible or practical, the employee should report to his/her superior at the next best opportune moment, and this should be recorded in the Entertainment Register on a monthly basis.
- Meals and drinks may be accepted and provided in the context of normal business contacts and entertainment so long as not excessive in terms of cost or quantity for the occasion and seniority of those involved.
- Entertainment expenses given by any VM Marine employee should be in accordance with their rank and authority as stated in the Entertainment Expense guideline of the Employee Rule Book.
BRIBERY OF FOREIGN OFFICIALS
Legislation in most jurisdictions and VM Marine policy prohibits any employee from directly or indirectly offering or making personal payments or offering or providing other things of value to officials of a foreign government (including a state owned enterprise), a public international organization, or any department or agency of either of them, or a foreign political party, for the purpose of gaining business or securing any other advantage in a way which might be considered improper. This prohibition extends to payments of cash as well as the provision of anything else of value, including gifts, payment of personal expenses and/or the provision of any personal benefits or services. Generally speaking, small business courtesies such as reasonable expenses for meals directly related to business promotion or contract performance are not prohibited. If there is any doubt about the legality of a proposed course of action, local lawyers or a corporate lawyer at VM Marine HQ must be consulted. Furthermore, any dealings with government officials must be accurately reflected in the corporate books and records of the relevant company.
Facilitating or “grease” payments to expedite or secure the performance of routine government action should be avoided. Exceptionally, small payments (not exceeding US$500 may be made to a minor functionary who would otherwise delay or refuse performance of a routine administrative function provided that:
(a)the practice of making such small payments in such circumstances is open and accepted in the country in question;
(b)the action facilitated is a routine matter and not related to any decision by a foreign official to award a contract or continue commercial dealings (examples of what are normally “routine matters” include permits, licenses, or other official documents; processing governmental papers, such as visas and work orders; providing police protection, mail pick-up and delivery; providing phone service, power and water supply); and
(c)the payment is accurately recorded for what it is in business records.
Should there be any doubts over the appropriateness of a “grease” payment, it should be consulted with a corporate lawyer at VM Marine HQ.
REPORTING OF SUSPECTED VIOLATIONS
VM Marine employees who have questions regarding business conduct or possible violations of this policy should contact an appropriate VM Marine business unit executive. Any VM Marine Executive Directors should be contacted, in cases of sensitivity about the involvement of a business unit executive. Alternatively, or if a satisfactory response is not received from a direct department manager, a report can be made under the VM Marine Group Whistleblowing Policy.
It is important to ask for help if needed, and to report possible violations of the law or of this policy. An employee will not lose his/her job or be placed at any career disadvantage for reporting a possible violation of this policy. Possible violations will be investigated in a manner which respects the rights of all parties concerned. If a violation is found, appropriate action will be taken.
It is also important that each employee keep in mind the serious nature of such action and that the accused party is entitled to a fair and complete review of the possible violation. Reports based on unsubstantiated or frivolous speculation should be avoided. The goal is to protect both VM Marine’s business interests and the rights of its employees.
COMPLIANCE RESPONSIBILITY AND SIGN-OFF
Any VM Marine Group employees may be asked to acknowledge their awareness of this policy, to sign-off on their personal compliance and to declare any knowledge or serious suspicion of non-compliance on an annual or more frequent basis.
It is the responsibility of the VM employees at each business location to ensure compliance with this statement.