1. Is your country a member of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention?
2. Is your country a member of any other bilateral or multilateral conventions on anti-corruption?
Yes. Uruguay is a member of:
- The Interamerican Convention against Corruption,
- The United Nations Convention Against Corruption, and
- The United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols Thereto.
3. Are there local anti-corruption laws in your country focusing on corporations, not individuals? If yes, what sanctions can be imposed?
4. Can companies be held liable for acts of corruption under civil or administrative law?
Yes. Please notice that corporations cannot be held criminally liable under Uruguayan law.
5. Is corruption of individuals punishable?
No. Private corruption between individuals is not punishable.
6. Are facilitation payments allowed?
No. Facilitation payments are forbidden in Uruguay. Public officials are prohibited from receiving or accepting the promise of gifts or payments for themselves or third parties to perform, accelerate, delay, or omit an act of their employment; an act contrary to their duties; or an act that has already been performed.
7. Is there a legal regulation/maximum limit for accepting or giving gifts, invitations, etc.?
In Uruguay, no law provides comprehensive regulation of the issue. However, a series of laws contain provisions on the matter. It is a criminal offense to offer or grant, as well as to request or accept, gifts, favors, promises, or advantages to any public official or other person or entity in exchange for the performance or omission of any act in the exercise of their public functions (Article 158 BIS of our Penal Code). There are, however, regulations on gifts or retributions that are permitted. Public officials can receive gifts, invitations, etc. in the following scenarios:
- Protocolary acknowledgments received from governments, international organizations, or non-profit entities, under the conditions under which such benefits are admitted by law or custom.
- Travel and subsistence expenses received from governments, educational institutions, or non-profit organizations for the purpose of giving or participating in conferences, courses, or academic and cultural activities, provided that this is not incompatible with the functions or prohibited by special rules.
- Reasonable hospitality received on the occasion of traditional festivals, under the conditions of traditional festivals, under such conditions as are permitted by custom and practice.
8. Are bribes to foreign government officials prohibited?
Yes. Uruguayans who offer or grant money or other economic benefits to a foreign government official to enter into or facilitate an Uruguayan foreign trade business are punished. They are punished, provided that the conduct is also punished by foreign law and when the perpetrator is in Uruguay and is not required to be extradited by the authorities of the country where the crime was committed to be punished in such country.
9. Does your legislation have any extraterritorial reach?
In addition to the exception referred to in Question 8, there are other exceptions in the case of crimes committed by officials in the service of Uruguay. These exceptions include when they abuse their functions or violate the duties inherent to the position and other cases in which internal provisions or international agreements specifically provide extraterritorial reach
10. Is it possible to confiscate assets from the company?
No. Confiscation is criminal punishment. Since companies cannot be criminally liable, confiscating their assets is impossible.
11. Does your legislation rely on deferred prosecution or non-prosecution agreements or any other type of non-trial resolution for corruption?
No. Nevertheless, the new Code of Criminal Procedure of Uruguay provides the existence of abbreviated proceedings that is agreed upon between the Prosecutor and the Accused, and that entails a decrease in the punishment in relation to which the Prosecutor would request in an ordinary criminal proceeding. Please note that, as stated before, companies can't be criminally liable, so these abbreviated proceedings can only apply to individuals.
12. Can a company be liable for the acts of its intermediaries or third parties?
Companies cannot be held criminally liable. They can be held liable under civil or administrative law for the acts of their employees.
13. Can a parent company be liable for the acts of its subsidiaries?
14. Are there any affirmative defenses or exceptions for those accused of corruption acts?
15. Does your jurisdiction require domestic entities to implement anti-corruption internal programs?
No. Some entities require the implementation of internal anti-money laundering internal, but there are no provisions for anti-corruption.
16. Is having a compliance program a defense or mitigating factor, while reviewing sanctions?
No, the law does not establish this. Nevertheless, consider that a program's implementation might be positively valued by a judge or the competent authority in a civil or administrative proceeding.
17. Could the cooperation with the authorities or an internal investigation be a defense or mitigating factor?
No. See the answer to question sixteen.
18. Is there any publicly available guideline issued by the authorities in charge of enforcing anti-corruption laws? For example, manuals on compliance programs, leniency agreements, etc. If so, please provide the link.
Yes. The JUTEP (“Junta de Transaprencia y Ética Pública”) has manuals on their website: (https://www.gub.uy/junta-transparencia-etica-publica/comunicacion/publicaciones/manuales-de-capacitacion).