Ethics and compliance

Laws and regulations

Relevant laws and regulations

Yara are subject to various anti-corruption legislation. Since we are headquartered in Norway, we must abide by Norwegian laws. We must also abide by the local laws in effect in the countries where we operate. Below we describe some of the most relevant pieces of anti-corruption legislation by which Yara must abide.

The Norwegian Criminal Code

The Norwegian Criminal Code applies to all companies and individuals who act on behalf of Yara, regardless of their nationality and the country in which they are doing business. 

Section 276a of the Norwegian Criminal Code stipulates that any person who

  1. For himself or other persons requests or receives an improper advantage or accepts an offer thereof in connection with a position, office or assignment, or
  2. Gives or offers any person an improper advantage in connection with a position, office or assignment

shall be liable to a penalty for corruption.         

‘Position, office or assignment’ in the first paragraph also mean a position, office or assignment in a foreign country.

The Norwegian Criminal Code also prohibits trading in influence, as section 276 c dictates that any person who 

  1. For himself or other persons requests or receives an improper advantage or accepts an offer thereof in return for influencing the conduct of any position, office or assignment, or
  2. Gives or offers any person an improper advantage in return for influencing the conduct of any position, office or assignment 

shall be liable to a penalty for corruption.

‘Position, office or assignment’ in the first paragraph also means a position, office or assignment in a foreign country. 

UK Bribery Act

Yara has several sites in the United Kingdom (UK) from which we operate.

The UK Bribery Act (2010) (the Act) contains two general offenses covering the offering, promising or giving of a bribe (active bribery) and the requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting of a bribe (passive bribery). It also sets out two further offenses, which specifically address commercial bribery. Section 6 of the Act creates an offense relating to bribery of a foreign public official in order to obtain or retain business or an advantage in the conduct of business, and section 7 creates a corporate liability for failing to prevent bribery on behalf of a commercial organization.

The Act is applicable both to offenses committed in the UK, as well as to those committed outside the UK where the person committing them has a close connection with the UK by virtue of being a British national or ordinarily resident in the UK, a body incorporated in the UK or a Scottish partnership.

Yara could therefore be prosecuted if UK persons acting directly for, or on behalf of, Yara bribe a foreign public official in order to obtain or retain business or an advantage in the conduct of business.

Furthermore, the corporate offense set out in Section 7 ‘Failure of commercial organizations to prevent bribery’ applies to “Any other body corporate (wherever incorporated) which carries on a business or part of a business in the United Kingdom.”

As Yara operates part of our business in the UK, we could be prosecuted in the UK for failure to prevent bribery, irrespective of whether the bribery takes place in the UK or elsewhere.

Download The Bribery Act 2010 - Guidance  (PDF, 390 KB - external website) or
Visit Legislation Gov UK website:  Bribery Act 2010

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

In the United States (US) Yara operates through Yara North America, Inc. which is a fully owned subsidiary of Yara International ASA.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) makes it unlawful for certain classes of persons and entities to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business.

The anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA have applied to all US persons and certain foreign issuers of securities since 1977. Following amendments made to the FCPA in 1998, the anti-bribery provisions now also apply to foreign firms and persons who cause, directly or through agents, an act in furtherance of such a corrupt payment to take place within the territory of the US.

Yara could therefore be prosecuted in the US for causing, either directly or through agents, an act in furtherance of a corrupt payment to take place within the US, or if US persons acting directly for, or on behalf of, Yara make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business.

Visit the US Department of Justice website:  Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Brazilian Clean Company Act

Yara has a significant presence in Brazil with production sites, sales and support offices throughout the country.

 Brazil’s anti-corruption law no. 12.846, also referred to as the ‘Clean Company Act’ (the Act) became effective on 29 January 2014.

The provisions of the Act apply to individuals, as well as business entities, including foreign companies with a registered office, branch or representation in Brazil, and it subjects them to civil and administrative sanctions for ‘harmful acts against the Brazilian and foreign public administration’.

The term ‘foreign public administration’ refers to “governmental agencies and entities or diplomatic representations of a foreign country, at any level or sphere of government, as well as legal entities controlled, directly or indirectly, by a foreign country’s government.”

In March 2015, the “Clean Companies Act” was followed by a decree (No. 8,420) which establishes the processes for imposing administrative liabilities for corrupt acts. 

Download the Anti Corruption Act in Portuguese (PDF, 154KB - external website)