The use of third party agents in international operations or business development, whether consultants, sales representatives, customs brokers, contractors or distributors, is often unavoidable. This may be because the retention of a local agent is a requirement of foreign law, because of cultural or linguistic barriers, or because of practical or logistical realities. However, engaging third party agents can be fraught with uncertainty and this is one of the most significant areas of anti-corruption risk facing Canadian companies. The following is an overview of (i) the potential liability of Canadian companies for the acts of third party agents under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA), and (ii) risk mitigation strategies available to Canadian companies to address this exposure.
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