The OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions entered into force on 15 February 1999.
The agreement between participating countries provided for the Convention to enter into force on the 60th day following the date upon which 5 of the 10 countries with the largest shares of OECD exports, representing at least 60% of the combined total exports of those 10 countries, had deposited their instruments of acceptance, approval or ratification.
The Convention, signed on 17 December 1997, includes today 40 countries. All countries party to the Convention commit themselves to ensuring that their national parliaments approve the Convention and pass legislation necessary for its ratification and implementation into national law.
The Convention permits countries to move in a co-ordinated manner to adopt national legislation making it a crime to bribe foreign public officials. It provides a broad definition of bribery, requiring countries to impose dissuasive sanctions and committing them to providing mutual legal assistance. Under OECD auspices, a rigorous process of multilateral surveillance began in April 1999 to monitor compliance with the Convention and assess the steps taken by countries to implement it in national law.