January 20 - GAC Clearing & Forwarding (Nigeria) has been recognised for its commitment to strict ethical business practice by major international anti-bribery association, TRACE.

The company underwent a vigorous evaluation by TRACE during 2010, culminating in the presentation of a certification of compliance.


Over the last decade, an increasing number of countries have enacted anti-bribery laws to implement international anti-corruption conventions criminalising the bribery of foreign public officials. The US Foreign Corruption Practices Act 1977, the UK's Bribery Act 2010 and similar legislation in Italy and Spain are just some examples of such laws.


These typically mean that executives will be liable for corrupt acts and/or improper payments made by an intermediary if management knew or should have known that a particular intermediary was likely to make an inappropriate payment. This puts the onus on managers to take due diligence on prospective intermediaries to ensure that they are committed to transparent business practices despite any local business pressure, local law or custom.


Annapolis, Maryland-based TRACE is a non-profit membership association that pools resources to provide practical and cost-effective anti-bribery compliance solutions for multinational companies and their commercial intermediaries, such as sales agents and representatives, consultants, distributors and suppliers.


"We strive at all times to operate in an ethical and compliant way, and our certificate of compliance is an important milestone which signals our commitment to the world," says Neale ProctorGAC Nigeria's managing director. "As part of that commitment, our logistics staff is now completing an online International Bribery and Corruption course run through TRACE."


The importance of this issue has been reflected in the holding of a seminar in London later this year. As reported byHLPFI, a seminar is to be held by Lloyd's Maritime Academy to equip those working in the UK maritime industry, including heavylift shipping, with a full understanding of the UK Bribery Act 2010, which comes into force in April 2011. The shipping industry is seen as 'high risk' in this area so without adequate procedures in place UK-based shipping related companies could face unlimited fines and even imprisonment of directors if they fall foul of the new law.


Dubai-based GAC operates its own barges, with high loading capacity, high freeboard and with deck strength up to 15 ton per sq m. GAC barges are suitable for heavy project cargo, such as transformers, generators, evaporators or similar equipment. Ballastable tanks make these vessels very suitable for ro-ro operations.