AbleToTrain by Willing & Able

Anti-corruption In Morocco

1. Bribery in the home (private to public)

1.1 The Legal Environment

Articles 248 through 256 of the Moroccan Criminal Code (the “Code”) cover bribery.

1.2 What does bribery mean?

Bribery is defined as the offering or solicitation of a gift, donation, or other advantage in exchange for the performance or taking of any act, favor, or decision, or the abstention from any act or decision, on the part of any magistrate, member of the judiciary, arbitrator, public official, or holder of an electoral office; or for a medical practitioner, to fraudulently certify or accept any act, favour, or decision. (Article 248, Code)

Any public official or private person attempting to corrupt a public authority can commit the offense.

1.3 What does it mean to be a public official?

Any individual who performs a duty or assignment, even if temporary, on behalf of the state, public administration, municipality, public establishment, or public interest service is referred to as a “public official” under Article 224 of the Code. However, the statute covers magistrates and arbitrators appointed by either a public or judicial authority or a private entity.

1.4 Bribery’s Consequences

(a) For the Individuals Involved

  • Bribery in public places carries a sentence of two to five years in prison and a fine of MAD 2,000 to MAD 50,000.

  • When the sum involved surpasses MAD 100,000, the penalty is lengthened from five to ten years in prison, with a fine ranging from MAD 5,000 to MAD 100,000.

  • A person convicted under Article 256 of the Code may lose certain civil rights and be prevented from holding public office or employment for a period of up to ten years.

  • According to Article 251 of the Code, anybody who commits assault or battery, or offers promises, presents, or other benefits, or accepts solicitations that promote corruption faces the same penalties, regardless of whether or not the crimes were successful.

(b) For the business / legal entity

  • Legal entities are only subject to monetary fines, asset seizure, and forced dissolution as allowed for in Article 36 of the Code, according to Article 127 of the Code.

1.5 Contributions from politics

Article 31 of Law N° 29-11 related to political parties governs contributions to political parties. Contributions to political parties are generally permitted as long as they do not exceed MAD 300,000 per year and per contributor.

A fine of between MAD 20,000 and MAD 100,000 will be imposed on anyone who has given or accepted donations or bequests in cash or in kind on behalf of a political party in excess of the MAD 300,000 limit.

1.6 Hospitality expenses are subject to certain restrictions (gifts, travel, meals, entertainment, among others)

There are no particular de minimis or other exclusions in Moroccan law when it comes to the payment or acceptance of hospitality expenditures incurred on behalf of public authorities. Inviting government officials to events that are sponsored or partially sponsored by a firm, where the firm defrays or reimburses the expense of air travel, food, hotel, or entertainment, there are no statutory or regulatory standards.

The intent of the parties involved, as well as any payment of expenditures or gift of any object of value with the aim of eliciting performance of an act or other favor, would determine whether a hospitality expense would be constituted bribery.


2. Bribery in the home (private to private)

2.1 Legal Framework Bribery in the private sector is prohibited under Article 249 of the Code.

2.2 What is bribery in the private sector?

Article 249 applies to any paid employee or subordinate who, without his employer’s knowledge or consent, requests or approves offers, promises, gifts, commissions, discounts, or bonuses in order to perform or refrain from performing any act within the scope of employment or which may be facilitated by such employment, directly or through an intermediary.

Persons who seek such conduct from an employee or subordinate are not held liable under Article 249 in any way. However, the provisions of Article 251, which provide that persons offering or soliciting gifts or other benefits that facilitate corruption face the same penalties, including corrupt offers or solicitations made to workers or subordinates within the purview of Article 249.

2.3 Private bribery consequences

(a) For the individuals engaged According to Article 249 of the Code, private bribery is punishable by imprisonment for one to three years and a fine ranging from MAD 5,000 to MAD 50,000.

(b) For the company/legal entity According to Article 127 of the Code, legal entities are only susceptible to monetary fines, asset forfeiture, and forced dissolution, as specified in Article 36 of the Code.

2.4 Hospitality expenses are subject to certain restrictions (gifts, travel, meals, entertainment, among others)

Moroccan law does not give any explicit de minimis or other exemptions with regard to hospitality expenses, just as it does not give any explicit de minimis or other exemptions in the event of public official corruption. As a result, any decision would be based on the parties’ intentions as well as other case-specific factors.


3. Foreign public officials’ corruption

 There are no particular provisions in the Code dealing with foreign public officials’ corruption.