Reform of the criminal code in Spain: companies liability

On 23rd December 2010 an important reform of the criminal code in Spain shall come into force. Such reform sets forth the possibility that in Spain companies may be criminally liable for certain crimes committed by their employees.

Those offences for which the company might be held liable are the following: 

  • Offences against the Public Treasure and Social Security
  • Fraud with public subsidy. Illegal funds acquisition
  • Non compliance with the accountancy obligations imposed by taxation laws
  • Offences against foreign citizen’s rights
  • Offences about urban planning
  • Offences against environmental resources
  • Dumping site for toxic and dangerous waste. Offences related to ionizing radiation. Machine or elements’ manipulation that may wreak havoc
  • Growing, manufacture or traffic of drugs, narcotics or psychotropic substances
  • Credit or debit card falsification and travel cheques falsification
  • Organ trafficking
  • Human trade; prostitution and corruption of minors
  • Cooperation with armed gang
  • Price alteration
  • Corruption, Bribery, Influence peddling
  • Money laundering
  • Fraud, including fraud in ligation processes
  • Punishable insolvencies
  • Damages
  • Secrets disclosure
  • Offences against Intellectual Property
  • Falsification of economic and financial information


All that will be possible as long as the criminal offences are caused due to a lack of thedue controlin the company that should have been exercised over the employees. The “due control” is deemed to have been properly established within the company when there is a corporate compliance program based on prevention and surveillance of the crimes that might be committed by employees, e.g: furnishing the employees with the appropriate training and instructions for such purposes.

Arpa Abogados Consultores
Member of Eurojuris España

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