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Legal

Legal2021-05-17T12:59:47+02:00

1.        Policy Purpose

The nature of our business and geographical spread often requires interactions with various officials in the public and private sectors around the world. Our Code of Conduct, Applicable Anti-Corruption Laws “Applicable Laws” and this Anti-Corruption Policy “Policy” establish certain limits on these interactions.

This Policy is drafted to provide awareness about Aramex’s stance of zero tolerance for corruption and commitment to fair and ethical business practices to avoid violations of the Applicable Laws. Such violations might lead to severe penalties, fines or reputation damage; therefore, it is vital that we not only understand the importance of this Policy but comply with it in our daily transactions.

This Policy:

  • Advises the laws applicable to our business worldwide, as well as the importance of complying with these laws;
  • Describes the various forms of corruption;
  • Illustrates situations where corruption might arise and the recommended course of action; and
  • Details the avenues of support to be used for reporting compliance concerns and gaining additional guidance.

2.        Applicability

This Policy applies to all employees of Aramex and its worldwide Related Parties [1], including officers, directors, full-timers, part-timers, contract and temporary employees. It covers all aspects of work, transactions, activities and business endeavors.

3.        Applicable Laws

Aramex is committed to fair and ethical business practices and avoiding corruption of all kinds, including bribery of Government Officials[2] and private (non-government) individuals and entities. We abide by all applicable anti-corruption laws, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of the United States, the U.K. Bribery Act (UKBA), the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the local laws in every country in which we operate (“Applicable Laws”).

Some countries in which we operate may have laws stricter than those mentioned in this Policy. As a general rule, we follow the most stringent law, regulation or policy applicable to our business in these countries.

The combination of Applicable Laws and our global presence requires maximum alertness to corruption and full awareness of how to recognize and eliminate it from any transaction we are part of. In case of any doubt about what is expected of you under the Applicable Laws or this Policy, you must seek guidance from the Compliance or Legal Departments.

4.        Responsibility (Call for Action)

As employees and Related Parties of Aramex, we are all responsible to uphold the company values and to conduct business with integrity and honesty. The following actions must be taken to fulfill our commitment to fair and ethical business practices:

  • Step away from situations that involve corruption or those that may be viewed as involving corruption.
  • Stay alert to any red flags suggesting wrongdoing by another employee or a Related Party.
  • Support and encourage other employees and Related Parties to comply with this Policy.

4.1.       Reporting Violations

If you have any questions or concerns, or if you witness potential violations of this Policy, you must share your concerns with us. We operate under a “no retaliation” policy, which means that we will never retaliate against anyone who reports a concern to us in good faith. Additionally, your report will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality and we will endeavor to ensure that your identity is not disclosed.

You must report any known, suspected or attempted violations of this Policy to the Compliance Department at Community – Risk and Compliance Team <aramex.compliance@aramex.com>.

If you prefer, you may anonymously report concerns through the Compliance Hotline at Service Center – Whistle Blowing <whistleblowing@aramex.com>.

Additionally, you may request the guidance of the following resources when you are uncertain about any obligations under this Policy:

  • Compliance Department;
  • Legal Department; or
  • Direct Manager (unless the nature of the issue makes doing so inadvisable).

5.        What is Corruption?

Corruption is the misuse of a position of trust to gain an unfair business or personal advantage. It usually takes place through acts of bribery, which includes the offering, promising, giving, accepting, or authorizing payment or anything of value or soliciting of an advantage as an inducement for action which is illegal or a breach of trust. A bribe is an inducement or reward of anything of value that is offered, promised, given or accepted in order to gain any unfair business or personal advantage.

Bribes can take many forms, including but not limited to:

  • Gifts (exceeding nominal/low value).
  • Entertainment and Hospitality (lavish meals, alcohol, hotel accommodations, shows, sporting events or other high-price events).
  • Travel (plane tickets, ticket upgrades or trip expenses).
  • Facilitation Payments[1].
  • Kickbacks
  • Favorable Contracts.
  • Business Opportunities.
  • Charitable or Political Contributions.
  • Stock Options.

Bribes can be provided or received in many ways, including:

  • Directly: a customer requesting an expensive dinner, drinks, gift or a cash payment as a necessary precondition to discuss potential business for Aramex (same case applies if somebody did the same on behalf of Aramex).
  • Indirectly: a government official asking for a cash payment through a third party (i.e. consultant or agent) before granting Aramex the right to do business in a certain area or a specific way.
  • Kickbacks: an agent offering commission on any profit they gain from selling Aramex’s services in exchange of Aramex choosing them over other agents, or a customer requesting commission on Aramex’s sales in exchange of ensuring Aramex is selected over other suppliers (same case applies if somebody did the same on behalf of Aramex).

Values Checkpoint!

Scenario:

I understand Aramex’s commitment to abide by high ethical standards and prevent bribery or other corrupt acts, but what if this Policy causes me to lose business for the company and my sales target?

Response:

At Aramex, Doing the Right Thing is one of our most important values. We urge you to do the right thing, rather than engaging in an improper and potentially illegal behavior just to gain business opportunities, prevent the company from losing business or achieve your sales target.

5.1.       Red Flags

A red flag is a fact, event, or set of circumstances, or other information that may indicate a potential compliance concern for illegal or unethical business conduct.

While performing day to day work, Aramex employees and related parties may come across red flags that should trigger concern and appropriate action.  While the following examples are not exhaustive and may not in themselves constitute or indicate a violation of this Policy or the Applicable Laws, they may be indicators of potential current or future non-compliance.

Red Flag Examples:

  • Training, travel or entertainment costs exceeding reasonable levels.
  • Substantial gifts are requested for directly/indirectly.
  • Expense claims or petty cash payments are made without sufficient documentation and evidence.
  • Something of significant value is requested in return for inclusion on a tender or before a contract is awarded.
  • A commission payment is requested for carrying out normal work.
  • Requests for travel including family members.
  • Requests for payments to charities in exchange for business contracts.
  • Tasks are done more quickly or efficiently than usual.
  • Gaining preferential treatment in customs clearance procedures.
  • Unjustifiable requests that payments be made to multiple accounts.
  • Refusal to properly follow accounting procedures/policies.
  • Inaccurate, inflated, suspicious or unusual invoices.
  • Engaging incompetent suppliers/consultants/agents; lacking the staff, facilities, or expertise to perform substantial work.
  • Consultants “consulting agreements” include vaguely described services.
  • Requests that do not seem in the best interest of our business.
  • Someone who never goes on vacation in order to avoid or prevent anyone else from having contact with a particular supplier or customer.
  • A governmental employee (for example, a customs employee) insisting on using a specific vendor for supplies or subcontracting.
  • Payments in a country (jurisdiction) not related to the transaction.
  • Suspicious or inadequate termination of a business relationship.

Values Checkpoint!

Scenario:

I handle an account for a customer who told me a new vendor is offering the same price of Aramex but throwing in an additional annual training for a week for him and he is welcome to bring his spouse. The trip is an all-inclusive week long to the Bahamas. My customer informed me that such a trip is important to give a well-deserved vacation for him and his spouse, and he is inclined to go with the new vendor if we cannot match the offer. I am leaning towards matching the offer in order not to lose the business.

Response:

You should not agree to the customer’s request. Agreeing to give the customer his wish of a paid all-inclusive vacation as well as for his spouse constitutes a bribe. You should decline this offer and discuss it with your direct manager. Additionally, you should report this incident to the Compliance Team.

 

Scenario:

I work in the procurement department. Recently, a supplier came to visit our facilities. We met regarding a potential new supply contract, and the supplier knew that we were also meeting with other potential suppliers about the same. As he was leaving, the supplier offered me what appeared to be a pearl necklace as a gift for my wife in return of my hospitality. I did not think the pearls were real, so I accepted it.

Response:

You should not have accepted the gift without knowing its true value because the circumstances under which it was given indicate that the supplier’s motivation was to influence your decision on whether to give his company the contract. You should have declined the gift, or if you accepted it because you were concerned that declining would be rude or perceived as an insult, you should have immediately visited your Compliance Department to disclose the gift and turn it over for handling.

6.        Guidelines

This section provides guidance on specific transactions, with reference to Aramex’s requirements and expectations and should be used as a reference to make sure the transactions and business relationships comply with our Code of Conduct and this Policy.

6.1.       Gifts, Entertainment and Hospitality

Doing business often involves giving and receiving some common courtesies, such as discussing a sales agreement over lunch, meeting with clients for dinner or accepting promotional items at a trade show. However, it is not always easy to identify whether providing gifts, entertainment or hospitality would be considered a corrupt act under Applicable Laws.

Under certain circumstances, it is permissible by the Applicable Laws to provide modest gifts or a meal or other entertainment as a social amenity, and this Policy is not meant to hinder your ability to build relationships with external parties and compete in the market, but rather, it should help you identify acceptable and legal business courtesies.

Generally, gifts, entertainment and hospitality are permissible, provided that:

  • There is no expectation that the gift, entertainment or hospitality is given or received in exchange of any return, favor or business advantage from the receiver.
  • The gift, entertainment or hospitality is infrequent, reasonable and proportionate in amount under the circumstances.
  • Your direct manager, Compliance Department and Legal Department are always consulted regarding the acceptability of the offering under Applicable Laws and this Policy.

For more details, you must read and follow the COM 1151 – (B) Aramex Gifts, Entertainment and Hospitality Policy

6.2.       Third Parties

Engaging Third Parties is a necessary part of our business. They provide materials and services necessary to build our services, represent our brand in global markets and reach new customers.

Applicable Laws prohibit corrupt acts made indirectly through Third Parties acting for or on behalf of the company. Essentially, these third parties are an extension of Aramex, and any corrupt acts they carry out while conducting business for us might create liability for our company.

Accordingly, the most important step the company can take to protect itself from liability for improper acts made by Third Parties is to choose them and monitor them carefully.

The company should never enter into any relationship with a third party who, for instance, will have substantive interaction with government officials on behalf of the company without an inquiry into the third party’s background, qualifications and reputation.

Therefore, we must only choose business partners that would fairly represent our brand and values

For more details, you must read and follow the Third Parties’ Due Diligence Policy.

6.3.       Political Contribution

To remain free from corruption, we need to be aware of requests for political contributions by counterparties or government officials in exchange for influencing a transaction or spurring the completion of a pending deal. For example, a potential customer might state that he will buy Aramex products if we make a contribution to a government department, organization, political party or group with which the customer or his relatives are associated. Political contributions are especially concerning because they are hard to trace back to the person, group or company that requested them.

To minimize the possibility of corruption, we cannot make political contributions on Aramex’s behalf without obtaining the prior written approval of the Sustainability Department.

Under no circumstances can a political contribution be made to gain an improper advantage, or it would otherwise violate this Policy and Applicable Laws.

For Political Contributions, you must read and follow the Political Contributions and Involvement Policy.

6.4.       Charitable Contributions

As a global company, we can help those in need through charitable contributions. However, charitable contributions, like political contributions, can be a devious way to give bribes. This can occur when counterparties or government officials request donations to charities with which they are associated as a prerequisite to or part of a transaction with us.

To minimize the possibility of corruption, we cannot make charitable contributions on Aramex’s behalf without obtaining the prior written approval of the Sustainability Department.

Under no circumstances can a charitable contribution be used to gain an improper advantage, or otherwise violate this Policy and Applicable Laws.

For Charitable Contributions, you must read and follow the Charitable Donations and Sponsorships Policy.

Values Checkpoint!

Scenario:

We engaged an agent to help facilitate an agreement with a new customer. The agent informed us that the customer’s representative would conclude the contract with Aramex if we directed an initial lump-sum payment to a charity that his wife has organized. I informed the agent that this is against our Policy and we cannot make this payment to conclude negotiations.

Response:

In this case, you lived up to our values. The customer’s representative required Aramex to make a charitable contribution in order to secure a business advantage. Any payment made to secure such an advantage is against our Policy, even if it is made for a good cause.

6.5.       Facilitation Payments

Facilitation payments or “grease payments” are offers or payments made to a government official to expedite or secure the performance of a routine governmental action, such as issuing permits or releasing shipments held at customs.

Facilitation payments are prohibited under this Policy. Although there is a narrow exception for facilitation payments under the FCPA, such payments are prohibited under the UKBA and the laws of many other countries. Therefore, in order to ensure compliance with the Applicable Laws, Aramex prohibits facilitation payments altogether.

The prohibition extends to payments made by third parties or business partners on behalf of Aramex.

Values Checkpoint!

Scenario:

We engaged an agent to help us submit a bid for a warehouse construction. The agent informed us that to begin the bidding process, we would need to be granted a permit by the local government authorities, and that the permit could take up to 90 days to be granted. The agent said she could make a small payment to one of the officials at the government to expedite the issuance of the permit. I told the agent to go ahead with the payment.

Response:

Facilitation payments are against our Policy. In this case, you have not lived up to our values and the needed disciplinary action will be exercised considering the scenario and circumstances.

6.6.       Government Officials

A government official is any officer or employee of a government, any public international organization (i.e. United Nations, the World Bank, or the International Monetary Fund) or any department, agency of a government or of any public international organization, or any person of a company, entity, or any other organization owned or controlled by, or acting in an official capacity on behalf of, any of the mentioned before.

Activities and dealings with government officials are highly regulated under the Applicable Laws. Employees should always consult the Compliance and Legal Departments to ensure that they are acting in accordance with this Policy and Applicable Laws.

Providing anything of value to a government official is prohibited under this Policy and is considered a violation of Applicable Laws.

Values Checkpoint!

Scenario:

Sara is trying to obtain a permit to get permission to use a particular piece of property for a warehouse in a new location. She knows that these permits are limited, and there are competitors also trying to get a permit for that same location. A local official takes Sara aside and says that he will favor her request over those of the competitors if she, personally, gives him $5,000 in cash. He explains that this is how business is done, and if she doesn’t do it, then he will issue the permit to a competitor who does pay. Sara doesn’t want to lose business for the company, so she makes the payment.

Response:

Sara did not live up to our values. The local official that Sara offered payment to, is likely considered a government official under Applicable Laws, and the payment is a bribe because it was made to gain an improper business advantage.

6.7.       Exception for Extenuating Circumstances

There are certain situations where you are permitted to make a payment that is otherwise not allowed under the Applicable Laws or this Policy. These situations are rare and the payment is allowed only if extenuating circumstances exist when a demand is made for a payment that could lead to bodily harm or other safety threats. For example, when a payment must be made immediately to ensure safe passage out of a particular place.

The threat could be to yourself, your family members, your colleagues or their family members.

Employees should make whatever payment is necessary to protect their personal safety, and then, as soon as reasonable, report the nature of the incident and related payment to the Compliance and Legal Departments.

7. Accounting and Recordkeeping

All transactions must be recorded accurately and transparently. Proper and accurate record keeping ensures that all dealings and transactions are free of corruption. Therefore, we must comply with all accounting regulations and standards, as well as our internal policies.

Furthermore, when making expenditures on behalf of Aramex, we must properly record the details of all transactions, accounting for all funds and benefits received as part of these transactions.

Extra care must be taken to ensure that the treatment of any gifts, entertainment, hospitality or other benefits provided to officials in the public and private sectors, comply with the Applicable Laws, this Policy and Aramex’s accounting and recordkeeping requirements.

To comply with these requirements, all employees and related parties must:

  • Follow company’s accounting requirements as set out in the standard policies and procedures.
  • Accurately record all transactions, even when the transaction might violate the Applicable Laws and this Policy.
  • Never agree to requests for false invoices or for payments of expenses that are unusual, excessive, or inadequately described.
  • Never make any payments to anonymous accounts that are not in the name of neither payee nor the entity known to be controlled by the payee.

Proper recordkeeping is essential to our compliance with the Applicable Laws and for us to maintain and uphold the spirit of this Policy, furthermore, to establish that the company has adequate procedures in place to prevent corruption.

8. Non-Compliance Disciplinary Measures

Beyond the legal and financial penalties that Aramex and its employees could suffer because of non-compliance with the Applicable Laws and this Policy, failure to comply can also result in disciplinary actions, as permitted by law, up to and including termination of employment.

Additionally, some laws call for disciplinary fines reaching tens of millions of dollars as well as imprisonment that could reach up to 20 years for violators.

Managers who fail to supervise employees’ compliance with this Policy may also be subject to disciplinary actions. Managers should lead by example and be a resource for employees who have questions or need advice.

For Compliance Disciplinary, you must read and follow the COM 1151 – (E) Aramex Non-Compliance Disciplinary Policy.

9.        Conclusion

Thank you for reading our Anti-Corruption Policy. The information in this Policy supplements our Code of Conduct, serves as a manual to help you face potential corruption with confidence and gives you the tools necessary to make the right decision.

Most importantly, this Policy demonstrates our commitment to supporting you as an Aramex employee or related party, and our genuine interest in helping you make decisions in accordance with our values.

If a situation does not feel right, you have our full support to walk away from it and seek further guidance from various resources within the company as described in the “Reporting Violations” section of this policy.

For further information on our values and commitment to ethical conduct, please see the following resources:

  • Aramex Code of Conduct.
  • Gifts, Entertainment and Hospitality Policy.
  • Conflict of Interest Policy.
  • Third Parties Due Diligence Policy.
  • Anti-Money Laundering Policy.
  • Non-Compliance Disciplinary Actions Policy.

10.        References

Aramex.net à Infohub à Compliance à Policies & Standards:

  • COM 1151 – (B) Aramex Gifts, Entertainment and Hospitality Policy
  • COM 1151 – (E) Aramex Non-Compliance Disciplinary Policy

1.        Policy Purpose

The purpose of the Aramex Gifts, Entertainment and Hospitality Policy (“Policy”) is to give clear instructions to Aramex employees and other Related Parties[1] when receiving or offering gifts, entertainment or hospitality.

Business gifts, entertainment and hospitality on a modest scale are commonly used to build goodwill and strengthen working relationships. It is part of business and cannot be avoided, however, Aramex discourages and forbids any unethical gifts, entertainment or hospitality whether in fact or appearance. Additionally, “allowable and ethical” gifts, entertainment or hospitality should not be considered as favors with an expected return.

Offering or accepting occasional meals, small company souvenirs and tickets to sporting and cultural events may be appropriate in certain circumstances.

Occasionally, it may also be appropriate to accept or provide offers involving travel to business events with business associates. However, if offers of gifts, entertainment or hospitality are frequent or of substantial value, they may create the appearance of, or an actual, conflict of interest or illicit payment.

This Policy:

  • Advises the laws applicable to our business worldwide, as well as the importance of complying with these laws;
  • Describes acceptable and non-acceptable gifts, entertainment, and hospitality;
  • Illustrates situations where unethical situations might occur and guidance on how to handle them; and
  • Details the avenues of support to be used for reporting concerns and gaining additional guidance.

2.        Applicability

This Policy applies to all employees of Aramex and its worldwide Related Parties, including officers, directors, full-timers, part-timers, contract and temporary employees. It covers all aspects of work, transactions, activities and business endeavors.

3.        Applicable Laws

Aramex is committed to fair and ethical business practices and avoiding corruption of all kinds, including bribery of Government Officials[2] and private (non-government) individuals and entities. We abide by all applicable anti-corruption laws, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of the United States, the U.K. Bribery Act (UKBA), the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the local laws in every country in which we operate (“Applicable Laws”).

Some countries in which we operate may have laws stricter than those mentioned in this Policy. As a general rule, we follow the most stringent law, regulation or policy applicable to our business in these countries.

The combination of Applicable Laws and our global presence requires maximum alertness to corruption and full awareness of how to recognize and eliminate it from any transaction we are part of. In case of any doubt about what is expected of you under the Applicable Laws or this Policy, you must seek guidance from the Compliance or Legal Departments.

4.        Responsibility (Call for Action)

As employees and Related Parties of Aramex, we are all responsible to uphold the company values and to conduct business with integrity and honesty. The following actions must be taken to fulfill our commitment to fair and ethical business practices:

  • Step away from situations that involve corruption or those that may be viewed as involving corruption.
  • Stay alert to any red flags suggesting wrongdoing by another employee or a Related Party.
  • Support and encourage other employees and Related Parties to comply with this Policy.

4.1.       Reporting Violations

If you have any questions or concerns, or if you witness potential violations of this Policy, you must share your concerns with us. We operate under a “no retaliation” policy, which means that we will never retaliate against anyone who reports a concern to us in good faith. Additionally, your report will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality and we will endeavor to ensure that your identity is not disclosed.

You must report any known, suspected or attempted violations of this Policy to the Community – Risk and Compliance Team <aramex.compliance@aramex.com>.

If you prefer, you may anonymously report concerns through the Compliance Hotline at Service Center – Whistle Blowing <whistleblowing@aramex.com>.

Additionally, you may request the guidance of the following resources when you are uncertain about any obligations under this Policy:

  • Compliance Department;
  • Legal Department; or
  • Direct Manager (unless the nature of the issue makes doing so inadvisable).

5.        What are Gifts, Entertainment, and Hospitality:

5.1.       Gifts

Anything of value, including cash[1] and cash equivalent, merchandise, gift certificate, gift basket, token of appreciation, prize, discount, air ticket upgrade, loan, favor, sample, promotional item, product, service or promise of any of the aforementioned.

5.2.       Entertainment and Hospitality

Any travel, transportation, lodging, hotel accommodation, dining, tour, cultural event, social event or sporting event and/or other entertainment.

6.        Guidelines

This section provides guidance with reference to Aramex’s requirements and expectations, and must be used as a reference to ensure that all gifts, entertainment and hospitality transactions comply with our Code of Conduct and this Policy.

6.1.       General Guidelines

The following are general guidelines for offering or accepting any type of gifts, entertainment or hospitality:

  • A gift, entertainment or hospitality that may constitute the appearance of, or an actual, conflict of interest or illicit payment is not allowed under any circumstances.
  • A gift, entertainment or hospitality can be justifiable if there is a clear business reason for it, and the total cost must not exceed USD 50 in value and must be approved by the Station/Country Manager and the Accounting Manager.

Exceptions to gifts, entertainment, or hospitality that exceed USD 50 must be properly approved as follows:

  • From USD 50 up to USD 100 by the Station/Country Manager and the Regional Financial Controller.
  • From USD 100 up to USD 500 by the Regional CEO and the Regional Financial Controller.
  • Over USD 500 by the CEO, CFO or COO.
  • Cash or cash equivalents are not permissible under any circumstances.
  • No gift, entertainment or hospitality may be offered to or accepted from Government Officials.
  • No gift, entertainment or hospitality is offered or accepted during the bidding phase to a contract or contract renewal.
  • All gift, entertainment or hospitality of any value, must be properly reported, approved, logged and recorded.
  • Offered or accepted gifts, entertainment, or hospitality must not constitute the appearance of, or an actual luxurious, unethical, or culturally inappropriate form (i.e. alcohol, narcotics, adult entertainment).

6.2.       Offering or Accepting Gifts Guidelines:

  • It is only acceptable to offer or accept gifts that have the company’s logo on them. These include t-shirts, mugs, pens, calendars, pen holders, stress balls, notebooks or similar items.
  • No multiple gifts per individual are allowed, unless it is a bundled pack of lower value items such as a logoed pen, calendar and a mug. In this case the bundled pack is considered one gift but should not be repeated.
  • All exceptions to the gifts guidelines must be properly approved by Station/Country Manager and the Regional Financial Controller.

Values Checkpoint!

 

Gift Value Test:

If you are not sure about the value of a gift received or offered, a quick test would be to ask yourself to forfeit the gift or throw it away. If you hesitate because you believe the gift has value, then it might be considered an improper gift.

6.3.       Offering or Receiving Entertainment and Hospitality Guidelines:

  • No multiple or repeated dining, tours, cultural events, social events or sporting events and/or entertainments per individual are allowed.
  • Business related activities such as seminars, presentations and meetings should be the major part of any invitation program. Necessarily, non-business-related activities such as dinners, social events, cultural events and sports events should be a small part of the whole program.
  • Travel and accommodation expenses associated with any invitation should not be offered or received.
  • All travel and accommodation expenses for invited Aramex employees or representatives of Aramex should not be accepted and should be fully paid by Aramex.
  • All travel and accommodation expenses for invitees should not be offered and should be fully paid by the invitees.
  • Business and first-class tickets are not allowed under any circumstances.
  • Per diems and pocket money are not allowed to be offered to or received from a third party under any circumstances.
  • Travel and accommodation expenses are not allowed to family members, relatives or friends.
  • All exceptions to the entertainment and hospitality guidelines must be properly approved by the Station/Country Manager and the Regional Financial Controller.

Values Checkpoint!

 

The Front-Page Test:

When you are thinking how to handle a situation, consider how it would look on the front page of the newspaper. How would you feel if everyone is sharing your decision and activities on social media?

  • If you are having a hard time defending something to the public, then maybe, you need to rethink your actions.

Scenario:

My colleague and I are planning to take a customer to an expensive resort in the Swiss Alps for a weekend of skiing, all expenses paid by Aramex. He is a good customer, and we are looking to expand the business with him. Plus, we have become friends with this customer and often get together with him and his family for dinner after working hours, so I know he is looking forward to it and Aramex will be rewarded for our effort.

 

Response:

In this situation, you did not live up to our values. Our guidelines on entertainment state that we can provide reasonably valued and modest entertainment to external parties. Taking the customer for such an expensive trip is not in alignment with these guidelines, particularly when he is also becoming a friend. If you are even considering such a trip, you must consult with the Compliance or Legal Department prior to committing to this.

6.4.       Offering Gifts, Entertainment or Hospitality to Government Officials Guidelines:

Our policy is not to offer gifts, entertainment, or hospitality to Government Officials, but if a very specific circumstance appears, it may be approved after careful consideration.

In addition to the previously mentioned guidelines, it should as well be:

  • Consistent with local laws.
  • Directly related to the promotion, demonstration, explanation of products and services, execution of a contract or establishing a business relationship with the Government Official’s employer/organization.
  • Openly processed through the Government Official’s employer/organization.
  • Properly documented, supported with official receipts.
  • Properly approved by the Regional Financial Controller and Regional CEO.
  • Discussed with the Compliance Department for advice.

Values Checkpoint!

Scenario:

A new regulation was imposed to restrict pollution output. As a result, we have modified our vehicles in a remote area of our network. Furthermore, we sought advice from the government office to have a pre-inspection of the results of our efforts. The Government Official informed us that they are always willing to support companies with pre-inspections, however, we must pay for the Officials’ travel and accommodation to the remote place as per the government’s written policy. I am going to request for funding for the Official’s travel and accommodation and consult with our Compliance Department before proceeding.

Response:

In this case, you lived up to our values. You are only going to offer the Government Official hospitality expenses after consulting with the Compliance Department. Additionally, a written policy by the government that such expenses should be paid by the companies supports the diligent way you are going to conduct this transaction. Just make sure to get the needed approvals.

7.        Gifts, Entertainment and Hospitality Forms and Logs

All gifts, entertainment and hospitality transactions must be logged and filed using the form in “Appendix A” or COM 1151 – (H) Improper Gifts, Entertainment, and Hospitality Request Form available on infohub.

  • The form should be completed and approved prior to accepting or offering gifts, entertainment or hospitality.
  • The approval follows the mandate previously detailed in the “General Guidelines” of this Policy.
  • Once the form is completed and approved, it must be sent to the Accounting Department for filing and logging.
  • The log must include at least the following details:
  • Requester Name.
  • Approver Name/s.
  • Type (Receiving/Offering).
  • Type (Gift, Entertainment or Hospitality).
  • Receiver/Offeror Name.
  • Receiver/Offeror Company.
  • Business Need.

8.        Accounting and Recordkeeping

All transactions must be recorded accurately and transparently. Proper and accurate recordkeeping ensures that all dealings and transactions are free of corruption. Therefore, we must comply with all accounting regulations and standards, as well as our internal policies.

Furthermore, when making expenditures on behalf of Aramex, we must properly record the details of all transactions, accounting for all funds and benefits received as part of these transactions.

Extra care must be taken to ensure that the treatment of any gifts, entertainment, hospitality or other benefits offered to officials in the public and private sectors, comply with applicable laws, this Policy and Aramex’s accounting and recordkeeping requirements.

To comply with these requirements, all employees and related parties must:

  • Follow Company’s accounting requirements as set out in the standard policies and procedures.
  • Accurately record all transactions, even when the transaction might violate the applicable laws and this Policy.
  • Never agree to requests for false invoices or for payments of expenses that are unusual, excessive, or inadequately described.
  • Never make any payments to anonymous accounts that are not in the name of neither payee nor the entity known to be controlled by the payee.

Proper recordkeeping is essential to our compliance with the applicable laws and for us to maintain and uphold the spirit of this Policy, furthermore, to establish that the Company has adequate procedures in place to prevent corruption.

9.        Non-compliance Disciplinary

Beyond the legal and financial penalties that Aramex and its employees could suffer as a result of non-compliance with applicable laws and this Policy, failure to comply can also result in disciplinary actions, as permitted by law, up to and including termination of employment.

Additionally, some laws call for disciplinary fines reaching tens of millions of dollars as well as imprisonment that could reach up to 20 years for violators.

Managers who fail to supervise employees’ compliance with this Policy may also be subject to disciplinary actions. Managers should lead by example and be a resource for employees who have questions or need advice.

For Compliance Disciplinary, you must read and follow the COM 1151 – (P) Non-Compliance Disciplinary Policy

10.        Conclusion

Thank you for reading our Gifts, Entertainment and Hospitality Policy. The information in this Policy supplements our Code of Conduct, serves as a manual to help you face potential corruption with confidence and gives you the tools necessary to make the right decision.

Most importantly, this Policy demonstrates our commitment to supporting you as an Aramex employee or related party, and our genuine interest in helping you make decisions in accordance with our values.

If a situation does not feel right, you have our full support to walk away from it and seek further guidance from various resources within the company as described in the “Reporting Violations” section of this policy.

1.        Accounting and Recordkeeping

All transactions must be recorded accurately and transparently. Proper and accurate recordkeeping ensures that all dealings and transactions are free of corruption. Therefore, we must comply with all accounting regulations and standards, as well as our internal policies.

Furthermore, when making expenditures on behalf of Aramex, we must properly record the details of all transactions, accounting for all funds and benefits received as part of these transactions.

Extra care must be taken to ensure that the treatment of any gifts, entertainment, hospitality or other benefits offered to officials in the public and private sectors, comply with applicable laws, this Policy and Aramex’s accounting and recordkeeping requirements.

To comply with these requirements, all employees and related parties must:

  • Follow Company’s accounting requirements as set out in the standard policies and procedures.
  • Accurately record all transactions, even when the transaction might violate the applicable laws and this Policy.
  • Never agree to requests for false invoices or for payments of expenses that are unusual, excessive, or inadequately described.
  • Never make any payments to anonymous accounts that are not in the name of neither payee nor the entity known to be controlled by the payee.

Proper recordkeeping is essential to our compliance with the applicable laws and for us to maintain and uphold the spirit of this Policy, furthermore, to establish that the Company has adequate procedures in place to prevent corruption.

2.        Non-compliance Disciplinary

Beyond the legal and financial penalties that Aramex and its employees could suffer as a result of non-compliance with applicable laws and this Policy, failure to comply can also result in disciplinary actions, as permitted by law, up to and including termination of employment.

Additionally, some laws call for disciplinary fines reaching tens of millions of dollars as well as imprisonment that could reach up to 20 years for violators.

Managers who fail to supervise employees’ compliance with this Policy may also be subject to disciplinary actions. Managers should lead by example and be a resource for employees who have questions or need advice.

For Compliance Disciplinary, you must read and follow the COM 1151 – (P) Non-Compliance Disciplinary Policy

3.        Conclusion

Thank you for reading our Gifts, Entertainment and Hospitality Policy. The information in this Policy supplements our Code of Conduct, serves as a manual to help you face potential corruption with confidence and gives you the tools necessary to make the right decision.

Most importantly, this Policy demonstrates our commitment to supporting you as an Aramex employee or related party, and our genuine interest in helping you make decisions in accordance with our values.

If a situation does not feel right, you have our full support to walk away from it and seek further guidance from various resources within the company as described in the “Reporting Violations” section of this policy.

  • Support and encourage other employees and Related Parties to comply with this Policy.

4.1.       Reporting Violations

If you have any questions or concerns, or if you witness potential violations of this Policy, you must share your concerns with us. We operate under a “no retaliation” policy, which means that we will never retaliate against anyone who reports a concern to us in good faith. Additionally, your report will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality and we will endeavor to ensure that your identity is not disclosed.

You must report any known, suspected or attempted violations of this Policy to Community – Risk and Compliance Team <aramex.compliance@aramex.com>.

If you prefer, you may anonymously report concerns through the Compliance Hotline at Service Center – Whistle Blowing <whistleblowing@aramex.com>.

Additionally, you may request the guidance of the following resources when you are uncertain about any obligations under this Policy:

  • Compliance Department;
  • Legal Department;
  • The Human Resources Department; or
  • Direct Manager (unless the nature of the issue makes doing so inadvisable).

5.        What is a Conflict of Interest?

Conflict of interest is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests, financial or non-financial, one of which could possibly impair the motivation or decision-making of that individual or organization.

Conflicts of interest can create potential divided loyalties between your personal interests and your obligations to Aramex, potentially adversely affecting the way you perform your duties at Aramex. A conflict of interest may unconsciously influence you, and even the mere appearance of a conflict of interest can cause your actions, reputation and integrity to be questioned.

Conflicts of interest have the following main types:

5.1.       Actual Conflict of Interest

An actual conflict of interest involves a direct conflict between an employee’s or a Related Party’s current duties and responsibilities, and existing personal interests. Actual conflicts of interest occur when there is a clear evidence that a person is not putting the company’s interest first but instead seeking to benefit themselves, their relatives, close friends or other parties.

5.2.       Perceived (Apparent) Conflict of Interest

A perceived or apparent conflict of interest can exist where it could be perceived, or it appears to others, that an employee’s or a Related Party’s personal interests influence the performance, actions, or duties and responsibilities – whether or not this is in fact the case. For example, there could be a situation where your actions are in the best interest of Aramex, but to an outsider viewing the situation, it appears that a conflict of interest exists.

5.3.       Potential Conflict of Interest

A potential conflict of interest arises when an employee, or a Related Party, has a personal interest that could conflict with their duties and responsibilities in the future, usually due to change in circumstances. In other words, something might happen in the future that will become a conflict, however as it stands, there is nothing to do about it.

For example, assume that you are a procurement officer at Aramex and your spouse was approached to work as a sales officer for a big supplier, this is still a potential conflict, but if she accepts the job, the potential conflict will become an actual conflict.

Values Checkpoint!

Scenario:
I am a Country Manager, and my brother has applied for a vacancy to work in our station as an Accounting Manager. He is very qualified and might be reporting directly to me. Would this be a conflict of interest? What type of a conflict of interest will this be if he is hired?

 

Response:

Yes, this has potentially all three types of a conflict of interest:

Potential: since your brother applied for the vacancy, there is the potential of him reporting to you (if he is hired) which constitutes a potential conflict of interest.

Perceived: When a close relative works with an employee at the same company and in the same team, there is a perceived conflict such as a perceived preferential treatment.

Actual: if he is hired and reports directly to you, then you and your brother will have an actual conflict of interest.

5.4.       Red Flags

A red flag is a fact, event, or set of circumstances that may indicate a potential compliance concern for illegal or unethical business conduct. Although some conflicts of interest might be hard to identify, there are some clear warning signs to look out for.

While performing day to day work, Aramex employees and Related Parties may come across red flags that can create or lead to a conflict of interest, which should trigger concern and appropriate action.

The following examples are not exhaustive and may not in themselves constitute or indicate a violation of this Policy or the Applicable Laws, they may be indicators of potential current or future non-compliance.

Red Flag Examples:

  • Accepting gifts, entertainment and hospitality (exceeding nominal/low value).
  • Charitable or political contributions.
  • Holding government jobs/appointments/elected positions.
  • Employment and/or supervision of close relatives.
  • Working for and/or Investing in competitors, suppliers, related parties, and/or customers.
  • Taking business opportunities that rightfully belong to Aramex.
  • Working for other organizations.
  • Steering business to specific vendor, supplier or consultant regardless of quality and need.

To learn more about these red flags, please go to the guidelines in “Section 7” of this Policy.

6.        Identifying and Disclosing Conflicts of Interest

Employees and related parties are responsible for identifying and disclosing their own conflicts of interest. If you are aware of or even suspect that you may have a conflict of interest, you must immediately disclose it in accordance with this Policy.

Disclosing information about conflicts of interest helps ensure that you are not placed in a position of choosing between a personal interest and the interests of Aramex. It allows Aramex to evaluate the relevant circumstances and facts to determine if an actual conflict exists. Ultimately, it helps protect Aramex’s brand and reputation, in addition to the reputation of individuals and Related Parties.

6.1.       Identifying Conflicts of Interest

To properly identify conflicts of interest, consideration should be given to whether an employee or a Related Party could be influenced, or appear to be influenced, by personal interests while performing their roles.

Employees and Related Parties need to consider:

  • If they, or someone associated with them, would benefit or be harmed, directly or indirectly, now or in the future, by a decision they may be involved in.
  • Whether they, or someone associated with them, has received a gift or benefit from another person or business who would benefit from a decision they may be involved in.
  • Whether a member of the public would view their decision as being influenced by their personal interests or associations with other persons/entities.

6.2.       Conflict of Interest Declaration Form

On a yearly basis, every employee and Related Party must fill in the “Conflict of Interest Form” in “Appendix A” or COM 1151 – (D) Conflict of Interest Declaration Form available on infohub. Moreover, the same form should be filled whenever a conflict of interest is identified. This is important to properly review conflict of interest situations and determine the appropriate actions to be taken.

Once the form is completed, the original signed copy should be handed to the Direct Manager and the Human Resources Department (for employees) and to the Procurement Department (for related parties).

In the conflict of interest declaration form:

  • New Employees will be requested by the Human Resources to disclose any conflict of interest they are aware of when they commence employment with Aramex.
  • Every existing employee will be annually requested by Human Resources to disclose any conflict of interest they are aware of, including those previously disclosed.
  • Every existing employee must immediately report any conflict of interest to the Direct Manager and the Human Resources when a conflict of interest occurs or upon becoming aware of a conflict of interest.
  • Related Parties will be requested by the Procurement Department to disclose any conflict of interest they are aware of when they commence business with Aramex.
  • Every Related Party will be annually requested by Procurement Department to disclose any conflict of interest they are aware of, including those previously disclosed.

Remember, you have an ongoing obligation to disclose any conflict of interest you are aware of, so keep this Policy in mind whenever there are any changes in business strategies or your work circumstances (i.e. you are promoted or transferred to a different department or country) as this may create a conflict of interest that did not exist before.

6.3.       Reviewing and Managing Conflicts of Interest

After the form is submitted, Aramex will conduct follow up activities and ask more questions about the situation, to determine the best course of action to be taken.

Disclosing a situation does not mean that there will always be a conflict of interest. Each situation is unique, and we will always try to work out the best solution to any conflict.

  • On receipt of the written declaration, the Direct Manager must assess the situation and determine whether a potential or actual conflict exists.
  • The Direct Manager must bring the conflict situation to the Station/Country Manager for consideration and a decision regarding resolving the conflict.
  • If necessary, the Station/Country Manager should seek advice from the Human Resources, Legal or Compliance Departments to determine the appropriate action to manage or resolve the conflict.
  • Meanwhile, the Direct Manager is to advise the employee not to take further action in relation to the conflict until a decision is made by the Station/Country Manager.
  • Conflicts of interest may be resolved or managed in a variety of ways, the choice of strategy will depend on the assessment and the advice received.

Some ways to resolve or manage a conflict are:

  • Restrict: restrictions are placed on the employee’s involvement in the matter of creating the conflict.
  • Remove: the employee is removed from their involvement in the matter of creating the conflict.
  • Recruit: an independent third party (i.e. internal or external) is used to oversee part or all of the process that deals with the matter of creating the conflict.
  • Renounce: the employee renounces the personal interest that is creating the conflict.
  • Resign/Relocate: the employee resigns or relocates from his/her current position.
  • Once a decision is made, it will be clearly relayed to the employee in writing, stating what actions and expectations are required by the employee.
  • Formal written records should be kept of all reassessments, decisions made, and actions taken in relation to any conflict of interest.

7.        Guidelines

This section provides guidance on specific transactions, with reference to Aramex’s requirements and expectations and should be used as a reference to make sure that all transactions and business relationships comply with our Code of Conduct and this Policy.

7.1.       Accepting Gifts, Entertainment and Hospitality

The acceptance of gifts, entertainment and hospitality could lead to a conflict of interest, if they are meant to influence decision-making or impair judgment towards a certain action.

For more details, you must read and follow the COM 1151 – (B) Aramex Gifts, Entertainment and Hospitality Policy

7.2.       Charitable and Political Contributions

Charitable and political contributions could lead to a conflict of interest, if they are meant to influence decision-making or impair judgment towards a certain action.

For Charitable and Political Contributions, you must read and follow the policies located at:

Charitable Donations and Sponsorships Policy

Political Contributions and Involvement Policy

Values Checkpoint!

Scenario:
My children attend a private school, and recently the school has started a fundraiser for a new gymnasium. They are struggling to raise the money needed to start construction and need additional donations. I know that Aramex supports the communities we operate in and this seems like a great opportunity to give back. Can I use $500 of company funds to donate on behalf of the company to my children’s school?

Response:
No. All charitable donations need to be properly reviewed and approved. It might seem like a conflict of interest because your children will directly benefit from the donation as they are attending the school and will be using the gymnasium. Aramex supports the communities that we operate in but in a way that is responsible and will not create the appearance of a conflict of interest.

7.3.       Holding Government Positions

Working for a government[1], or being closely related to a government official can sometimes cause a conflict of interest. It does not matter if the government job was by appointment, an elected position, or other basis; the guidelines remain the same. Because government officials create laws, set policies, and act in a position of power in public and private sectors, it could appear to be a conflict of interest for an Aramex employee to serve as a government official. Employees must disclose any sort of government employment to Aramex as soon as possible and typically before start working for the government.

There are also laws in some countries that deal with hiring current and former government officials that we must abide by. Disclosing your government job will not necessarily preclude you from working with Aramex.

7.4.       Employment and/or Supervision of Close Relatives

Aramex respects that our employees value strong family relationships and might consider family members for positions at our company. However, it is of utmost importance that

Close Relatives[1] who are candidates for Aramex positions are considered under the same standards as other candidates, and that Aramex employees who happen to be close relatives are not given preferential treatment.

If you have a family member who is interested in an Aramex position, you should disclose it in accordance to this Policy. If you think that a certain employee is receiving preferential treatment because of family relations, you should report your concerns to the Compliance Department.

Other relatives from the bigger family circle (i.e. grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, relatives-in-law, cousins, nephews, nieces. . . etc.) might have the same influence of Close Relatives on decision-making and might impair judgment, leading to a conflict of interest. Consequently, the same disclosure and reporting rules of this Policy apply.

In all cases, you should never be in a position that you oversee or are overseen by a family member. Additionally, you should never work in departments that may influence or complement each other, such as working as a Procurement Manager while your wife is the Accounting Manager.

Values Checkpoint!

Scenario:
My sister is an experienced supply chain specialist and is looking for a new job. I recently came across an internal announcement about a need for supply chain manager. I think she would be a great fit for the job, can I recommend that she apply for the job?

Response:
Yes. You can recommend that your sister apply for the job. The knowledge and networking communities of Aramex’s employees are of our most valuable assets. Our policy on hiring family members is not meant to keep us from legitimately hiring qualified candidates who are also members of your family. However, we need to be sure that other employees are involved in the hiring process and it is not your sole decision or influenced by you.

7.5.       Working for and/or Investing in Competitors, Suppliers, Business Partners or Customers

Doing work for competitors is always a conflict of interest.  The company does not allow employees to work for both Aramex and competitors. As Aramex operates in a very competitive business landscape, we need to ensure that the integrity of our data and employees is uncompromised. If someone works for a competitor, they risk violating confidentiality relating to business secrecy or being viewed as not fully dedicated to their employers.

Similarly, working for Aramex’s suppliers, vendors, business partners, or customers can likely constitute a conflict of interest. This can create a conflict because employees can be

regarded as being on both sides of a deal where the best interests of both parties cannot be attained.

Some types of investments that could cause a conflict of interest are the ones that are made in the business of our competitors, suppliers, business partners and/or customers. An investment in suppliers or other business partners, could influence an employee to retain these business partners even when doing so is not in the best interest of Aramex.

If you invest in or considering investing in other organizations, you should disclose this to Aramex well before the investment is made.

Values Checkpoint!

Scenario:
Our company has been a long-time partner with one of our biggest air freight providers and has established a mutually beneficial relationship. I oversee operations with this service provider. I know that Aramex’s business makes up a substantial portion of revenue for the service provider and we are about to sign a new contract with them soon. Since I am

knowledgeable about their operations and believe they are a reputable and successful company, would it be okay for me to buy some stock in this service provider?

Response:
No. Buying shares in this service provider, creates a conflict of interest because you would be impacted by Aramex’s determination to retain this service provider. You should not invest in competitors, business partners, or similar companies without discussing the matter with the Compliance or Legal Departments.

7.6.       Taking Business Opportunities that Rightfully Belong to Aramex

While doing business and day-to-day work, you may learn of opportunities that you could take advantage of to increase your personal income. This personal enrichment can come in the form of money, tangible benefits, avoidance of losses or other advantages. Any business opportunities that you learn about in the course of your employment with Aramex must be used exclusively for the benefit of the company.

Values Checkpoint!

Scenario:
My colleagues worked on a contract and lost it due to pricing issues. I decided to tell a friend and take the account with him where we could meet the price requirements of the customer. As a result, I worked on the account on my free time and delivered the services to the customer without affecting my work at Aramex. Would this be considered a conflict of interest?

Response:
Yes. You should not approach any customer of Aramex to perform work even if the contract did not materialize. Aramex might still do business with the customer and you will be in conflict because you are personally benefiting through your association with Aramex.

7.7.       Working for Other Organizations

Doing work for other organizations, freelancing or doing entrepreneurial work while being employed at Aramex can sometimes, but not always, be a conflict of interest.  In all situations, written pre-approval is required prior to accepting another job outside of Aramex.  It is not allowed to consider work opportunities from other organizations that are in the same industry as Aramex as these companies can be competitors, suppliers or business partners.  Employees are not allowed to work for Aramex while starting businesses that could operate in the same industry as Aramex or be a competitor.

Aramex does not put a complete restriction on doing work for other organizations but any other work you perform must not affect your ability to effectively perform your duties at Aramex. It may be acceptable to take another job with a company that operates outside of Aramex’s industry and does not compete with Aramex.  If you are considering taking another job, please talk to your Direct Manager and Human Resources Department before doing so, to determine if a conflict of interest exists.

Our policy of allowing work in other companies provided it does not represent a conflict, as mentioned above, is driven by the true entrepreneurial spirit that Aramex encourages its employees to undertake.

In some countries, however, it might be against the law to have more than one occupation or to work for more than one employer. In these countries, we expect employees to abide by the local laws.

Values Checkpoint!

Scenario:
I recently got a second job working for a restaurant on the weekends. As far as I know, Aramex and the restaurant do not have business dealings together. I took the job before speaking to my supervisor about it and I want to be sure there is not a conflict of interest, what should I do?

Response:
You should disclose that you are doing work for another company as soon as possible. It would have been better if you let your supervisor know about your other job opportunity before you accepted it, so Aramex could have determined beforehand if a conflict of interest

exists. Even if a conflict seems unlikely, we should always get pre-approval before accepting other employment opportunities.

7.8.       Steering Business to a Specific Vendor, Supplier or Consultant Regardless of Quality or Need

Aramex selects suppliers and business partners based on factors such as price, reliability, reputation and quality. We should not base purchasing or hiring decisions on personal, friendships, relationships, or other non-business-related factors.

There can appear to be a conflict of interest when an Aramex employee awards a contract to or hires a supplier that is a close friend or relative. In such case, you should disclose this and ask to remove yourself from the decision-making process. Removing yourself from the decision-making process does not mean that the potential supplier will automatically be excluded.

This is not meant to silence our employees while selecting business partners, but to ensure that we base our decisions on what is best for Aramex. In fact, the company values crucial input from employees based on legitimate business needs. While we can recommend potential suppliers to Aramex, we need to make sure they are hired based on objective criteria and not on personal relationships alone.

8.        Non-compliance Disciplinary

Beyond the legal and financial penalties that Aramex and its employees could suffer because of non-compliance with the Applicable Laws and this Policy, failure to comply can also result in disciplinary actions, as permitted by law, up to and including termination of employment.

Additionally, some laws call for disciplinary fines reaching tens of millions of dollars as well as imprisonment that could reach up to 20 years for violators.

Managers who fail to supervise employees’ compliance with this Policy may also be subject to disciplinary actions. Managers should lead by example and be a resource for employees who have questions or need advice.

For Compliance Disciplinary, you must read and follow the COM 1151 – (E) Aramex Non-Compliance Disciplinary Policy

9.        Conclusion

Thank you for reading our Conflict of Interest Policy. The information in this Policy supplements our Code of Conduct, serves as a manual to help you face potential corruption with confidence and gives you the tools necessary to make the right decision.

Most importantly, this Policy demonstrates our commitment to supporting you as an Aramex employee or related party, and our genuine interest in helping you make decisions in accordance with our values.

If a situation does not feel right, you have our full support to walk away from it and seek further guidance from various resources within the company as described in the “Reporting Violations” section of this policy.

For further information on our values and commitment to ethical conduct, please see the following resources:

  • Aramex Code of Conduct.
  • Anti-Corruption Policy.
  • Gifts, Entertainment and Hospitality Policy.
  • Third Parties Due Diligence Policy.
  • Anti-Money Laundering Policy.
  • Non-Compliance Disciplinary Actions Policy.

10.        References

Aramex.net à Infohub à Compliance à Policies & Standards:

  • COM 1151 – (B) Aramex Gifts, Entertainment and Hospitality
  • COM 1151 – (E) Aramex Non-Compliance Disciplinary Policy

Aramex.net à Infohub à Compliance à Forms:

 

Appendix A:

Aramex Conflict of Interest Declaration Form

 

Aramex expects every employee and Related Party (as defined in the Policy) to consider Aramex’s best interest as the only criteria for their business professional decisions and actions, and never to compromise Aramex’s interests.

A conflict of interest exists if the employee, or Related Party, has actual or potential personal interest or connection that may influence his/her judgment to be based on criteria other than Aramex’s best interests (hereafter “conflict”).

Conflicts can create potential divided loyalties between your personal interests and your obligations to Aramex, potentially adversely affecting the way you perform your duties at Aramex. A conflict may unconsciously influence you, and even the mere appearance of a conflict can cause your actions, reputation and integrity to be questioned.

Conflict includes any not-for-profit or for-profit businesses for which an Aramex employee, or related party, or a close relative is an employee, officer, director, owner, majority shareholder, or consultant.

1.        Policy and Purpose Statement

The purpose of the Aramex Anti-Money Laundering Policy (“Policy”) is to give clear instructions to Aramex employees and other Related Parties[1] on identifying, avoiding, and disclosing money laundering activities.

This Policy:

  • Describes the various stages of money laundering;
  • Illustrates situations where money laundering might arise and the recommended course of action in each situation; and
  • Details the avenues of support to be used for reporting compliance concerns and obtaining additional guidance.

2.        Applicability

This Policy applies to all employees of Aramex and its worldwide Related Parties, including officers, directors, full-timers, part-timers, contract and temporary employees. It covers all aspects of work, transactions, activities and business endeavors.

3.        Applicable Laws

Aramex is committed to fair and ethical business practices and avoiding direct or indirect illegal activities and corruption of all kinds, including money laundering. We will abide by all applicable laws, including the local anti-money laundering laws in every country in which we operate (“Applicable Laws”).

Some countries in which we operate may have laws stricter than those mentioned in this Policy. As a general rule, we follow the most stringent law, regulation or policy applicable to our business in these countries.

The combination of Applicable Laws and our global presence requires maximum alertness to money laundering and full awareness of how to recognize and eliminate it from any transaction we take part in. In case of any doubt about what is expected of you under the Applicable Laws or this Policy, you must seek guidance from the Compliance or Legal Departments.

4.        Responsibility (Call to Action)

As employees and Related Parties of Aramex, we are all responsible for upholding the company values and conducting business with integrity and honesty. The following actions must be taken to fulfill our commitment to fair and ethical business practices:

  • Step away from situations that involve money laundering or may be viewed as acts of money laundering.
  • Stay alert to any red flags suggesting wrongdoing by another employee or a related party.
  • Support and encourage other employees and Related Parties to comply with this Policy.

4.1.       Reporting Violations

If you have any questions or concerns, or if you witness potential violations of this Policy, you must share your concerns with us. We operate under a “no-retaliation” policy, which means that we will never retaliate against anyone who reports a concern to us in good faith.

Additionally, your report will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality and we will endeavor to ensure that your identity is not disclosed.

You must report any known, suspected or attempted violations of our Policy to Community – Risk and Compliance Team <aramex.compliance@aramex.com>.

If you prefer, you may anonymously report concerns through the Compliance Hotline at Service Center – Whistle Blowing <whistleblowing@aramex.com>.

Additionally, you may request the guidance of the following resources when you are uncertain about any obligations under this Policy:

  • The Compliance Department.
  • The Legal Department.
  • The Finance Department.
  • Direct Manager (unless the nature of the issue makes doing so inadvisable).

5.        What is Money Laundering?

Money laundering is the process of taking the proceeds of criminal activity and making them appear legal. In other words, it is the process by which criminally obtained money or other assets “criminal property” are exchanged for “clean” money or other assets with no obvious link to their criminal origins. Money laundering can be used by terrorist organizations, drug dealers, those engaged in bribery, human trafficking, and by anyone who receives money through illegal activities.

Money laundering usually occurs in three stages:

5.1.       Placement Stage:

Placement is introducing/depositing of funds into financial institutions or the conversion of cash into negotiable instruments. The money derived from criminal activities is often initially introduced to the financial system by breaking up large amounts of cash into less noticeable smaller sums, that are then deposited directly into a bank account, or by purchasing a series of monetary instruments (i.e. coins, currency, stock, securities, travelers’ cheques . . . etc.) that are then collected and deposited into accounts at another location.

Placement is the most difficult step for the launderer while the proceeds of crime are most apparent and most easily detected.

5.2.       Layering Stage:

Layering involves the transfer of funds in an attempt to hide the funds’ true origins and separate the illicit money from its source. This “layering” of financial transactions is done to obscure the audit trail and dissolve the link with the original crime.

Once the money has been placed in the financial system, the launderer engages in a series of conversions or movements of the funds to distance them from the source. For example, the launderer may transfer the funds to a series of bank accounts situated in different jurisdictions that usually have strict bank-secrecy laws.

5.3.       Integration Stage:

This is the final stage of the money laundering process. Integration involves the movement of layered funds, which are no longer traceable to their criminal origin, into the financial world where they are mixed with funds of legitimate origin. The launderer invests the funds in real estate, luxury goods or any other business ventures thereby enabling the funds to enter the

economy in a legitimate manner. This is a common way for the launderers to enjoy the illegal proceeds without drawing attention to themselves.

5.4.       Red Flags

A red flag is a fact, event, or set of circumstances, or other information that may indicate a potential compliance concern for illegal or unethical business conduct. Although some money laundering activities might be hard to identify, there are some clear warning signs to look out for.

While performing day to day work, Aramex employees and Related Parties may come across red flags that can create or lead to a money laundering activity, which should trigger concern and appropriate action.

The following examples are not exhaustive and may not in themselves constitute or indicate a violation of this Policy or the Applicable Laws, they may be indicators of potential current or future non-compliance.

Red Flag Examples:

  • Insufficient or suspicious information.
  • Reluctance to provide detailed information about the business.
  • Use of unusual or suspicious identification documents that cannot be verified.
  • Use of unjustifiable foreign addresses.
  • Large payments made in cash.
  • Unjustified requests to open multiple accounts.
  • Request for business transactions to be made through a third party that has no apparent connection to the business.
  • Request for business transactions to be made through a country/jurisdiction that has no apparent connection to the business or has high risk of money laundering and/or funding of terrorism.
  • Multiple partial payments from various parties on behalf of a single customer.
  • Ownership structure is overly and unjustifiably complicated.

6.        Know Your Customer (KYC)

Know Your Customer (KYC) is a process of identifying and verifying the identity of customers and ascertain information relevant to doing business with them, and is exercised during the opening and maintaining of their accounts. KYC is an ethical practice that is applied to all types of customers. Furthermore, the KYC processes and requirements vary according to the nature, size and type of customers (individual or company).

Some jurisdictions are highly regulated with regards to data protection and privacy (i.e. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union) and might prohibit obtaining or maintaining specific individual information. To minimize the possibility of non-compliance, you must consult with the Information Security Department.

6.1.       KYC for Individuals

At the point of opening an account for an individual customer, we are required to obtain the following information:

  • Full name as per official ID or passport.
  • Address
  • Email address.
  • Phone number.
  • Copy of ID for verification (official ID or passport).

6.2.       KYC for Companies

At the point of opening an account for a company, we are required to obtain the following information:

  • Company name.
  • Contact person.
  • Email Address.
  • Phone number.
  • Copy of the trade license.
  • Copy of corporate registration. (This may vary in name and description based on the country and jurisdiction; we look for a government issued document certifying the company is registered in the country it operates and/or the country of origin if different).
  • Names of owners (if not a public shareholding company).
  • Names of officers of the company. (This includes the top executives (CEO, COO, CFO, and other executives).

All data obtained should be uploaded on the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system and database, then a screening of customers must be performed against denied/restricted parties lists prior to accepting the customer and starting business.

7.        Guidelines

This section provides guidance on specific transactions, with reference to Aramex’s requirements and expectations and should be used as a reference to make sure the transactions and business relationships comply with the Aramex Code of Conduct and this Policy.

7.1.       Insufficient, Suspicious or Fictitious Information

Customer information should be clear, accurate and legitimate and we must do our diligence to obtain the same.

In case the customer is reluctant to provide information, or the received information is insufficient, suspicious or false, then there may be an intent to hide an illegal or unethical activity or accept business that might be illegitimate. The proper action here is to raise the matter to any of the parties as identified in the “Responsibility” section of this policy.

7.2.       Large Payments of Cash

Large payments of cash pose a higher risk of money laundering; therefore, they are not accepted at Aramex.

All payments should comply with Aramex’s Finance/Accounting policies, procedures and guidelines. A specific financial guideline is that cash payments should be minimal and in small amounts such as for walk-in cash customers.

7.3.       Opening Multiple Accounts

Customers with multiple accounts for the same beneficial owners or controlling parties for no justifiable business reason, constitute a potential risk of money laundering. An apparent

business reason for having multiple accounts could be different business locations, countries or regions.

In case a customer requests to open multiple accounts for no apparent business reason, then there may be an intent to hide an illegal or unethical activity or accept business that might be illegitimate. The proper action here is to raise the matter to any of the parties as identified in the “Responsibility” section of this policy.

7.4.       Payments Through Unrelated Country or Third Party

Payments from unrelated third parties or from countries that are not related to the shipper or consignee constitutes a risk of money laundering. Moreover, such payments, if made in cash, pose an even higher level of risk.

In case the payor or payee is not the beneficiary of the transaction, is in another country from the beneficiaries, or has no apparent tie to the transaction, then there may be an intent to hide an illegal or unethical activity or accept business that might be illegitimate. The proper action here is to raise the matter to any of the parties as identified in the “Responsibility” section of this policy.

Values Checkpoint!

Scenario:

The finance manager of our customer for many years wanted to change the paying method of her business from bank transfers to cash payments. During her visit to our offices, she explained that since most of their sales are in cash, it would be easier and makes more sense to just pay us in cash. She works for a VIP customer and her business is over $100,000 every month. I do not see a problem with this as they are a customer that we have known for many years and has a good reputation.

Response:

At Aramex, Doing the Right Thing is one of our most important values. You should not accept such change in payment method because large cash transactions are against our policy. We only accept small cash payments from walk-in customers. Additionally, the fact that our customer, for many years, wants to change the payment method from bank transfer to cash payments, may indicate/lead to a potential money laundering activity.

 

Scenario:

A prospective customer in “Country A” wants to ship some valuable gems to “Country B” but requested to put a description on the shipment as decorative stones with low value. His explanation is that he does not want to alert authorities in “Country B” and expose him to possible investigations. Additionally, he does not have papers for the gems from “Country A” authorities since these are heritage gems in his family for generations. The customer seems decent and sincere, and I believe in helping and finding solutions for customers to offer good customer care.

Response:

At Aramex, Doing the Right Thing is one of our most important values. You should not accept to ship these gems, even if the customer looks decent and sincere. In doing so, you may be supporting the smuggling of gems, which could be stolen out of “Country A” into “Country B” where another arrangement might make the gems legal. Additionally, changing the description

of an international shipment is fraudulent and could prevent combating of crime at both the origin and destination.

8.        Conclusion

Thank you for reading our Anti-Money Laundering policy. The information in this Policy supplements our Code of Conduct, serves as a manual to help identify money laundering activities and gives you the knowledge and tools necessary to make the right decision.

Most importantly, this Policy demonstrates our commitment to supporting you as an Aramex employee or related party, and our genuine interest in helping you make decisions in accordance with our values.

If a situation does not feel right, you have our full support to walk away from it and seek further guidance from various resources within the company as described in the “Reporting Violations” section of this policy.

For further information on our values and commitment to ethical conduct, please see the following resources:

  • Aramex Code of Conduct.
  • Anti-Corruption Policy.
  • Gifts, Entertainment and Hospitality Policy.
  • Third Parties Due Diligence Policy.
  • Conflict of Interest Policy.
  • Non-Compliance Disciplinary Actions Policy.

1. Background

Aramex has direct and indirect trade exposure to various US sanctioned countries. Out of the current list of sanctioned countries; Aramex has direct presence in Iran through its Iranian subsidiary, whereas exposure to other sanctioned countries is on transactional basis only. We have a limited but regular number of cross-border shipments going to and received from the sanctioned countries such as Iran, Syria, and Cuba. For the purposes of this Policy, a sanctioned country is defined as a country or territory which is the target of economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals (each a “Sanctioned Country”, and together, “Sanctioned Countries”).

Aramex takes compliance very seriously and has an established Trade Compliance division within its Risk and Compliance function that serves as a gatekeeper for shipments going into Sanctioned Countries. The role of the Trade Compliance division is to undertake reviews on products and sanctions’ screening of all persons (both entities and individuals) involved in a transaction, to cover trade exposure to Sanctioned Countries, and to ensure that Aramex complies at all times with applicable international laws and regulations.

Most of the global banks in different jurisdictions are extremely cautious and risk averse when dealing with any kind of financial transaction that may have a direct or indirect connection to any trade or business related to Sanctioned Countries or nationals of Sanctioned Countries, even where such trade or business is in compliance with the relevant international laws. We continue to face increased levels of scrutiny from various financial institutions on this subject and have been advised not to use Aramex’s bank accounts with such institutions to facilitate any financial transactions that could be directly or indirectly related to Sanctioned Countries.

2. Action Plan

Aramex’s global policy, on all financial transactions in relation to shipments and customers (corporate and individuals) associated with Sanctioned Countries, shall be as follows:

  1. All shipments involving Sanctioned Countries shall be transacted strictly on a cash basis for both cash and credit customers in local currency only. No funds shall be received or paid by Aramex in relation to any Sanctioned Countries through banks and bank accounts notified by Management from time to time, and shall instead be held in other accounts (referred to as ring-fenced accounts). No US dollars can be part of this transaction.
  2. All international express shipments related to any Sanctioned Countries will be carried on ‘Free In & Free Out’ basis. This would mean that any money collected by the origin/destination Aramex entity is not split with the Aramex destination/origin entity (as the case may be) directly or indirectly. Therefore, such shipments shall not be part of any intercompany billing transactions through Aramex International LLC (“AIL”). Accordingly, funds received at origin or destination in relation to such shipments, depending on the payment terms, will remain in cash with the relevant Aramex entity and will be held in ring-fenced accounts. No US dollars can be part of this transaction.
  3. Funds in relation to freight shipments shall be paid in two parts: Consignor shall pay for the first leg of the transportation (from origin to the destination port) at origin, and the consignee shall pay for the local leg of the transportation (clearance and delivery) at destination. No intercompany billing shall take place through Aramex Special Logistics LLC (“ASL”), as Aramex entities shall be dealing directly with each other (without ASL as an intermediary) with regards to any shipment related to Sanctioned Countries. This is applicable for both cash and credit customers. Funds will be held by the relevant Aramex entity in a ring-fenced account. Additionally, no US dollars can be part of this transaction in both legs.
  4. All cash amounts collected by Aramex entities for shipments related to Sanctioned Countries in accordance with this Policy shall be utilized towards the cash expenses of the relevant Aramex local entity. Such Aramex entity may, subject to internal approvals, open a separate bank account with one of the local banks selected by the Aramex Group Treasury Team to deposit such surplus cash, if any. In all events, such funds shall not, at any point in time, be mixed with any other bank balances held at banks and bank accounts notified by Management from time to time, and will be held in a ring-fenced bank account.

3. Applicability

This Policy is effective immediately. This Policy applies to all employees of Aramex and its worldwide related parties, including officers, directors, full-timers, part-timers, contract and temporary employees. All Aramex employees involved in transactions (financial or operational) involving Sanctioned Countries are expected to adhere by this Policy and all other compliance policies issued by the Risk and Compliance function from time to time and communicated to all Aramex staff. Records must be maintained to demonstrate compliance with this Policy.

In case of any doubt about what is expected of you under the applicable laws or this Policy, you must seek the guidance of the Risk and Compliance function or the Treasury department.

If you have any questions or concerns, or if you witness potential violations of this Policy, you must share your concerns with Risk and Compliance function or the Treasury department. This Policy will be reviewed regularly and any updates shared.

4. Disciplinary Action

Failure to comply with this Policy can result in disciplinary actions, as permitted by law, up to and including termination of employment and subsequent personal liability.

The level and type of disciplinary action is driven by the non-compliance’s nature, scope, intent and materiality of potential consequences.

Where We Stand

It is Aramex policy to comply with all applicable import and export trade compliance regulations and laws as well as other mandatory trade sanctions in the countries in which Aramex conducts business. Compliance failures can result in fines, criminal penalties, adverse publicity and suspension or revocation of the Aramex import or export privileges. Aramex employees involved in import and export activities are responsible to ensure compliance with applicable trade regulations and laws.

This policy applies to Aramex, all Aramex subsidiaries, branch offices, affiliates, and other Aramex entities, wherever located.

Trade Compliance

It is Aramex intent to comply with both the letter and the spirit of the laws governing its imports and exports activities. This Policy sets forth Aramex commitment to comply with applicable import and export control laws and regulations involving the import and export.

Aramex must submit accurate and complete import declarations to government authorities. Aramex will use reasonable care to ensure compliance with applicable import regulations regarding designated importer of record, import tariff classification, valuation, origin, duties and import tax payment, payment to the supplier, duty preference programs, temporary imports, bonded warehouse, duty drawback programs, and so forth impacting Aramex importation activities.

It is Aramex’s policy to carefully observe the export control laws and regulations of all applicable jurisdictions impacting its exports and re-exports of shipments.

Aramex respects all international and national embargo regulations and tries to it best capabilities to adhere to those regulations

Aramex will make sure that there are proper import or export licenses from local governments where we conduct our business.

Responsibility of Employees

  • To understand and abide by the Trade Compliance
  • All Aramex employees involved in import and/or export activities are responsible to understand their roles to ensure compliance with applicable trade regulations and
  • To report any witnessed or suspicious trade compliance activity on the Whistleblowing System on Aramex’s Intranet: https://www.aramex.net/apps/directory/WB_Requests.aspx

Responsibility of Management:

  • The Compliance Department establishes policy and oversees the Aramex import and export trade compliance operations to ensure efficient flow of services across international borders and strict compliance.
  • The Legal Department is responsible to act as the legal advisor to the Global Compliance Department on legal matters impacting Aramex import and export
  • The Compliance Department is responsible to ensure that Aramex employees have sufficient training and resources to carry out their responsibilities under this
  • To provide all employees with a clear whistleblowing
  • To address reported incidents of Trade Compliance by investigating them, confirming their validity, taking corrective action and protecting the whistleblower from any retaliation All investigation must be done while maintaining confidentiality of the incident.
  • It is the responsibility of the Compliance Department to conduct periodic reviews of the Aramex Trade Compliance Program to ensure that the company is complying with applicable trade

Whistle Blowing/Reporting Process

  • Anyone who has faced, witnessed or heard of an incident of violation of this policy must report the incident on the Whistleblowing System on Aramex’s Intranet: https://www.aramex.net/apps/directory/WB_Requests.aspx. All reports are received only by the Chief Compliance Officer and the Head of the Audit Team who are authorized to review reports and take necessary
  • The Chief Compliance Officer and/or the Head of the Audit Team take action within 5 days of receiving the Action might include informing Station/Country Managers and/or HR to carry on investigation with the complainant, the accused party and any other related party.
  • After the investigation is complete, the HR representative will discuss the results of the investigation with the complainant and the In case the any party is dissatisfied, the party has the right to appeal within 10 working days from the date of completing the investigation. The appeal will be forwarded to the Regional HR Manager and/Regional Area Manager.

Corrective Action:

In cases where the investigation evidence validates a breach of Trade Compliance Policy, the appropriate corrective action will be implemented by the HR Representative and the Station/Country Manager within 10 working days of the findings, unless an appeal is filed by the alleged party. Corrective action includes but is not limited to:

  • Oral/written warning
  • Requirement to provide a written apology
  • Requirement to take Business Ethics training sessions or any training deemed necessary or related
  • Suspension without pay for a maximum period of 60 working days
  • Loss of employment
  • Civil and criminal liability and local

Disclaimer: The validity, construction, operation and effect of this policy shall be governed by, construed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the local relevant jurisdiction and the international laws for political engagement.