As far as due diligence duties, loyalty and subordination are concerned, in the case of non compliance, employees may not only be facing disciplinary sanctions, but they might also have to face property liability, with significant amounts of money involved.

Frequently, lorry or truck drivers who are responsible for the international transportation of goods on behalf of Italian companies, take advantage of the company's vehicle to illegally smuggle weapons, tobacco or drugs.

Lorries and trucks are routinely checked by customs offices and consequently seized. The employee is arrested.

In this specific circumstance, Italian companies have to suddenly face the burden of proving they are not involved into such activities.

It is moreover necessary to have the vehicles released in the shortest time possible. This is even a much more urgent matter, on grounds of the fact that, in the majority of cases, seized vehicles are stored in parking lots with costs that have to be born by the employer.

Proving the employer is not involved into such criminal activities is not always an easy endeavour. It is often required to wait until the end of the trial, especially in the case the release of the vehicle is subject to the foreign court.

It is, as a matter of fact, the employer's responsibility to prove they have taken all precautionary measures aimed at hindering the possibility of criminal activities, as provided by the national or international legislation. It is therefore crucial to produce a number of documents relating to the internal regulation of the company in order to allow foreign customs offices to collect evidence of the professionalism of the company in managing international economic relationships.

These documents must be translated into the language of the country where vehicles have been seized and will be analysed by scrupulously appointed interpreters from foreign authorities to evaluate their reliability.

It is also required that the company in question takes immediate disciplinary measures aimed at the layoff of the employee responsible for the crime.

The dismantlement of internal borders has encouraged international trade of goods, but it has also contributed to the rise in crime opportunities for those who illegally smuggle drugs, weapons and tobacco.

In the last twelve years, Giambrone has provided expert legal assistance to Italian and foreign import/export companies whose vehicles have been seized as a consequence of Custom offices on grounds of crimes committed by their employees.

Our law firm provides assistance from professionals within our international network of offices, granting the best outcome in the shortest time possible.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.