Oil, gas and mining companies in the UK will face tougher anti-corruption rules from next year under new plans announced today.
Those firms registered in Britain will be required to report on the payments they make to governments in all the countries they operate.
The new rule, which will come into effect from January 2015, makes the UK the first nation in the EU to introduce reporting requirements on extractive industries.
The announcement comes as the EU Accounting Directive requires all 28 member states to introduce laws that compel oil, gas and mining companies to publish detailed accounts of billions of pounds worth of payments they make in the form of licence fees, taxes or loyalties.
Business Minister Jo Swinson said: “Oil, gas and mining can, if well managed, deliver precious economic benefits to the populations of developing countries. Too often though the assets from resource-rich countries are not benefitting local people or the local economy.
“These changes will result in greater transparency, helping build a stronger economy and ensuring people around the world have the information they need to hold their governments to account.”
Companies will have a maximum of 11 months after the end of the financial year to file a report detailing their payments above a disclosure threshold of €100,000.