21st June 2014

A Guide To OFAC Sanctions

A Guide To OFAC Sanctions

What is the OFAC Sanctions List?

Most of those sanctions lists are:

  • The Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List: A list of individuals and companies which are controlled by, or acting on behalf of, countries targeted by United States sanctions. 
  • The Consolidated Sanctions List: A list containing all sanctions information not incorporated into the SDN list.

Other types of sanctions lists maintained by OFAC include the Sectoral Sanctions Identifications List (targeted at Russia), the Foreign Sanctions Evaders List, and the more specific non-SDN Palestinian Legislative Council List, and the Iranian Sanctions List. OFAC sanctions are implemented in two categories:

  • Comprehensive Sanctions: Prohibiting all types of transactions between the US and a sanctioned country –  for example, North Korea, Syria or Sudan. 
  • Non-comprehensive Sanctions: Limiting transactions between the US and a specific company, individual, or industry – for example, supporters or financiers of an unfriendly political regime.

Who Has to Comply With OFAC Sanctions?

All individuals, banks, financial services companies and other obligated institutions operating under United States jurisdiction must comply with OFAC sanctions. For banks and other financial services firms, this means integrating an OFAC sanctions search into internal AML/CFT programs, and ensuring that new customers and clients are screened against the list before a business relationship begins. 

Sanctions breaches are punishable by fines of up to $20 million, and prison sentences of up to 30 years for individuals involved. OFAC does issue certain sanctions exemptions which can be obtained via application to the Treasury Department.

Why is it Important to Have a Sanctions Screening Tool?

Find Out More About Our Sanctions Screening Tool

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Disclaimer: This is for general information only. The information presented does not constitute legal advice. ComplyAdvantage accepts no responsibility for any information contained herein and disclaims and excludes any liability in respect of the contents or for action taken based on this information.

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