Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
The United States Department of the Treasury has used economic and trade sanctions to support U.S. foreign policy and national security interests since the early 1800s. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is responsible for implementing, administering and enforcing these sanctions programs.
OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List
Today, various sanctions programs administered by OFAC prohibit U.S. citizens, permanent residents of the U.S. and U.S.-based businesses, including U.S. branches of foreign companies, from engaging in business or financial transactions with any party included on OFAC's SDN List.
The SDN List, which contains thousands of names, includes individuals, banks, businesses, vessels and other organizations that have been targeted and blocked by the U.S. government for various policy reasons, including terrorism, drug trafficking and weapons of mass destruction proliferators. Because of the ever-changing foreign policy landscape, OFAC frequently makes changes to the SDN List.
Penalties and Fines for OFAC SDN List Violations
Your business could face significant monetary fines if you’re found engaging in business or other transactions with parties on the SDN List, even if such activity occurred inadvertently. OFAC publishes the names of companies that have been penalized. For reputational and policy reasons, companies may choose not to engage in certain transactions with parties on the SDN List, even if not legally prohibited.
The only way your business can remain OFAC compliant and ensure you’re not engaging in a transaction with a party on the SDN List is to frequently check the names of persons and other parties you do business with against the constantly changing OFAC SDN List.
How CSI Watch List Solutions Can Help with OFAC Compliance
Manually cross-checking potential business partners and other databases against OFAC's SDN List and other watch lists is a daunting task, especially for businesses that conduct a large number of transactions. The good news? Screening current and potential business partners against OFAC's SDN List doesn’t have to be labor intensive.
Complying with OFAC's regulations and sanctions programs can be simplified by using CSI’s Watch List Solutions and WatchDOG® Wire. Contact CSI today to learn more.