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.
What is OFAC Compliance?
Today, various sanctions programs enforced by OFAC requirements 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 the OFAC 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.
OFAC Screening Best Practices
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 meet OFAC regulations for banks and other industries is to ensure you’re not engaging in a transaction with a party on the SDN List. Performing sanction screening of the names of persons and other parties you do business with against the constantly changing OFAC SDN List can help you stay compliant.
OFAC Screening Services
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 the OFAC SDN List doesn’t have to be labor intensive.
Complying with OFAC regulations for banks and other sanctions programs can be simplified by using CSI’s WatchDOG OFAC solutions, like WatchDOG® Wire. Contact CSI today to learn more about our OFAC screening software and OFAC compliance for banks.