Sanctions Resources

Sanctions and financial crime compliance

Are you a financial crime compliance professional tasked with scrutinizing the ever-dynamic world of global sanctions? Good news: ACFCS is here to help.

To support ACFCS’ First Quarter 2020 focus on the field of global sanctions – what some professionals consider the most challenging area of the financial crime compliance program – the association is again compiling a resources page to offer guidance, tools and insight from key thought leaders.

ACFCS has created several resource pages buttressing our prior Quarterly Focus areas, including on Human Trafficking and Cryptocurrencies.

To check those out, please click here and here.

Below are some helpful links for avoiding sanctions snags, links to general and specific questions, details on how to create sanctions compliance programs and more.

Introductory Resources
Resources from the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

OFAC is the chief sanctions arm of the U.S. and is used as a foreign policy lever to exact change in recalcitrant regimes and highlight countries, companies and regions the U.S. believes pose a risk to domestic and international financial systems.

In recent years, the agency has dedicated a significant amount of resources to Iran, North Korea and Cuba, while also flexing its muscles with more recent powers tied to designating terror groups, narco cartels, corrupt political powerbrokers and other international organized criminal networks.

Due to the diversity among sanctions, OFAC advises professionals to visit the “Sanctions Programs and Country Information” page for information on a specific program.

OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List(SDN List) has approximately 6,300 names connected with sanctions targets. 

OFAC also maintains other sanctions lists which have different associated prohibitions.

To view OFAC’s “Frequently Asked Questions Index,” click here.

To view OFAC’s answers to general sanctions areas, click here.

To view OFAC’s more specific “Frequently Asked Questions Index” tied to crafting compliance programs, click here.

Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments
Issued in May 2019, this document lays out the five essential components of sanctions compliance, and is a good starting point for those looking to understand OFAC’s expectations. View here.
European Union and United Nations Sanctions Programs

To view a visual EU sanctions map and easy to navigate country-by-country listing of what EU sanctions are in place, click here.

To view the full details about U.N. sanctions programs, click here.

Practical Tools
Sanctions List Search Tool

OFAC offers an online, open-access tool to search its specially designated national (SDN) and consolidated sanctions lists. The tool allows for fuzzy logic searching. View Here.

Sanctions Penalty Tracker

This is a great site that tracks overall financial crime and compliance penalties, including AML and OFAC fines.

To view the penalty history of a particular bank, click here.

Open Sources to Help with Sanctions Screening

A compilation of open source tools to assist with sanctions screening and awareness of entities on sanctions lists. View here.

ACFCS Sanctions Coverage

Sanctions Compliance in Cryptocurrency Whitepaper by Elliptic – A report that explores how compliance officers can protect their businesses against exposure to cryptocurrency-related sanctions risks.

To view the whitepaper, click here

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