On 8th April, Crowell Moring published an article saying that OFAC has in the past not provided much guidance for companies on the expected elements of an effective OFAC compliance programme.   OFAC regulations do not specifically require a sanctions compliance programme, it says, but OFAC’s Enforcement Guidelines provide that OFAC will take into account the “existence, nature, and adequacy” of a company’s “risk-based” sanctions compliance programme in deciding whether to impose a penalty and, if so, the amount of such a penalty.  The US Treasury has provided limited guidance directed specifically to financial institutions, but industry often found itself reading between the lines of OFAC’s enforcement actions for guidance.  That has changed in recent months, the article argues, pointing to the essential elements and commenting on practical considerations.  It also says that OFAC’s recent actions also point to the need for an wide approach to sanctions compliance, one that addresses not only US affiliates but also the activities of non-US affiliates and recently acquired subsidiaries.  In particular, it points out, more than half of OFAC’s enforcement actions in 2019 have involved activity undertaken by a recently-acquired affiliate.


Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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