An OFAC Primer

If you haven’t heard of OFAC and don’t know what the SDN list is, your company could find itself facing significant fines.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control is an agency of the U.S. Treasury Department and its function is to administer and enforce the various economic and trade sanctions put in place by the U.S. government against hostile regimes and targets. If you are a “U.S. person,” meaning a citizen, resident alien, or business, you may not do business with any entity on the SDN list.

Many sanctions are country-specific with full trade embargoes, and others are more specific. In addition, the lists are updated often, so it’s prudent to not only check the list when setting up a new customer, but also before providing goods or services.

The sanctions enforced by OFAC are a means toward U.S. and international political and economic ends. These include preventing trade with:

  • Terrorist individuals and organizations,
  • Narcotics traffickers,
  • Entities involved in nuclear, biological and chemical weapons proliferation, and
  • Diamond trading outside of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS)
The SDN List

OFAC maintains a ...

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